Colorado State (3-5, 1-3) vs. Wyoming (5-3, 2-2)
Location: Laramie, Wyoming (War Memorial Stadium)
Date/Time: Friday, November 3rd at 6 PM (Mountain Time)
Television: CBS Sports Network
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 Border War began in 1899, with a controversial 12-0 forfeit win for the Rams (worth a Google search if you’re interested). Colorado State leads the all time series at 59-50-5, but since the Bronze Boot was created in 1968 the Cowboys have controlled the rivalry, going 30-25 over that span. Wyoming has won six of the last seven meetings, including the 2022 matchup, which was a 14-13 dogfight. Colorado State’s last time taking home the Bronze Boot was in 2020, when Trey McBride caught two touchdowns to lead them to victory.
Three things to look for:
Can BFN and Co. find the end zone?
Over the last two games, the Rams’ offense hasn’t been itself. The passing game is producing slightly below average, and while the run game is improving, it’s still not affecting the game too much. The most notable shortcoming, though, has been their inability to cross the goal line. They only scored three touchdowns combined against UNLV and Air Force, compared to five FG makes for Jordan Noyes. Simply put, Colorado State hasn’t played well enough to win games with field goals. BFN and his cast of pass catchers need to make big plays like they did against Colorado and Boise State, and those big plays need to end in six points, or it will likely end up only being three. If they can’t do that, the Cowboys will gladly win an ugly game, just as they did last year.
Will Wyoming’s offense rebound?
After the Cowboys were surprisingly efficient on offense to start the season, they completely flopped on the Blue Turf in Boise last week. They only finished with 112 total yards, and only had double digit pass and rush yards. Wyoming fans haven’t witnessed that futile of a performance since 2009, the first year Dave Christensen was head coach. If the Cowboys play that way in the Border War, the Rams may run them out of their own building. If they can rebound, though, they still have a productive run attack and a decent enough passing game to make you acknowledge it. We’ll have to wait and see if Craig Bohl can get his squad back to their senses.
Which DLine will take over?
Both defenses are driven by their star-studded defensive lines. The Cowboys feature five of the best down lineman in the conference, with edge rushers DeVonne Harris, Braden Siders, and Sabastian Harsh, and defensive tackles Cole Godbout and Jordan Bertagnole. Colorado State is led by Mohamed Kamara, the Newark native who’s no doubt going to be playing on Sundays, but also have solid contributors like nose tackle Grady Kelly and rotational edges Tony Pierce Jr and Marshon Oxley.
With how little momentum the two offenses have coming into this contest, the defenses will be the deciding factor in who hoists the Bronze Boot. If Wyoming can knock BFN off of his game and snuff out their attempts to start the run game, it could be a long night for the Rams offense. If the Rams are at their most disruptive, Andrew Peasley could again struggle to pick up first downs due to the pressure in his face. While both units will leave their mark on the outcome of this game, whichever one is superior will more than likely be on the winning sideline.
All signs point to this game being close for a full sixty minutes. Neither offense can get moving to start the game, but the Rams strike first with Dallin Holker bursting through the seam for a long touchdown. The Cowboys respond with their own scoring drive, punched in by Andrew Peasley, leaving the score tied at seven going into halftime. The first turnover of the game, a Cowboy fumble, leads to a CSU touchdown from Vann Schield to open the third quarter. Wyoming’s offense continues to sputter, punting once again to Tory Horton, who darts all around the field on his way to his second punt return score of the year. Down 14, the Cowboys get back into the game thanks to Harrison Waylee breaking free for a long touchdown run, followed by a field goal to make the score 21-17 with six minutes to play. The Rams offense, finally getting back into a groove, marches down to field before Tory Horton beats his man deep for his second touchdown of the day. Wyoming tries their best to keep the game alive, but Andrew Peasley throws an interception in Ram territory to return the Bronze Boot to Fort Collins for the first time in three years.