Adversity has hit this Colorado State team for the first time this season. Starting QB Collin Hill for the third time has torn his ACL effectively ending his season. It occurred on a controversial hit, I personally think it was a cheap shot, but it’s been up for debate all week. The Rams came back to tie the game with Arkansas last week at 34 before the team imploded giving up the final 21 points to the Razorbacks. The Rams are back at home this week to take on the Toledo Rockets. This is the final non-conference game of the season, and it won’t be an easy one.
Date: Saturday September 21st 2019 at 8:15 PM MDT
History: Third Meeting, tied 1-1
TV/Radio: ESPN2, KARS 102.9 (Northern Colorado)
Line: Toledo 9 point favorite, Over/Under 66
This game is important for the Rams, finishing the non-conference slate with a win would be a boost as they face a tough start to conference play. Here are three keys to victory for the Rams.
1. Time difference advantage
This game is a late-night kickoff. Essentially the Rams have already played an 8 pm game this year with the Rocky Mountain Showdown. Toledo is coming from the eastern time zone which means this will be a 10:15 EDT kickoff for them. Controlling the clock with long drives and finishing with touchdowns would be a great thing. Marvin Kinsley had a huge game last week running the ball but had two fumbles that were costly. Pounding the rock with Kinsley, Marcus McElroy and Jalen Thomas should help things out for new starting QB (Patrick O’Brien or Justice McCoy). Mixing in the jet sweeps with Dante Wright and efficient passing. A combination of a balanced offense and long sustained drives will tire this defense in the second half.
2. “GET OFF THE FIELD DEFENSE PLEASE!!!”
The defense after having a great game against Western Illinois came back to earth and then some last week against Arkansas. Which was expected considering the talent disparity of both schools. The defense showed some life in the second and third quarters last week with some 3-and-outs, but ultimately got tired and had some very bad tackling (Cheyenne O’Grady highlight being shown for the 1000th time). Please get some stops early in the game. They won’t be tired in the second half and will stay fresh if the offense can help them out. As crazy as this sounds, second down is the most important down this week. Stay in third and longs, that’s done by stopping them on second down.
3. Have the lead/momentum heading into halftime
The Rams could use a halftime lead. They had once against Western Illinois, but the Rams were the more superior team. The momentum has there for them against Arkansas with the field goal before half. However, it was given right back when the Razorbacks scored an opening second half touchdown. Getting a late score before the half, especially at home will give this team a huge boost. Playing from behind to start the final 30 wouldn’t be good. We saw that against Colorado where the defense gets tired. It will help this defense immensely to have the lead/momentum at halftime.
Prediction: This will be back and forth with a lot of fireworks. I don’t trust the defense to get off the field the whole game. Rams offense will need to help the defense and I think they will. Balance and long drives will be the difference. Colorado State 30 -Toledo 24