Well we’re here, tonight is the latest installment of the Rocky Mountain Showdown. This one is bittersweet because it’s the last one that will be played in Denver. For years the Colorado State Rams and the Colorado Buffaloes would travel south to Mile High Stadium. Next season the game will be played in Fort Collins before the teams will take a break from the series. This is also a big game due to state of both programs. Colorado State finished 3-9 last season, while the Buffaloes collapsed after starting 5-0 and finishing 5-7. For Colorado State they have lost four straight in this series, and are desperate to snap out of this slump. Here is the preview to this years game.
Date: Friday August 30th at 8PM MDT
History: Colorado leads 67-22-2
TV/Radio: ESPN 102.7 FM Northern Colorado
Line: Colorado -13.5 Over/Under 56
Weather: Mid 70s and cloudy
For Colorado State it’s going to be important to start fast. In the past couple meetings, they’ve gotten off to a slow start. Going three and out or not finishing with points. Granted in 2017’s meeting known as the OPI game there was a touchdown taken off the board due to the first of many bad calls. However, they haven’t scored on the opening drive since 2015’s meeting. Colin Hill will be taking the reigns this season as the full-time starter. The crazy thing is despite him being a redshirt junior and making several starts this is his first time starting the Rocky Mountain Showdown. He’ll have Warren Jackson and a host of receivers to throw to as well. At running back, the Rams will have Marcus McElroy and Marvin Kinsley Jr. splitting the carries. The biggest question will be the offensive line. They struggled last season and are replacing a couple pieces on this year’s team as well. If the Rams can finish drives and have balance, they’ll have a chance to win this game.
The defense last year was not very good. They gave up 37 points per game along, with over 400 yards of total offense. The team couldn’t generate turnovers or generate a pass rush. It was a young defensive unit that was soft. This year they’re a year older but have lost some pieces. Emmanuel Jones should anchor that defensive line who will need to generate pressure for the Rams to win this game. Rashad Ajayi who started as a true freshman last season along, with Jamal Hicks will be the key pieces to the secondary. The secondary is the biggest piece to this game because they allowed Laviska Shenault to go wild against them last year. For the Rams to win he needs to be limited and there can’t be too many big plays.
For Colorado they’re led by redshirt senior Steven Montez. Who’s had his up and downs but has played well against the Rams. Alex Fontenot will be the tailback of this year’s team, but their biggest strength is at receiver. Shenault along with K.D Nixon will pose challenges for this Rams secondary. It’s almost a pick your poison situation but one being more poisonous than the other. Defensively the Buffaloes run a 3-4 defense and are pretty big upfront. Nose tackle Jalen Sami 6’6 320 lbs, along with defensive ends Terrance Lang and Janaz Jordan could cause problems upfront for the Rams. Nate Landman is the leader of this defense at inside linebacker.
Prediction time: For some reason I believe that Colorado is overlooking the Rams. The Buffaloes have a big game against Nebraska next weekend, and you haven’t heard them mentioning CSU very much. This will be a game in the 20s with both defenses playing well. Points will be hard to come by at times during this game. Colorado State will score a late touchdown to win the game 27-23.