Air Force vs Colorado State: Keys to a Rams Win, How to Watch, Odds, Prediction
CSU battles Air Force for the Ram-Falcon trophy
Can the Rams get back on track?
WEEK 9: Air Force Falcons (6-3, 3-2 Mountain West) vs Colorado State Rams (3-6, 2-3 Mountain West)
WHEN: Saturday, November 13th — 5 PM MT/4 PM PT
WHERE: Canvas Stadium, Fort Collins, CO
TV: CBS Sports Network
STREAMING: Fans can sign up to receive a free one-week trial of Fubo, which includes CBSSN, by following this link.
RADIO: The Colorado State broadcast can be found in and around the Fort Collins area on 102.9 FM. The Air Force broadcast can be found in and around the Colorado Springs area on 740 AM.
SERIES RECORD: This will be the 59th matchup between these two schools. Air Force leads the series 36-21-1. Air Force won the last matchup 38-21 at Air Force in 2019.
LAST WEEK: Colorado State lost the Bronze Boot to Wyoming 31-17, while Air Force lost to Army 21-14 in overtime.
ODDS (as of 11/11, via Vegas Insider): Air Force -2.5
SP+ PROJECTION: Air Force by 1.3
FEI PROJECTION: Air Force by 6.6
The Colorado State Rams lost the Bronze Boot against Wyoming. They also lost a number of linebackers in the game. The Rams started strong, but couldn’t finish as the Cowboys rushed for nearly 400 yards against a Rams team that was only giving up 110 yards per game on the ground.
This week the Rams host the Air Force Falcons. The Rams have lost the last four games in this series. That depleted linebacking core is going to be a headache this week. CSU will need to play assignment ball against the Falcons and they can’t deviate or Air Force will gash them.
Here’s how the Rams can end their losing streak and beat the Falcons.
1996 comeback at Air Force stunned a national audience
— Colorado State Football (@CSUFootball) November 11, 2021
Three Keys to a Rams Victory
1. Somebody Step Up On Offense
Everyone knows that Trey McBride is going to be the Rams main receiving target and that David Bailey will be the Rams main rusher. Somebody else needs to step up, so CSU can open up the offense. Dante Wright got on the scoreboard twice in the red zone last week, which was great to see.
A’Jon Vivens has missed the last couple of weeks. Ty McCullouch only had a couple targets. And only five receivers record a reception last week. This Ram offense thrives on balance. The ball needs to be spread around more so that the defense can’t key in on just a few players.
2. Stay Smart On Defense
The triple option is one of the hardest defenses to prepare for. Coaches will start implementing concepts during summer and fall camps. The Rams defense will need to stay on the game plan against the Falcons. If anyone decides to freelance, that’s when Air Force can hurt you.
This week, @CSUFootball safeties take on added responsibility
"The one time you could be wrong will be the one time you get hit by this type of offense."
— Mike Brohard (@mbrohard) November 10, 2021
CSU will need to contain the dive, have someone on the quarterback, and have someone on the pitch man. The Rams defensive line will need to be patient as they will be used primarly to occupy the Air Force ofensive line. The linebackers and defensive backs will be the main players for the Rams defense this week.
3. Backups Be Ready
The Rams were down to their fourth string mike linebacker last week. Dequan Jackson tried to go after an injury suffered against Boise, but couldn’t last past the first series. Bam Amina suffered a season ending, lower leg injury. And Sanjay Strickland looked to suffer a shoulder injury that had him miss the rest of the game.
The backup linebackers and the backups for every position on defense need to be ready. The DL needs to be wary of the cut blocks from the Falcons. The Air Force offense can be draining just due to the time consuming nature of their offense, so the back ups need to be ready for fatigue purposes as well.
I’m going to go full homer here. Colorado State will most likely lose, but I’m still going to pick them to win here. I think the offense can get back on track with a few returning pieces. And the defense will be ready to play assignment football and keep the Falcons running game in check.
Colorado State 28, Air Force 24