Colorado State Rams Preview 2022: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the Colorado State season with what you need to know and keys to the season.
Colorado State Rams Preview
Head Coach: Jay Norvell, 1st year at Colorado State
6th year overall, 33-26. 2021 Preview
2021 Record: Overall: 3-9, Conference: 2-6
Keys To The Season | Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Colorado State Top 10 Players | Colorado State Schedule
Colorado State Rams Preview 2022
Colorado State made a power play.
It didn’t just go after a head coach from anywhere to try rebooting the program, it stayed in its own conference as it pried Jay Norvell away from Nevada.
It was a statement that Colorado State expected to be better, and it might have shown just how it thinks of itself – and where the facilities are – in the Mountain West pecking order.
This is a program that has no reason to be a non-factor in the Mountain West. It has the interest to improve, the support is there for a winner, and now the production has to come after four awful seasons coming off of three mediocre ones.
Colorado State should be a player in the Mountain West title chase every year. It should be one of those teams that gives Power Five teams a fight and becomes a national talking point at times.
That’s what the program is trying to get with Norvell. In this first season, at the very least, it’s going to be interesting because …
Colorado State Rams Preview 2022: Offense
If you don’t recognize any of the Colorado State offensive players, you’re not alone. The Rams not only got Norvell, but they got the high-powered style of passing game along with a TON of transfers coming in to change things up right away.
The offense wasn’t awful last season – it finished fifth in the conference in yards – but it was a grind to score and the passing game wasn’t dangerous enough. That’s about to change if this all works.
It starts with the new starting quarterback as Clay Millen goes from being the likely heir apparent to the Nevada No. 1 job to being the Colorado State main man.
Also coming over from the Wolf Pack is WR Tory Horton – he has the upside to become a major factor right away – along with speedy Melquan Stovall. Those two combined for 108 catches and over 1,300 yards last season.
They’ll work Dante Wright and Ty McCullouch – the two top Ram wide receivers from last year. However, there’s no way to adequately replace the nation’s top tight end, Trey McBride. Redshirt freshman Tanner Arkin will give it a try.
The running game won’t be totally forgotten about, but the offense will mostly be about winging it around. The backs will crank out big yards in open spaces, and that’s where the fast A’Jon Vivens and Nevada transfer Avery Morrow should shine. But …
Can the line adapt in a hurry? Again, welcome to the transfer portal with four of the projected five starters coming in from other spots. There’s size, there are two Nevada transfers who know what they’re doing, and there’s a decent left tackle from last year’s line in Brian Crespo-Jaquez.
Colorado State Rams Preview 2022: Defense
The Colorado State defense didn’t raid the Nevada cabinets like the offensive side did, but there are plenty of new parts to throw into the mix.
The D was among the best in the nation at getting into the backfield, but it didn’t translate into enough production allowing 377 yards and 28 points per game. Losing pass rushing terror Scott Patchan hurts, but there are enough veterans back to go along with the new guys to expect a quick bump.
There’s no replacing Patchan, but returning end Mohamed Kamara is a strong pass rusher with a hybrid style and terrific quickness. CJ Onyechi is a good veteran from Rutgers on the other side, and there’s decent experience and size in the interior.
The secondary is getting the new guys. S Angel King comes in from Nevada and the corners – D’Andre Greeley (JUCO), Chigozie Anusiem (Cal), and Greg Laday (Northern Colorado) – will rotate in around a few safeties left over from last year’s D.
The linebacking corps in the 4-2-5 is one of the few areas that’s set with Colorado State Rams from 2021. Cam’Ron Carter led the team with 100 tackles and Daquan Jackson was third on the team with 84. They’re 230-pound guys who know what they’re doing.