Records & Series Meetings:
#5/6 Boise State: 5-0 (0-0 MWC)
Colorado State: 3-2 (1-0 MWC)
First Meeting between the two schools
All Time Series Record:
First Meeting between the two schools
Boise State defeated Fresno State 57-7 in Fresno, CA (Oct 7)
Colorado State lost to San Jose State 38-31 in Fort Collins, CO (Oct 1)
Chris Petersen is in his Sixth season at Boise State with an overall record of 66-5, 38-2 in the Western Athletic Conference and 0-0 in the Mountain West Conference.
Steve Fairchild is in his fourth season at Colorado State with an overall record of 16-26 and is 7-18 in the MWC.
Colorado State in Cyberspace:
Colorado State Offense:
Colorado State has a very young team with six starters being freshman or sophomore as well as several key backups. The Rams are 3-2 on the season and have been competitive offensively but they still have a ways to go to be where they want to be. Every week, the Rams have showed steady improvement but still rank 95th in the nation in total offense averaging 340.80 yards a game, while rushing for 119.20 yards per game, passing for 221.60 yards per game and scoring 25.40 points a game.
The key to the Rams offense is sophomore QB Pete Thomas. Thomas started last season as a true freshman and set several Colorado State records including single season completion percentage with 64.7%. In 2011, he has picked up where he left off completing 67.1% of his passes, for 1,089 yards and 6 touchdowns. Thomas isn’t the most mobile QB in the world but has the ability to take off and run if he needs to as he has netted 86 yards rushing on the season.
The receiving core for the Rams has been subpar for most part of the season. Part of it is because they have been relying heavily on two true freshmen Lee Club and Charles Lovett to step up and produce. The other Part is Junior Byron Steele a major contributor was suspended earlier in the season. Steele has been back for two games but has only produced three receptions. Midway through the 2011 campaign, junior receiver Lou Greenwood, and Tight End Crockett Gilmore have become the top targets for QB Pete Thomas hauling in 15 and 21 catches respectively.
Colorado State has a pair of good running backs in senior Raymond Carter, and Sophomore Chris Nwoke. Carter is listed as the Starter but they use a running back by committee system. Carter has taken his fair share of the carries with 53 on the season and averaging an above average 5.1 yards per carry. Next on the committee is Nwoke who has 62 carries and is averaging 4.01 yards per carry. Senior Derik Good will sneak into the game as he has 15 carries on the season for 101 yards. Colorado State is one of the few teams who use a true fullback in their scheme as most teams who run some two back sets will use a tight end. Sophomore Jake Levin is at fullback when the Rams employ a two back backfield. Levin doesn’t carry the ball much as he is used primarily as a blocker.
Colorado State has a relatively young offensive line unit as they are starting one freshman, two sophomores, and two seniors. The Rams are running the ball for only 119.20 yards a game and have given up 13 sacks on the season to defenses who are in the bottom half in the country in defensive statistics.
CSU Total Offense: 340.80 ypg (95th) Vs. BSU Total Defense: 293.00 ypg (12th)
CSU Passing Offense: 221.60 ypg (67th) Vs. BSU Passing Defense: 174.40 ypg (9th)
CSU Rushing Offense: 119.20 ypg (91st) VS. BSU Rushing Defense: 118.60 ypg (38th)
CSU Points Per Game: 25.40 ppg (83rd) VS. BSU Points Allowed: 14.80 ppg (10th)
Colorado State Offense vs. Boise State Defense
On paper, the Rams offense should be smothered by this Boise State Defense. However, from time to time, this team will play down to its opponent’s level to make it interesting. For Colorado State, this will be a big time opportunity for QB Pete Thomas to shock the world and prove he is an elite QB in this conference. Realistically, weather the defense plays well of not, the Rams offense will be overwhelmed by the Bronco front four and it will cause problems all afternoon in both the pass and the run games. Look for Colorado State to try some trick plays early to get a score and to get the crowd involved. When you are over-matched, sometimes you have to do things to give you a chance and for several teams it is a trick play early in the game. Having an extra week to prepare for the Broncos, I’m sure the Rams will be digging deep into the playbook and try some things the Broncos have not seen on film. The Rams are going to have a very tough time getting the job done however, and this should be another dominating performance by the Bronco defense.
