Colorado State (1-3) vs. San Jose State (3-2)
Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Canvas Stadium.
TV / Radio: FS1 / 1430 AM, 98.1 FM.
Weather: 15% chance of thunderstorm, 74 degrees
What to know
Mixed bag Will the real rims stand? CSU started playing Mountain West this week and it is difficult to know the real identity of this team. The FCS South Dakota State and Vanderbilt flipped the Rams in early losses of the season. CSU then upset Toledo on the road and led Iowa to No. 5 at halftime (before a 10-point defeat). Give head coach Steve Adazio credit for not letting the early season season explain this team. But it is anyone’s guess where Ram goes from here.
Stop running The key to CSU’s recent success? A suffocating defense with data to back it up. Reims limited Toledo’s offense to 0.5 yards per carry (28 for 13). CSU’s front seven then dominated equally in Iowa, while the Hawkeyes ran 32 times for 54 yards. If this trend continues, CSU has a real chance to make a fuss in Mountain West this season. Secondary is often the responsibility. But there is no question that the strength of this team is defensive.
QB Mystery. The CSU defense faces the challenge of facing an unknown quarterback against San Jose State. Spartans senior starter Nick Starkle – after taking SJSU to a 7-1 record last season – went down in Week 4 in Western Michigan with a non-throwing injury. He was replaced by junior Nick Nash, who made his debut last week and led the Spartans to a 37-31 victory over New Mexico State. SJSU head coach Brent Brennan. Refusal to share news of injury with media. CSU should prepare for QB.
Home benefit The atmosphere at Canvas Stadium in the first half of the two-house game this season was exceptional (especially for the student body) with 32,327 vs. SDSU and 27,233 for Vendor Bullet. But the noise was lost in the second half of every game as Ram fell behind as a home favorite. CSU did well to stun the fans with a series of great street performances. But maintaining a solid crowd in Fort Collins is difficult without a consistent winner. Will Reims Faithful appear on Saturday?
CSU Secondary vs. SJSU Extensive Recipients. The Spartans have nine receiving touchdowns divided between seven players. This type of output is sure to test a CSU defense that releases 239 passing yards and six TDs per game through the air. A strong pass will help Rush Secondary.
CSU QB Todd Centeio vs. SJSU Defense. Santio has defended football with just one interception this season. But it has to start pulling the field vertically. Injured wide receiver Dante Wright will help in a healthy return. But it all depends on Santio’s improvement.
Kyle Frederickson, Sports Reporter: CSU 10, SJSU 3.
Who needs a high-powered offense when you limit the other team to a field goal? The Rams will win this season with defense (even if it’s boring to watch on TV).
Sean Keller, sports columnist: SJSU17, CSU14.
The Rams have averaged 41 points in each of their last three meetings with the Spartans.
Matt Schubert, Deputy Sports Editor: CSU 20, SJSU 14.
An extra week was given to prepare, and after what the Reims gave Iowa to handle in Iowa City, Daz’s friends would be ready.