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Ram-O-Rama: Boise State vs Colorado State preview

The Coloradoan-USA TODAY Sports

Game facts

  • Time: Saturday, 8:15pm MT
  • Location: Albertsons Stadium, Boise, ID
  • Weather at kickoff: 59°, chance of rain
  • Odds: Boise State by 31
  • TV: ESPN2
  • Radio: KBOI 670 AM
  • Commentators: Mark "My Words" Neely, Ray "Ban" Bentley, and Cole "Q-bert" Cubelic

Other facts

1. Bumbling Bobo?

Obviously, the Rams hit a high-water mark in 2014 when the squad went 10-3 under Florida's new-ish head coach Jim McElwain. After McElwain's departure, it was hoped that Mike Bobo would come in and keep the Ram train chugging along, but momentum has stalled a bit and Bobo is currently 10-9 as the Rams head man. I wouldn't say Bobo is on the hot seat, but after McElwain showed the Rams could field a winning team in Fort Collins, Ram fans and alums are going to get testy here soon if things don't start going more favorably.

2. Even Stevens

The Rams looked like they'd found a good thing at QB with true-freshman Colin Hill, but his knee wanted nothing of it and he was lost for the year in last week's win over Utah State. Now, the Rams will look to junior Nick Stevens to try to get things done, but there was a good reason Hill had supplanted the elder Stevens. In limited game action this year, Stevens has hit on just 35.7% of his passes, no TDs and 2 INTs. A season ago, Stevens had tossed 21 TDs and just 12 INTs, (and made the All-MWC second team offense) while throwing for better than 60% on his completion percentage. Which Stevens we see is a great mystery, but it's worth noting that Stevens got pulled last year against the Broncos and it's fair to say he's been wildly inconsistent.

3. Sperbeck's big moment

Boise State senior WR Thomas Sperbeck comes into the Colorado State game needing just 106 receiving yards to become Boise State's all-time leader in career yardage. Sperbeck has dipped below 100 receiving yards in just one game this season and had 178 yards against the Rams last year. I think he's gonna get it.

4. Ram Boooooy


Boise State - Won 7

Colorado State - Won 1



Best names on their roster

Sophomore QB Faton Bauta

Best player picture on their roster

Senior O-lineman and son of Ragnar, Fred Zerblis


Players to watch

Nick Stevens

The junior QB was an All-MWC second teamer a season ago, which makes it all the more puzzling that he was supplanted by a true frosh after game one. Still, Stevens clearly has the ability to get things done on the's just a matter of if he will. He was 6 of 20 against Colorado in the Rams' opener, and coming in for an injured Colin Hill last week, managed just 3 of 7 passing. A season ago against Boise State, Stevens completed 80% of his passes (that's good), but for just 60 yards (that's bad). He'll need to do better than dink-and-dunk this season against the Broncos if the Rams are to have any chance.

Dalyn Dawkins

Not to be confused with Darryl "Chocolate Thunder" Dawkins, the junior running back will be the main rusher for the Rams on Saturday night and is coming off his best performance of the season—125 yards on just 14 rushes against Utah State. The Rams like to sneak Dawkins out of the backfield as well...and he's a good pass-catcher, with 126 receiving yards on the season.

Michael Gallup

The junior wide receiver has been having a nice little year, and he too had his best game of the season last week against Utah State with 140 receiving yards on just 7 receptions. Gallup has the ability to score from all over the field and on occasion run the football, so the Broncos need to keep a close eye on him.

Hayden Hunt

The senior punter was a preseason All-American and an All-MWC second teamer a season ago. He averages almost 45 yards/punt this season with a long of 59 and should get a lot of work Saturday night. If he's successful, the Broncos starting field position probably won't be ideal.

Fred Zerblis

The Norseman O-lineman was an All-MWC second teamer a season ago and may be able to slow down David Moa and Sam McCaskill...but I'm guessing not.

Players NOT to watch

Unfortunately for the Rams, they'll be without the services of frosh star Colin Hill...who'd been having himself a nice little season before his knee 'sploded. Hill had tossed 8 TDs and just 2 INTs in game action this season. Not bad for a kid that had completely sat out the first (blowout) loss of the year to CU.

The Rams will also be without stud WR Rashard "Hollywood" Higgins, an All-American and Biletnikoff finalist who left school early to play in the NFL. Sadly, he got drafted by the Cleveland Browns.

Keys to victory

  • Stay Focused. The Broncos have had a meteoric rise up the polls this season and now sit at #15 in the country. Now that pundits are starting to buy into the Bronco hype, the Broncos will have and even tougher time remaining focused. Forget the rankings, forget the Fiesta Bowl celebration...just come out and execute.
  • Win the turnover battle. The Broncos have forced just 5 turnovers this season and have lost the turnover battle in 3 of 5 contests. Sure, they're 5-0...but that's living mighty dangerously.
  • Do what's necessary. The Broncos won't be looking ahead to next week's tussle with BYU, but certainly don't need to empty the playbook against the Rams. The Broncos need to do what's necessary to win the game and hope to come out injury free.
  • DON'T LOSE. Surprisingly effective.

Score prediction

Boise State 42, Colorado State 13