Colorado State Defense:
In 2011, the Colorado State defense has been very consistent turning in solid performances in their first five contests. The Rams will run a base 4-3 defense much like the Broncos have seen most of the year. The Rams are only giving up 344 yards a game which ranks them 33rd in the nation, and they are giving up 24.80 points per game which rank them at 56th. The Rams however, are giving up 168 yards on the ground which means teams have been able to push them around a little bit in the trenches.
The Rams defensive line is led by sophomore defensive end Nordly Capi who has been very good this year totaling an eye popping eight sacks in five games which ranks him first in the nation. Joining Capi on the defensive line will be sophomore defensive tackle Curtis Wilson who two sacks on the season. At Nose Tackle, will be senior Nuku Latu who has four tackles on the year and one tackle for loss. The opposite defensive end will be junior CJ James who has put in his contribution of two sacks and 16 tackles.
The Rams line backing core is another relatively young unit with two sophomores and a junior in the starting lineup. The line backers will be led by sophomore will linebacker Mike Orakpo with a team best 41 tackles which ranks him 70th in the nation. In the middle sophomore Shaquil Barrett who is a division two transfer from Nebraska – Omaha is having a solid season and is second on the team in tackles with 35. The Sam line backer will be occupied by junior James Skelton who is having a productive year as well with 31 total tackles and two forced fumbles
The rams will be starting two seniors, one junior and a freshman in the secondary. On the surface they look experienced but behind the starters are a long list of youth and inexperience with freshman and sophomores. Senior strong safety Ivory Herd is a three year starter and the most experienced of the group. Herd is holding his own as he has done in years past with one interception and 26 tackles on the season. Freshman free safety Austin Gray is playing a key role while contributing 19 tackles. At the cornerback positions will be junior Momo Thomas, and senior Elijah – Blu Smith. On the season, Thomas has one interception and 14 tackles while Blu Smith is producing with 23 tackles.
Colorado State Defense Vs BSU Offense:
The Rams will have a huge task this Saturday taking on a potent and efficient Bronco Offense. One thing the Rams defense has done well this season is to pressure opposing QBs. Nordly Capi has been relentless by leading the charge with eight sacks on the season. He will be putting his skills to the test facing a very good Bronco offensive line who has only given two sacks on the season. If the Rams are not able to get any pressure on Kellen Moore, it will be a long afternoon for the Rams secondary as lack of experienced depth will start to show. Colorado State is also giving up 186 yard on the ground, so look for the Broncos to capitalize on that and continue getting better at running the football.
CSU Total Defense: 344.00 ypg (33rd) Vs. BSU Total Offense: 450.20 ypg (30th)
CSU Pass Defense: 176.00 ypg (12th) Vs. BSU Passing Offense: 298.80 ypg (22nd)
CSU Rushing Defense: 168.00 ypg (81st) VS. BSU Rushing Offense: 151.40 ypg (59th)
CSU Points Allowed: 24.80 ppg (56th) VS. BSU Points Per Game: 40.60 ppg (13th)
Colorado State Special Teams:
The Rams have been very steady this season on special teams putting up good numbers in all phases. Junior Pete Kontodiakos handles the punting duties and he is averaging 41.50 yards per punt which ranks him 43rd in the nation. Senior Ben DeLine handles both the kick off and field goal duties for the Rams. On the season, Deline is struggling to hit field goals as he is 57% through the first five games. The return game is handled by junior Momo Thomas and senior Derek Good. Thomas who handles the punts is averaging 11.07 yards per return which ranks him 22nd in the nation and Good who handles the kickoffs is averaging 26.89 yards a return which ranks him 18th nationally.
Colorado State is one of those programs who have a lot of talent but not a lot of success over the past few seasons. If everyone remembers the 90’s and the early 2000’s, Colorado State was a frequent visitor in the top 25 and a force in both the WAC and the MWC. If the Rams are able to keep and develop their players, I think they will be headed back in that direction. This is a big game for the Rams; they are getting the community involved by having a white out cancer day. The fans as well as the team will wear all white for the first time in their history, so it should be an electric environment. Colorado State feels they can get pressure on Kellen Moore and disrupt the passing game. Here are two reasons the Rams will not be able to do that, first the Broncos have a very good short passing game and second, their screen game is very good as well both will use their aggressiveness against them. Offensively, Pete Thomas has the ability to make plays and has some weapons around him, but they will have a very tough time versus this Bronco defense as they will be physically overmatched. Colorado State is on the right path but a still one to two years away from making any noise. The Broncos should have no problem pushing their record to 6-0 on the season.