Arkansas vs Colorado State: Game Preview
Can the Rams get back on track against the Razorbacks?
Week 2: Arkansas Razorbacks (1-0) vs Colorado State Rams (0-2, 0-1 MW)
When: Saturday, September 8 – 6:30 PM CT/5:30 PM MT
Where: Canvas Stadium, Fort Collins, Colorado (41,000)
TV: The game will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network (FuboTV try it for free)
Radio: Colorado State Broadcast Flagship: 102.9 FM KARS; Denver 104.7 FM
Series Record: This will be the fourth matchup between Arkansas & Colorado State and the first matchup in Fort Collins. Arkansas holds a 3-0 series edge.
The Colorado State Rams are reeling. They’ve lost three straight, dating back to last season. The Rams lost to Hawaii and then got blown out by in-state rival Colorado. The defense is the worst in college football right now. The Rams are giving up 607 yards/game and 44 points per game.
This will be the second time an SEC school has visited Fort Collins. Mississippi State was the last SEC school to visit Fort Collins. The Rams lost that matchup 37-27. This is the first matchup of a home and home series between the Razorbacks and Rams. CSU will make the return trip to Fayetteville next season.
Three Keys to a Colorado State Victory
Don’t Take The Easy Way Out On Defense
In both the Hawaii and Colorado loses, the Rams defense didn’t do their job and contain or watch the backfield. They were burned multiple times on receivers coming out of the backfield or delayed runs. The DEs need to stop crashing hard and maintain contain.
This will be the first matchup the Rams have “fresh” film on their opponents. They’ll need to take the time to diagnose plays quickly and correctly. Arkansas runs a similarly fast paced offense as Hawaii and Colorado, so CSU will need to be ready to play.
K.J. Carta-Samuels Needs Time
While he was under pressure against Hawaii, Carta-Samuels faced a lot more pressure against Colorado. The offensive line will need to hold off the pressure so Carta-Samuels can have the time to look for his receivers.
Against Hawaii, K.J. Carta-Samuels set a Colorado State program record with 537 passing yards. Against Colorado, he only managed one-third of that with 176 passing yards. Carta-Samuels will need time and he’ll need to remain calm if the Rams want to walk away with a victory.
The Rams have come out on defense looking slow. Part of that can be contributed to play up-tempo offenses and part of that can be contributed to a new defensive system. But the fact remains the Rams defense is playing slow.
Colorado State defenders will need to react quicker to in game situations if they want a shot to redeem this season that already seems lost. If the Rams can play fast and compete, they’ll be in good shape for the rest of the season.