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Oregon State Football: A Midsummer’s Opponent Preview - Colorado State Rams (Game 2)

What will year one of the Steve Addazio era in Fort Collins look like?

Boston College v North Carolina State Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Colorado State Rams

  • Head Coach: Steve Addazio (1st Season)
  • 2019 Record: 4-8 (3-5 in Mountain West)
  • Last Meeting: 8/26/17 - Colorado State 58, Oregon State 27
  • Key Returners: WR - Warren Jackson, TE - Trey McBride, QB - Patrick O’Brien

The Skinny

This off-season, just like their in-state counterparts at Colorado and Northern Colorado, Colorado State opted to make a change at the head of their football program, bringing in recently fired Steve Addazio from Boston College to plug the holes on what looked like a sinking ship in Fort Collins.

The good news for Addazio in year one is that there’s some likeable pieces to work with, especially after a trying off-season. The bad news is that at the end of the day, he’s inheriting a 4-8 program without a true off-season to work with them.

While the initial news of Addazio’s hiring felt more like a pebble’s ripple than a big splash, the sixty-year old Urban Meyer disciple has made some decent headway on the recruiting front for the Rams and there’s belief that Colorado State could be in for their best season since 2017, when former head coach Mike Bobo’s squad finished 2nd in the Mountain West and 7-6 overall. However, Addazio’s biggest challenge to his new fanbase could come in the first game of the season, when he’ll try to do something Bobo could never accomplish, in defeating rival Colorado for the first time since 2014.

NCAA Football: Boise State at Colorado State
Wide receiver Warren Jackson will be one of the tougher covers that Oregon State faces all season.
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

If Addazio is to have the immediate impact he desires, he’ll want to build the offensive side of the Rams revival around wide receiver Warren Jackson, a rising senior who is legitimately one of college football’s most unheralded stars. In 2019, Jackson, a strong 6’ 6”, 220-pound target caught 77 passes for 1,119 yards and 8 touchdowns and is already being projected as a heavy riser on 2021 NFL Draft boards in the near future. It’s not hard to see why when watching him play. Jackson is a game-changer in every sense of the phrase.

Can Addazio adapt to a player of his abilities is the question?

A noted lover of a run-heavy style of play, Addazio might have to become more comfortable airing the ball out than ever this season, regardless of if he hands the quarterback role to Patrick O’Brien or Temple transfer Todd Centeio. The Rams have a loaded receiving core led by Jackson, which also includes their next four leading receivers from a season ago, including tight end Trey McBride, a returning All-Mountain West first-team selection.

On the defensive side of things, Colorado State won’t be confused with the Alabama and Georgia’s of the world, but a host of solid players can make the Rams a year better and a bit more stable and balanced. Notable names to include here are linebacker Dequan Jackson, who posted 87 tackles and recovered 2 fumbles in 2019, as well as defensive lineman Manny Jones and Miami graduate transfer Scott Patchan.

Player To Watch

Colorado State v Arkansas
Running back Marcus McElroy is a program veteran due for a breakout senior season.
Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Marcus McElroy - Running Back

McElroy was situated behind the team’s leading rusher in Marvin Kinsey Jr. in 2019, but he’ll emerge as the full-time option in 2020. When he did get his chances last season, specifically in late October when he tallied 18 carries, 117 yards and 2 scores against Fresno State, he proved his worth. Addazio showed his love for pounding the rock during his time at Boston College and while McElroy won’t be the only option on the ground, he should be the lead horse out of the gate.

Game Info

  • Date: Saturday, September 12th
  • Time: TBD
  • Location: Reser Stadium (Corvallis, Oregon)

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