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The Border War: Colorado State vs Wyoming Preview

Another chapter is written in the longest running rivalry west of the Mississippi, as Colorado State and Wyoming play for the Bronze Boot

NCAA Football: Colorado State at Wyoming Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

One of the longest rivalries in sports writes its latest chapter this evening as Colorado State travels out to Laramie to take on the Wyoming Cowboys. Two teams that are have very interesting seasons. Colorado State started 1-5 out the gate but has won 3 of its last four games. Wyoming started 6-2 but has lost two straight games. Both teams are complete opposites when it comes to philosophy. Wyoming is lead by it’s defense which is a Tampa 2 bend but don’t break system. Colorado State poses one of the most explosive offenses in the country. Both teams have also lost their starting QBs to season ending injuries. However, I would say Wyoming losing Sean Chambers is a bigger loss.

This has been a series that has been streaky over the past 10 seasons. Wyoming won 4 in a row from 2009-2012, CSU won 3 straight from 2013-2015 and Wyoming has won the past 3 games. For Colorado State to end the streak, here are the three keys to a Rams win.

1. Extend drives and finish with points

The offense last week started fast then disappeared until the fourth quarter. They were the to blame for the lost to Air Force. The offense had too many empty drives and the defense eventually ran out of gas from being on the field too long. It’s important to have a balanced offense, convert on third down and finish drives with points. I have a feeling that there won’t be a lot of opportunities for either team offensively. Utilize the tight end and running backs against this Tampa 2 scheme and throw it up to Warren Jackson let him make a play. Patrick O’Brien needs to play calm and not force things. Mistake free football will win this game.

2. Disciplined and mistake free defense

Wyoming is a struggling offensively. Sean Chambers is out and the backup Tyler Vander Waal has struggled. Wyoming is a run first offense. Using the QB option to fool defenses. Xazavian Valladay has ran for 869 yards on the season as a running back. It’s important for this defense to stay disciplined especially on the edges. Force the Cowboys to beat you in the air not on the ground. The secondary has played better of late but this will be a huge challenge for the safeties much like Air Force was. Rams would have a chance to win if they turn this to a passing game.

3. Control the trenches

The offensive line had their worst game of the season last week giving up seven sacks to the Air Force defense. Also, there was no push to run the ball. The Rams only ran for 39 yards on 31 attempts. The defense controlled the trenches until the second half when they ran out of gas. Bottom line is the Rams need to be able to run the ball to win the game. Otherwise it could be another long night for Patrick O’Brien and the passing game.

Prediction: This will be a game of wills and who blinks first. The Rams should be able to move the ball but can they finish? I believe they will squeak out a win in a defensive battle. Bringing back the Bronze Boot to Fort Collins. Colorado State 24 - Wyoming 20