Washington State vs. Colorado State: Game Preview, How to Watch, Odds, Prediction
The Rams look to start fresh in Year 2 under Jay Norvell
Can the Rams make an early statement?
WEEK 1: Washington State Cougars (0-0) vs Colorado State Rams (0-0)
WHEN: Saturday, September 2nd — 5:00 p.m. MST / 4:00 p.m. PST
WHERE: Canvas Stadium; Fort Collins, CO (36,500)
WEATHER: Clear Sky, high of 92 degrees
TV: CBS Sports Network (Stream CBS Sports Network on Fubo and click the link here for a free trial)
RADIO: K99-FM 99.1 / ESPN 1600 AM
SERIES RECORD: This will be the 3rd matchup all time between these two schools. The series is tied at 1-1
LAST MEETING: Washington State won 38-7 in Pullman.
ODDS: Washington State -10.5
SP+ PROJECTION: Washington State by 18.8
FEI PROJECTION: Washington State by 16.9
PARKER FLEMING PROJECTION: Washington State has a 65.26% win probability (28.3 to 18.75)
Now to the keys to victory for the Rams.
Memories that last a 𝗹𝗶𝗳𝗲𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗲…
All that's left is to #SellOutWazzu❗
🗣️ Kevin McDougal
— Colorado State Football (@CSUFootball) September 1, 2023
Keys to a colorado state victory
1. Keep the QB protected
The Rams gave up just under five sacks a game last season. Against Washington State they gave up seven sacks. The coaching staff, including head coach Jay Norvell himself, went out and made sure they got the guys they needed to protect Clay Millen.
From D2 transfers to FCS transfers to FBS transfers, this OL now has depth and aren’t to be counted out if one goes down. The coaches emphasized size and the CSU OL averages 6’4″, 305 lbs. Size isn’t everything, but when you got beat as bad the Rams did last season, it can’t hurt.
2. Keep Cam Ward contained
The Rams were able to keep Ward in the pocket for the most part. But he was still able to burn them for almost 300 yards through the air. Getting four sacks last season showed they can get after him. But they must ramp up the pressure this season.
The front four is asked to provide the majority of the pressure in Freddie Banks’ defense. So Mohamed Kamara, Cam Bariteau, Grady Kelly, Nuer Gatkouth and the rotation need to keep their motors running and make Cam Ward gun shy.
3. Take your shot
Colorado State cannot be afraid to just let loose and have fun. If the offensive line can hold up for the Rams, expect this team to get rolling. Clay Millen has shown improved poise and leadership. He’s also said the game has slowed down for him and he’s not as nervous.
We know Tory Horton is going to have the ball thrown his way. But the Rams have brought in other skill players and Millen can’t be afraid to look away from last year’s safety net in Horton. BYU TE transfer Dallin Holker, NDSU RB transfer Kobe Johnson, and returning WR Justus Ross-Simmons are all weapons at Millen’s disposal that he needs to use.
The major key to the game for both sides will be the offensive line. The CSU coaches sound a lot more confident this year than they did last year. If that OL can hold up for the Rams expect to see some fireworks from Fort Air Raid. The Cougars are still a P5 school so they have the talent, but the Rams are going to be the more cohesive team this time around.
Final Score: Colorado State 27, Washington State 21