Boise State (3-3, 2-0) vs. Colorado State (2-3, 0-1)
Location: Fort Collins, Colorado (Canvas Stadium)
Date/Time: Saturday, October 13th at 7:45 PM (Mountain Time)
Television: Fox Sports 1
Radio: thevarsitynetwork.com // Create an account, scroll through active game feeds to Colorado State broadcast, or follow Colorado State and select their active broadcast
Head-to-Head: The Rams and Broncos have squared off twelve times, eleven of which have been Mountain West conference matchups. It’s been an annual affair since 2011, with Boise State winning all twelve. The closest CSU ever got to beating them was in 2017. They were up 28-3 early, and up 52-38 with three minutes to play, but after Brett Rypien led a quick touchdown drive, the Broncos recovered the onside kick, and scored another touchdown to tie the game. Overtime didn’t go the Rams way, and it’s still the closest they’ve ever been to beating the Blue Turf boys. Last year, the Broncos easily got the win, 49-10. Coach Jay Norvell has beaten Boise State once, in 2021 on the road with Nevada.
Three things to look for:
Which passing attack will prevail?
Despite the Rams ranking in the top 15 in the nation in passing yards, it was the Broncos who had the better performance through the air last week. It was Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi’s worst game of the year, no question. He’ll need to rebound in a major way for CSU to have a shot to win. If he is on his “A game”, the Rams will still need to disrupt Boise State’s two-QB system to get it done. They’re hard to beat when they have a competent passing game to go back to if the run game needs a breather, but if the receivers aren’t a threat, the Rams could survive a big game from Ashton Jeanty, too. The secondary has to avoid any home runs, especially from the Broncos breakout star at WR in Eric McAlister. If they’re as generous as they were in Logan last week, it won’t matter if the offense plays better.
How effective will Tory Horton and Mohamed Kamara be?
Colorado State’s two best players were banged up in the loss to Utah State. There isn’t a lot of specifics about their injuries available, but both of them are essentially game time decisions. The impact these two have cannot be overstated. Horton and Kamara are not only arguably the top players in their conference at their positions, but they’re also the backbones of their respective sides of the ball. Without Horton, the Rams would need to rely heavily on Dallin Holker and the other receivers, which would simplify things for the Broncos defense. If the defense is without Kamara, they may struggle to contain Boise’s run game, as well as getting pressure on Green/Madsen. Even if they aren’t at 100%, either of their presences on the field would be a major boost to the Rams upset chances.
Can the Rams slow down Ashton Jeanty?
What Jeanty has done up to this point in the season is baffling. He’s averaging 168 total yards and two TDs per game. Who knows where the Broncos would be right now without him? The bottom line is, if you want to beat this team, you need to limit Jeanty’s damage. If he gets into the end zone more than once, chances are the Rams won’t have a prayer. If he’s under his average yard total, and the defense can force some turnovers, CSU does have a realistic shot of getting the win.
With the injuries piling up for Colorado State, it’d be quite the feat if they were able to get their first ever win against Boise State. I just don’t see it happening. The Broncos are starting to figure it out offensively with this weird tandem quarterback strategy, and defensively had one of their best halves of the year to beat San Jose State. BFN plays well enough to keep it close, but he throws a pair of INTs that are the difference, as Jeanty has another huge performance to further his OPOY campaign.