Sacramento State vs. Colorado State: Game Preview, How to Watch, Odds, Predicition
The Rams look to avoid opening 0-4 for the first time since 2007
Can the Rams show any improvement?
WEEK 4: Sacramento State Hornets (2-0) vs. Colorado State Rams (0-3)
WHEN: Saturday, September 24th — 2:00 p.m. MST / 1:00 p.m. PST
WHERE: Canvas Stadium; Fort Collins, CO (36,500)
WEATHER: Clear Sky, high of 83 degrees
TV: Evoca TV/Local3 (Colorado only)
STREAMING: MW Network
RADIO: K99-FM 99.1 / ESPN 1600 AM
SERIES RECORD: This will be the second matchup all time between these two schools. CSU leads the series 1-0
LAST MEETING: Colorado State won 23-20 in 2008
ODDS: Sacramento State -3.5
SP+ PROJECTION: Sacramento State by 4.9
The Rams have gotten off to a bad start under new head coach Jay Norvell. Three blowout losses to Michigan, Middle Tennessee, and Washington State have led to some wondering if the right hire was made. Changing coaches, offensive styles, and players is never easy. Especially after the hole CSU was left in before Norvell
1 forced fumble
— Colorado State Football (@CSUFootball) September 20, 2022
This week, the Rams welcome Sacramento State to Fort Collins. The Hornets run a split QB system and run a 4-2-5 defense. Jake Dunniway is more of a pocket passer, while Asher O’Hara is more of a dual threat. It doesn’t matter who is under center, Sacramento State can hurt you either way.
Troy Taylor is in his fourth season at Sacramento State. He has led the Hornets to consecutive nine win seasons (Sacramento State didn’t play in 2020) and two consecutive second round FCS playoff appearances. Sixth ranked Sacramento State is not a team to take lightly as much as fans like to look down on FCS schools.
Now to the keys to victory for the Rams.
Three Keys to a colorado state victory
1. Give the QB more time.
This is going to remain key number one until the Rams can prove they can protect their quarterback. Clay Millen has stood tall and taken 23 sacks so far this season. Some of that is on him and some of that is on the line. Millen did a better job against Wazzu of getting the ball out early and using his feet and he will need to keep progressing on both fronts this week.
The Rams offensive line has had three different starting groups in three games, which is no way to build cohesion. However they must come together to protect their QB. Jacob Gardner moved out to left tackle, Dirk Nelson and Owen Snively have stepped up a little bit at center and right tackle respectively, and it remains to be seen when Dontae Keys will return from injury.
2. Get the freshman going.
The Rams brought in a talented group of freshman receivers and now is there time to shine. Justus Ross-Simmons, Louis Brown, Mekhi Fox, and Ky Oday have brought some wow factor to the CSU receivers room. Ross-Simmons got the start against Washington State and showed flashes of potential as he grabbed his first touchdown reception.
Ross-Simmons will once again get the start this week and Louis Brown will be the first man up if CSU is going to go with a four wide receiver set. Look for both of them to make impact plays if given the chance. Ross-Simmons is a big receiver at 6’3″, 200lbs and Louis Brown is 6’1″, 175 so both are larger targets for Clay Millen to throw to.
— Colorado State Football (@CSUFootball) September 17, 2022
3. Pay attention to who is the QB.
Jake Dunniway, Asher O’Hara. #12, #10. It doesn’t matter which quarterback is in the backfield they can both hurt you, just in different ways. Dunniway is the pocket passer out of the two, while Asher O’Hara is the dual threat. The Rams will need to pay attention to who is on the field and adjust their defense accordingly.
Most don’t think the dual QB system will work, a la Michigan, but Sacramento State has made it work for them. The rushing threat of O’Hara has opened up some throwing lanes as he’s thrown two touchdowns while completing 80% of his passes. Dunniway has running threats in Cameron Skattebo and Marcus Fulcher to help out, but he mainly looks downfield.
what will happen
Probably could reverse the final score here, but the Rams look ready to prove something this week. They’ve had a number of players leave and those who remain look to show improvement this week. Sacramento State is a good team who shouldn’t be taken lightly, but CSU is ready to show what they can do.
Final Score: Colorado State 31, Sacramento State 28