Nevada VS Colorado State: Game Preview, How To Watch, Odds, Prediction
The Wolf Pack close out the regular season on the road to take on Colorado State
Nevada Closes Out The Regular Season On The Road As They Face Colorado State
WEEK 13: Nevada Wolf Pack vs Colorado State Rams
WHERE: Canvas Stadium: Fort Collins, Colorado
WHEN: Saturday at 6pm
TV: CBS Sports Network
RADIO: Nevada Football is on ESPN 94.5 in Reno
SERIES RECORD: Colorado State leads the series 12-4; The last meeting between the schools was on November 10th, 2018 where Nevada won 49-10.
ODDS: Nevada (-4)
SP+ PROJECTION: Nevada by 2.3
FEI PROJECTION: Nevada by 3.2
Here are my three keys for a Nevada victory and a prediction for Nevada-Colorado State
Improve on run defense
While Nevada’s pass defense has been solid this season, the run defense has been floundering. The Wolf Pack are giving up an average of 4.46 yards per carry which is good for tenth in the Mountain West. Stating the obvious here but those stats are not good for Nevada’s run defense.
Last week in the triple overtime loss to Air Force, Nevada gave up 522 yards on the ground (522 rushing yards!!!). That porous run defense has been a problem for the Wolf Pack for much of this season and it needs to be shored up this week against the Rams.
Colorado State is a team that prefers to run the ball as they are averaging 158 rushing yards per game this season. The Rams leading rusher this season is David Bailey as he has rushed for 738 yards and nine touchdowns this season and also Rams quarterback Todd Centino can move outside of the pocket as well (447 rushing yards, two touchdowns).
For Nevada to close out the regular season on a winning note, the Wolf Pack must do better stopping the run this week than they did last week. Stopping the Rams rush offensive is a key for a Nevada victory.
Find Trey McBride and contain him
This contest between Colorado State and Nevada is a game that will feature two of college football’s best tight ends: Nevada’s Cole Turner and Colorado State’s Trey McBride.
While Cole Turner has been a productive tight end with some of the best highlight catches this season, it is actually Trey McBride that leads the Mountain West among tight ends in receptions (84) receiving yards (1,008) and yards per catch (12 yards per catch). Along with wide receiver Dante Wright, Trey McBride provides the Rams offense led by quarterback Todd Centino a formidable opponent for the Wolf Pack defense to stop.
With the Colorado State defense keying in on trying to stop Cole Turner and the many weapons the Wolf Pack offense possesses, the Wolf Pack defense must focus in on contain Trey McBride and limit his impact on Saturday night.
Neutralize Colorado State’s defensive line
Just like this game will feature the nation’s two best tight ends, this game will feature two of the better pass rushing units in Nevada and Colorado State. Nevada’s defensive line is led by Sam Hammond, Tristan Nichols and Dom Peterson has been stellar this season as the defense has recorded 34 sacks this season.
Colorado State’s defensive line is just as strong as they have only given up 3.9 rushing yards per carry and the star of their defensive line is Scott Patchan. This season Patchan has recorded 63 tackles,15 tackles for loss. Eight sacks, three force fumbles and two fumble recoveries. Patchan’s stellar play this season is the reason why he is a candidate to win the Mountain West Defensive Player of The Year.
Nevada’s offensive line will have a tough test trying to neutralize this Rams defensive line but in order for the Wolf Pack to win on Saturday, they must be able to hold Patchan and that talented defensive line of Colorado State.
Prediction and Score
Nevada is looking to close out the regular season on a winning note this Saturday against Colorado State. The Wolf Pack have dropped the last two games in close, heartbreaking fashion to San Diego State and Air Force most due to slow starts and poor run defense.
For Nevada to break this two game losing streak, the Wolf Pack will need to play good football for the full four quarters. The Wolf Pack must drastically improve their run defense from last week and clamp down on Colorado State’s skills players like Dante Wright and Trey McBride. Nevada must be able to shore up its offensive line and neutralize the Rams defensive line led by Scott Patchan.
In the end, the Wolf Pack can pull off the victory due to their explosive offense and despite the talent Colorado State has, they have been mostly inconsistent during their five game losing streak. I like the Wolf Pack in another close contest for Nevada.
Score: Nevada 45 Colorado State 40