Rocky Mountain Showdown Should Turn Into Shootout
Colorado State Seeks Revenge Against Their In State Rival.
Colorado State will get tested vs. Colorado
The 89th edition of the Rocky Mountain Showdown should be renamed the Rocky Mountain Shootout as this game will be all about the offenses for both teams.
While Colorado took Colorado State behind the proverbial woodshed last year with a 44-7 thrashing, it should be an entirely different story this year as Colorado State has a game under their belt and a lot more confidence on both sides of the ball not to mention the revenge factor.
The great thing about college football is how much of a difference a year makes. Last year, Colorado had the more experienced team and the wild card of a new co-offensive coordinator. This year Colorado State enters the game with the more experiences quarterback and a defense with a bit of a chip on it’s shoulder.
A year ago Colorado had a defense that lead the Pac-12 in scoring (allowing a paltry 18 points per game) but this year they have only two returning starters and a new defensive coordinator while Colorado State brings back 8 returning starters and forced five turnovers in their Week 0 victory.
Colorado State senior quarterback Nick Stevens was the starter for the Rams in last years game as he will be in this years game but this year should see a completely different performance. A year ago Stevens was yanked after going 6-20 for 31 yards and two interceptions.
Now he is one of the hottest quarterbacks in the country and is coming off a game that saw him go 26-39 for 334 yards with 3 touchdowns and stand strong in the pocket to deliver some NFL caliber passes.
Stevens supporting cast is also better than it was a season ago starting with senior wideout Michael Gallup. Gallup was targeted 15 times in the Rams win against the Beavers and his ability to make plays down the field and open up that inexperienced Buffs defense will be key for the Rams.
“The first thing that jumps of the film to me is how explosive they (Colorado) are on offense,” stated Rams head coach Mike Bobo at Monday’s press conference.
That offense is lead by the Buffaloes deep receiving core and senior running back Phillip Lindsay who rushed for over 1200 yards a year ago to go along with his almost 500 receiving yards.
The receiving core is led by a trio of seniors (Devin Ross, Bryce Bobo, and Shay Fields) who all averaged over 11 yards a reception in 2016. The triggerman for the offense will be sophomore Steven Montez who started three games a year ago when Sefo Liufau went down. Montez should have plenty of time as he has an offensive line with 83 career starts in front of him.
While both offenses should be able to score plenty of points the game will really come down to two things; 1) which team can create and capitalize on turnovers and 2) can the team in the lead in the fourth quarter milk the clock behind their veteran offensive line?
Yes, the Rocky Mountain Showdown has all the makings of a good ole fashion western shootout. Kickoff is scheduled for Friday September 1st at 6 p.m. MT and can be seen on the Pac-12 Network.