Mountain West releases 2019 CSU football schedule

Eddie Herz

The Mountain West released Colorado State University’s complete 12-game 2019 schedule on Monday afternoon, with kickoff times to be determined.

The Rams will begin next season with four non-conference matchups before an eight-game conference slate.

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CSU’s 2019 season will commence on Aug. 30 at Mile High Stadium where the Rams will take on rival University of Colorado in the 21st annual Rocky Mountain Showdown.

The Buffaloes will be in their first season under new Head Coach Mel Tucker after failing to make a bowl game in 2018, despite a 5-0 start to the season. Colorado lost its final seven games under former Head Coach Mike MacIntyre.

CSU will then come home to Canvas Stadium the following week for its first of six home games against FCS opponent Western Illinois University. Western Illinois broke a streak of three consecutive winning seasons by finishing 5-6 in 2018.

The Rams then travel to the University of Arkansas on Sept. 14 in search of consecutive victories over the Razorbacks before heading back to Fort Collins to face the University of Toledo on Sept. 21.

The Rockets are CSU’s only non-conference opponent who finished over .500 and played in a bowl game last season. Led by two quarterbacks who are set to return in 2019, Toledo finished 2018 in second place in the MAC before suffering a 35-32 defeat to Florida International University in the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl.  

Sophomore quarterback Eli Peters and junior quarterback Mitchell Guadagni each contributed over 1,000 passing yards, while Guadagni also had success on the ground. The Rockets’ 7-6 overall record marks the ninth consecutive over .500 finish as well as their fifth straight bowl appearance.

Arkansas won only one game after losing to the Rams 34-27 in the early stages of the 2018 season. The Razorbacks picked up two victories in 12 games, demonstrating the worst season in program history.

Three of the Rams’ first four conference games will be played away from Fort Collins, starting on the road at Utah State University on Sept. 28. This will begin what could be a difficult stretch for the Rams. CSU fell just short of defeating the Utah Aggies at home last season, and USU finished the season as the No. 22 team in the country with an 11-2 overall record.

CSU will then host San Diego State University on Oct. 5 before continuing Mountain West play out of state with a bye week separating an Oct. 12 matchup at University of New Mexico and an Oct. 28 game against No. 18 Fresno State. 

Defeating Fresno State will be no simple task for the Rams, so the bye week before heading to Fresno should serve CSU well. This is especially true considering the Rams will have an opportunity to grab some momentum against a struggling UNM program two weeks prior.

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Once the Rams come back from California, they host back-to-back games against teams who finished under .500 in 2018. University of Nevada, Las Vegas, who finished 4-8 (2-6) last season, will come to Canvas Stadium on Nov. 2.

Following another bye week, the Rams will seek redemption over rival Air Force on Nov. 16. The Falcons increased their win streak over CSU to three games by defeating the Rams 27-19 in the final week of the 2018 season.

The Rams will conclude the 2019 regular season when they travel to Wyoming on Nov. 23 and then come home to face the daunting Boise State on Nov. 30.

The Cowboys stunned CSU in Fort Collins last season with a commanding 34-21 victory. Wyoming has also defeated the Rams three consecutive times, as Head Coach Mike Bobo hasn’t picked up a rival victory since his first season with CSU in 2015.

Boise State blew out the Rams 56-28 on the blue turf en route to a 10-3, No. 23-ranked finish last season. CSU has yet to pick up a victory over the Broncos in eight tries all-time.

Eddie Herz can be reached at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @Eddie_Herz.