Finally! I know most people will say these are trash games today (…. Duke) but damn it feels good to have a look at some teams who could have really good years in Colorado St., USF, Stanford, hell maybe even BYU surprises a bit. We’re going to start out with the first game of the year in this preview and may have one or two others throughout the day.
Oregon St. @ Colorado St. | CSU -3.5, O/U 61
2:30 / CBS SN : CSU Stadium | Fort Collins, CO
As you can see in the feature image, Colorado State is breaking in a gorgeous brand new stadium that is completely funded by donors and boosters. That’s about $240 million that will not be coming from increased student tuition or the fine tax payers of Fort Collins. Oh and they also sell beer so you can guarantee these kids will be all sauced up and making some noise for this 12:30 local time kick. Let’s break it down.
Oregon State brought in a big JUCO QB who originally started at Idaho in 6-7, Jake Luton. I would expect Luton to be a fairly big improvement over the trio of QB’s they ran out there last year, which led to a measly 174 passing yards a game. Oregon St. loses their top WR, had Hunter Jarmon quit to play baseball and will also have their 2nd leading receiver from LY, Seth Collins, out this game with a broken finger. They do, however, have two enormous receivers who will be playing in Jordan Villiamin (6-5,225) and True FR #49WR recruit, Isaiah Hodgins (6-4,209). This could be a problem against a couple 5-10 CB’s and a secondary who has struggled the past couple of years. Oregon St. is going to primarily focus on their strong running game this year, though, which is Head Coach Gary Andersen’s M.O. They have a strong stable of backs with plenty of options running behind an improved offensive line despite the loss of 3 starters. Ryan Nall (6-2,239 JR – #132 recruit) will be the primary ball carrier and is a big back that is not easy to bring down (951 yds, 13 TD’s, 6.5 avg LY). They also have three more backs they will rotate in with Artavis Pierce (5-11,203, SO – #109), former 5-star Oregon recruit, Thomas Tyner (5-11,215 SR – #3), and Trevorris Johnson (5-11,226 SR – #61) who transferred in from TCU. Oregon St. will be putting some points on the board undoubtedly this afternoon but it will be very interesting how they choose to attack this Rams defense who like to get off the edge with their outside backers. My guess is they pound CSU into submission to negate those outside rushers early, only to tee off with some long balls to those big receivers on the outside.
As for the other side of the ball, there are HUGE expectations for this Colorado St. offense this year in Coach Bobo’s third year in Fort Collins. CSU improved to 35.3 ppg LY with a very balanced offense (218 rush ypg, 244 pass ypg). They return Nick Stevens (6-3,200 SR – #92) behind center after a really strong year (1,936 yds, 64.2%, 19/5 TD/INT ratio) but also have an excellent option backing him up in former starter, Collin Hill (1,096 yds, 8/2 LY). They also have one of the nation’s best at WR, Michael Gallup (76 rec, 1,272 yds, 14 TD’s, 16.4 avg LY), along with the deep threat, Olabisi Johnson (28 – 614 – 4, 21.9 avg!!). The passing game should be humming against a fairly inexperienced shaky secondary of Oregon St. CSU deploys a running back by committee but that is not to say they can’t pound the rock. Colorado St. also returns only 2 starters on the offensive line but they are big, nasty and are extremely strong at the two most important spots (LT & C). Dalyn Dawins (919 yds, 4 TD’s, 5.7 avg) is a the lightning (5-9,177) to Izzy Matthews’s thunder (734 yds, 13 TD’s, 4.8 avg). This will be a much better front 7 for Oregon St. but this is going to be a tough matchup against an offense that can really do it all.
All this being said… which side are we putting our money behind?
BET : Colorado St. -3.5 | 1 Unit
Also a lean on Over 61 as both offenses should be throwing points on the board.