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Colorado State vs Wyoming: Border War Preview

The 106th (or 107th, depending on who you ask) Border War meeting

NCAA Football: Colorado State at Wyoming Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

One of the longest running rivalry games west of the Mississippi, happens for the last time at Hughes Stadium. The Colorado State Rams host the Wyoming Cowboys under the lights.

Position Preview

Quarterbacks: Slight advantage Wyoming

The only reason Wyoming even has a slight advantage is due to the fact that this is Collin Hill’s third start. Both QBs have similar numbers, and if Collin Hill had been the starter from the beginning of the season he would be ahead.

Running Backs: Advantage Wyoming

Brian Hill is one of the best running backs in the conference, if not the country. We all know Donnel Pumphrey is king in this league, but Brian Hill can give him a run for his money. The three headed monster that CSU has is good, but as a whole Wyoming has a better running game.

Receivers: Advantage Wyoming

Tanner Gentry can be considered one of, if not the, top receiver in the conference. He has good hands and is a reliable route runner. Colorado State is still trying to replace Rashard Higgins and Joe Hansley. Hill seems to have found his favorite receiver in Michael Gallup, as Gallup leads the Rams with 14 catches, 173 yards, and 2 touchdowns.

Offensive Line: Advantage Colorado State

Colorado State is the more experienced line. They are a physical team that punishes the front seven. They rotate bodies to keep fresh. Wyoming’s line was able to keep Josh Allen off the turf for the most part until letting Eastern Michigan sack him 3 times. The big hit against Collin Hill from Minnesota was a bad block by a Tight End, the line can get a little credit there.

Defensive Line: Advantage Colorado State

Colorado State defensive line when it can get going. Jakob Buys is tied for the team lead with 3 sacks. They do their job which is to plug holes and let the linebackers make the plays. Wyoming has an undersized defensive line, where every starting lineman weighs under 280 lbs. Colorado State should be able to push them around this game.

Linebackers: Advantage Colorado State

Two words: Kevin Davis. One of the top linebackers in the conference. Leads with 41 combined tackles and is tied for second with 25 individual tackles and 3 sacks. He has a nose for the football. The linebacking corps is considered the backbone of the CSU defense. Wyoming has a good linebacking corps, it’s just that other than SDSU and Boise, CSU has one of the best linebacking corps in the conference.

Secondary: Tie

I’m going to give this one a tie. Colorado State is basically replacing their whole secondary. Wyoming returns one of the best DBs in Andrew Wingard. Both of these teams are in the bottom of the conference in terms of passing defense, with CSU eighth and Wyoming last. Wyoming has six interceptions to CSU’s three.

Special Teams: Advantage Colorado State

Colorado State has an All-American, Ray Guy award finalist in Hayden Hunt and a decent place kicker in Wyatt Bryan. Wyoming’s kicker has missed half of his field goals this year and only has a long of 39 yards.

Coaching: Advantage Wyoming

Mike Bobo has been an assistant coach since the end of his playing days at Georgia. Colorado State is his first head coaching position. Craig Bohl won three straight FCS national championships at North Dakota State.

Final Score: CSU 31 - Wyo 20

Three Keys for Colorado State

  1. Keep Brian Hill contained. If the Rams allow Hill to run wild, they’ll be in for a long game.
  2. Work the offense evenly. If the Rams can balance the run and pass and not be forced one dimensional, they’ll be able to control this game.
  3. Force Wyoming to throw. This goes along with key #1. In Wyoming’s losses this year, Josh Allen has thrown for 27 or more passes, they lose. In their wins, he has thrown 26 or less passes.

The game is on ESPNU with kickoff scheduled for 8:15 pm MT. The game should be a legit sellout, as CSU started selling Standing Room Only tickets.