Colorado State last week got back on track against Western Illinois. Snapping a losing streak dating back to last season. The offense was efficient despite a couple fumbles and the defense was stingy. They face a bigger challenge this week in SEC opponent in Arkansas. This is a winnable game with the Razorbacks struggling to start the season. This is the finale of a two-game series that had Arkansas travel to Colorado State last season. Colorado State stormed back from a 27-9 deficit in the 4th quarter to win 34-27. This year’s game could have similar fireworks as both teams are still trying to find their identities. The Rams have a chance to sweep a series, and here are three big keys for that to happen.
Date: Saturday September 14th 2019 at 3 PM CDT (2 PM MDT)
History: Second meeting, Colorado State leads 1-0
TV/Radio: SEC Network, KARS 102.9 (Northern Colorado)
Line: CSU – 10
1. A fast start and finishing drives with touchdowns
In the first two games the offense has gotten off to a very fast start. Including last week scoring on the first play from scrimmage. Getting off to the same start on the road will be huge for momentum. Dante Wright has been balling out in his first two games. Expect Arkansas’s defensive coordinator John Chavis to focus on him. Look for the running game to get involved to open the play action pass. Warren Jackson will play a huge role in this game.
2. Stopping the run game
Arkansas ran for 299 yards in last year’s game. You would think that a team that runs for that much would win the game right? For the Rams to win this year, the run game needs to be limited. Defensive front needs to control the trenches especially between the tackles. Look for Arkansas to run a lot of outside sweeps and zone reads. Stay contained and disciplined to prevent the big gains. Holding the Razorbacks to 120 rushing yards or less and the Rams will have a great chance to win.
3. Winning the turnover battle
I believe this game will come down to who turns the ball over less. Colorado State has six turnovers on the season, while Arkansas has two. Colorado State will need to generate at least two turnovers to give the offense a short field. While offensively they need to hold on to the ball. The game will come down to possessions and whichever team has the most will win this game.
Side Note: I want to take the time to thank the Arkansas fans, nicest fans I’ve ever come across. Even in defeat last season they were classy and very respectful. I hope this is a series that could happen more often down the line. Plus the Woo Pig chant is pretty cool!
Prediction time: This is a very winnable game for the Rams. I had them going 2-2 in the non-conference before the start of the season. With this being the second loss. After watching both teams play the first two weeks I’m changing that prediction. Colorado State looks to be in the better place.
Colorado State wins and back and forth affair 38-31. For the gamblers I would take Colorado State to beat the spread even if they lose on the game outright.