Breakdown of the Fresno State Bulldogs and Colorado State Rams.
Traveling to Fort Collins, the Bulldogs (3-2, 1-0) will take on the struggling Colorado Rams in their first Mountain West Conference matchup.
Finding its offensive stride at home last week, Fresno State will again look to score early and often. Posting an impressive 52 points in the win against San Diego State, the Bulldogs brought four and five wide receiver sets frequently.
In order to duplicate the success that Fresno State had against the Aztecs, it will need to continue its high-octane offensive attack. Quarterback Derek Carr, who earned conference honors last week against San Diego State, completed 42 of 56 passes while collecting 536 yards. Carr also added five touchdowns in the Bulldogs’ offensive explosion.
The key for Fresno State to win this week against the Rams will be to bring more of its potent attacking schemes against Colorado’s defense. In addition, the ’Dogs need to re-implement senior running back Robbie Rouse into the offensive schemes. If they can do that, the offense should be a multi-dimensional attacking unit.
Defensively, Fresno State needs to continue to cause turnovers, as it will help the offense tremendously in scoring more points. Defensive back Phillip Thomas, Derron Smith and the defense need to continue to wreak havoc against opposing offenses.
Colorado State brings an offense ranked 115th in points scored and this should provide the Bulldogs’ defense with plenty of opportunities to disrupt the Rams attacking schemes.
If Fresno State can continue its torrid pace on offense and cause Colorado State’s quarterback to throw a couple of picks, the ’Dogs should prove victorious on the road.
After suffering their fourth straight defeat, the Rams (1,4, 0-1) will return home to square off against Fresno State.
In a season that has been highlighted mainly by lopsided losses, Colorado State will look to achieve its second victory against the ’Dogs who are hungry to win on the road.
The Rams will look to spark their offensive attack after losing starting quarterback Garret Grayson to injury. Senior backup quarterback M.J. McPeek, who took Grayson’s place, will look to start Saturday against the Bulldogs. McPeek, who has yet to have a career start will look to jumpstart Colorado State’s passing game.
The running back and wide receiver corps of the Rams has not been good in the first five games of the season. Ranking 116th in rushing yards, Colorado State will look to fix its woes in the ground game. However, the passing game is modest as the Rams are ranked 63rd overall.
The Rams bring a trio of running backs with Donnell Alexander, Tommey Morris and Chris Nwoke. Although all three players have more than 100 yards on the season, none of them has crossed the goal line. The wide receiver unit brings a dynamic passing attack with two explosive players. Sophomore receivers Charles Lovett and Kivon Cartwright each average 30 receiving yards a game and have 15-plus catches.
On defense, Colorado State has veteran leadership in safety Shaquil Barrett and defensive lineman Lanston Tanyi with a combined 25 tackles and two sacks, Barrett and Tanyi will need to continue leading the Rams.
If Colorado State hopes to have success, it will need its young talent to score more often. In addition, if the Rams can start holding serve at home, they’ll be able to build momentum for the rest of the season.