The Collegian sports staff offers their predictions for Saturday’s match up:
Score: 34-20 San Diego State
Prediction: Remember how we said the second half of CSU’s schedule was considerably easier than the first? That doesn’t apply to this game. SDSU is tearing through the conference and just put a beatdown on Utah State that seemed unfathomable after the Aggies had just decimated Boise. Right now, it’s just hard to imagine the Rams playing the flawless game they would need in order to pull off this type of upset. Barring a complete meltdown by SDSU, the Rams will have to put their quest toward bowl eligibility on hold this week while Donnel Pumphrey and the Aztecs continue to run away with the West division, both literally and figuratively.
Score: 27-24 San Diego State
Prediction: I’d love to think that CSU can pull off an upset over arguably the hottest team in the Mountain West right now. But I just don’t see it happening. Remember the last two teams CSU played that had dominant running attacks and defenses? The Rams were outscored 75-28 by Utah State and Boise State. CSU’s win over Air Force was nice, but the Falcons aren’t anything close to the team San Diego State is. Donnel Pumphrey and Chase Price are a two-headed Halloween nightmare, and I think CSU will have quite a time trying to slow them down. CSU keeps this one close, but the Aztecs will return home to the beaches of San Diego victorious.
Score: 24-21 Colorado State
Prediction: SDSU just proved anyone can beat anyone in the Mountain West with its victory over Utah State. CSU can prove the same thing again this week. The Rams are coming off a bye week and their bumps and bruises should be feeling better. I think they can use the momentum from the Air Force win and upset SDSU by just a field goal at home.
Score: 28-21 San Diego State
Prediction: SDSU has been more than impressive in conference play thus far and they will test the Rams up front on Saturday. Colorado State head coach Mike Bobo made it clear this week that he knows the Aztecs are a respectable team and have dominated the line of scrimmage against quality opponents this season. Both CSU and SDSU are coming off of impressive wins but only one team will be able to carry momentum out of this week and in my mind SDSU is too hot for the Rams right now.
Score: 34-21 San Diego State
Prediction: I liked what I saw from the Rams two weeks ago against Air Force. The team put together its first complete game and Nick Stevens proved that he is the team’s quarterback going forward. I do believe that the Rams can still pull off a bowl eligible season, which would have seemed far-fetched just a week before the Falcons came to Fort Collins. However, this week’s matchup with the Aztecs will not be another step towards bowl eligibility for the Rams. Donnel Pumphrey and Chase Price are both averaging over five yards per carry and I don’t see the Rams slowing down the Aztecs rushing attack. On top of what the Rams have to stop defensively, the challenge may be even tougher offensively; SDSU has allowed a mere 18.9 points per game.
Score: 28-24 Colorado State
Prediction: Yes, San Diego State (who’s in first place in the MW) surprisingly obliterated Utah State last week 48-14, but that for sure won’t happen this week. I saw a completely revitalized team two weeks ago against Air Force. Nick Stevens took command and made it crystal clear who the starting quarterback is at Colorado State. He will need to continue to stay sharp against a defense that forced four Aggies turnovers last week. The Rams defense bent in the game against the Falcons but didn’t break. I expect them to repeat that performance this Saturday. One Aztec for the defense to keep an eye on is running back Donnel Pumphrey, who is closing in on 1,000 yards rushing this season. But CSU has a bull of a running back as well, if the team gets inside the opposing 10-yard line, feed the ball to Jasen Oden Jr. Pound that rock.
Justin Michael (Sports Reporter):
Score: 31-27 Colorado State
Prediction: Following San Diego State’s 48-14 trouncing of Utah State last Saturday, this appears to be the hardest game remaining on the schedule for CSU. If the Rams can contain Donnel Pumphrey, they will win this game. Pumphrey is arguably the best running back in the conference, leading his team in receiving (249) and rushing yards (910). Colorado State needs to control the tempo of the game and keep their offense on the field. If Nick Stevens makes accurate throws and does not turn the ball over, it will open up the running game for Jasen Oden Jr. and Dalyn Dawkins. A win against SDSU could be what it takes to spark some late success for CSU in 2015.
Collegian Sports Desk can be reached by email at email@example.com and on Twitter @RMCollegianSpts.