BOISE STATE AT COLORADO STATE
Location: Fort Collins, Colorado (Canvas Stadium)
Date/Time: Saturday, October 14th at 7:45 p.m. (Mountain Time)
Television: Fox Sports 1 (FS1)
Streaming: Fox Sports app
Radio: KBOI 670 AM/KBOI 93.1 FM (Bronco Radio Network)
Head-to-Head: Boise State has never lost to Colorado State. These two programs have met 12 times and the closest that the Rams have gotten to beating the Broncos occurred in 2017 when they held a 25-point lead in the 1st half. Boise State came back to win that game in overtime, 59-52.
Tale of the Tape
- The Broncos utilized the two-quarterback system against the San Jose State Spartans and despite it looking a bit erratic, it did allow the Broncos to win the game. Taylen Green should be QB1, but expect Maddux Madsen to get some snaps as well.
- Keep an eye on Ashton Jeanty after last week’s pair of fumbles. Even though he has had a tremendous season thus far, two games with multiple fumbles is slightly concerning. No one is perfect, but turnover trouble is what put the Broncos behind the eight ball against San Jose State.
- Eric McAlister has been on a tear the last few games, and it doesn’t appear he is slowing down. The receivers haven’t been a large bright spot in 2023, but the emergence of “EMAC” at least gives the QBs a threat over the top.
- Looking at Colorado State, there is an abundance of uncertainty with the offense. Phenom wide receiver Tory Horton was injured in their previous contest against Utah State. If the Rams want to expose the Bronco secondary, the availability of Horton is critical in accomplishing that.
- Head coach Jay Norvell has officially made the move to place the offense in the hands of QB Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi. Most may remember is start against Deion Sanders and the Colorado Buffaloes. While accuracy has been a struggle, Fowler-Nicolosi is a gamer and can sling the rock.
- The running attack for the Rams is nonexistent. As a team, they have only run for a combined 379 yards. For reference, there are only two teams in division one that have rushed for less yardage.
BYU and Hawaii.
- The receivers have been dynamic for the Rams this season with four players over 200 yards receiving. Other than Horton, the trio of Dallin Holker, Justus Ross-Simmons, and Louis Brown IV have done a great job as a supporting cast. Teams with multiple threats at receiver tend to do well against Boise State this season.
- A horrific first half for the Bronco defense was overshadowed by a nearly-flawless second half shutout of the Spartans. Something began to click after halftime and it will be interesting to see if the coaches can carry that over into Fort Collins.
- With a bye week coming for the Broncos, we may very well see DJ Schramm be a scratch for Saturday’s game. With the meat of Mountain West play still awaiting Boise State, it would be wise to limit any usage of banged-up players this week.
- Cornerback A’Marion McCoy was a force a week ago, laying down impressive hits and making himself known on The Blue. He also showed the most fire, talking his talk to opposing wideouts and interacting with the crowd.
This team needs players like McCoy now and going into the future.
- There is a player named Mohamed Kamara that I should have mentioned earlier in this piece. He was also injured in CSU’s previous matchup with Utah State.
There’s a reason his presence or lack thereof is so pivotal for CSU.
In 2023, he has registered 9.5 sacks. The next closest Ram?
Tony Pierce Jr. with two sacks.
- Turnover-wise, Colorado State has had much more luck forcing fumbles (7) rather than interceptions (4). Again, the fumble snafus that have impacted Ashton Jeanty will be a focus.
- Linebacker Chase Wilson leads the team in total tackles and is the prototypical Ram that is a hard-nosed player that attacks the gaps. A CSU version of DJ Schramm.
- This could be a first for Boise State football. Punter James Ferguson-Reynolds is tabbed to carry the Dan Paul Hammer out for the team on Saturday. We have seen quite a bit of fresh blood carry the esteemed hammer out, but having the man from down under have the honor is both a rarity and well-deserved.
- While there aren’t any major players in the kicking/punting game, the return attack has been quite successful for the Rams with two touchdowns thus far. If Tory Horton plays, he is a massive weapon that can make any punt feel like you are on pins and needles.
Why Colorado State Will Win
Tory Horton and Mohamed Kamara are healthy and able to impose themselves on the game. Horton is one of the best one-on-one receivers in the nation and Kamara is having himself a career-defining year.
Both are NFL talents, no doubt.
While those two are dynamic and game-changers, the rest of the Rams have to do their part. If Boise State maintains their faith in the two-QB system, then Colorado State needs to make them pay via pocket pressure and limiting any scramble opportunities. Do this, and Colorado State may just make history with their first win ever against Boise State.
Why Boise State Will Win
Ashton Jeanty does his thing on the ground, opening up the air attack. Offensive coordinator Bush Hamdan implemented more QB-designed runs last week for Green and Madsen and I would expect that to continue.
If a wide receiver outside of Eric McAlister could create some separation and act as a solid WR#2, then I would be much more confident in the Broncos outscoring the Rams. In my mind, either Billy Bowens or Prince Strachan is the answer.
Spread: Boise State -8.5 (-110), Colorado State +8.5 (-110)
Total: 60.5 points (-110 odds for both the over and under)
Straight Up Money Line: Boise State -345, Colorado State +275
Andy Avalos proved that this team can fight and succeed with the interchangeable QB system.
It may not be pretty, but it can get the job done.
Colorado State will put some points on the board, but the reliability of the Boise State rushing attack will carry the day once again.