After playing at Hughes Stadium for nearly half of a century, the Colorado State Rams will open the season at their new stadium, CSU Stadium. Debuting-quarterback, Jake Luton and The Oregon State Beavers have the opportunity to crash the Rams’ house-warming party, this Saturday.
Last season, CSU ranked second in the nation in scoring offense during the last half of their season, scoring at least 37 points, and peaking at 63 points during that span. With six returning offensive starters, including quarterback, Nick Stevens and their running back trio, The Rams’ chances of emulating their offensive success from last season are favorable. Colorado State’s defense also performed phenomenally well last season, allowing a stagnant 155 passing yards per game during the last half of the season; they have eight returning starters on defense.
Players to watch: RB Dalyn Dawkins, LB Josh Watson.
Dating back to last season, Rams’ leading rusher, Dalyn Dawkins is currently on a four-game streak in which he accumulated 100 rushing yards. The 185-pound elusive back could give Oregon State linebackers, Manase Hungalu & Andrzej Hughes-Murray a rough day at the office if he picks up where he left off.
While CSU has their star halfback, OSU has a weapon on the ground as well in Ryan Nall. The Rams’ starting linebacker, Josh Watson (along with fellow linebacker, Evan Colorito) will have his hands full in attempting to contain him from breaking off long runs. Watson’s 90 tackles, with seven and a half of them being for a loss, show that he is a playmaker.
Matchup of the week: Trevon Bradford vs. CSU Secondary
With OSU starting slot receiver, Seth Collins out with a finger injury, fellow slot receiver Trevon Bradford will have to make up for the misfortune. While it is unknown who will be covering Bradford, the likes of Justin Sweet and Kevin Nutt Jr. have proven they can hold their ground based on last season. This Saturday will also show the rapport between him and his receivers.
The Colorado State Rams are a well-balanced team that overcame adversity from the first few games last season to find their identity. For a team who has not lost a home-opener since 1993, home-field advantage appears to be beneficial to them.