Can CSU beat Boise State for the first time in school history?
“OK, we won a game yesterday. If we win today, it's called ‘two in a row.’ And if we win again tomorrow, it's called a ‘winning streak’... It has happened before!”
Lou Brown may have been talking about the Cleveland Indians in Major League (1994), but he could have been talking about the 2018 CSU Rams. Colorado State football (3-4, 2-1) has won back-to-back games for the first time this season, and the Rams have an opportunity to increase that streak to three games Friday night in Boise, ID.
In order to officially consider themselves on a winning streak though, the players would have to do something that has never been done in program history, beat Boise State. CSU is 0-7 against the Broncos since BSU joined the Mountain West in 2011, and 0-4 overall at Albertsons Stadium. The Rams also lost to the Idaho Vandals in the 2016 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
Historically, the series has not even really been competitive. Boise State won the first five matchups by an average of 26.8 points, including a whopping 50 point victory over the Rams in the first-ever conference meeting (63-13, 2011).
However, under head coach Mike Bobo, CSU has made things interesting in each of the last two seasons. In 2016, the Rams mounted a 20 point comeback effort in the fourth quarter, before ultimately falling to the No. 15 Broncos, 28-23. The Rams scored three times in less than 1:30 and former punter Hayden Hunt successfully executed two onside kicks in the process.
In 2017, CSU led by 25 at halftime and by 14 with 3:02 to go, but still lost a heartbreaker in overtime (59-52).
The 2018 Boise State Broncos are not quite as dominant as some of the squads in previous years, but they are certainly one of the most dangerous teams in the league. Led by senior quarterback Brett Rypien, the Broncos have had 22 scoring drives of 60 yards or more, and are 13-of-15 in the red zone. On the year, Rypien is completing a career-best 67.4 percent of his passes, and is just two passing touchdowns away from matching last season’s total of 16.
If the Rams are going to have any chance of beating the Broncos, slowing down Rypien will be key. In the victory over the Lobos last weekend, the Colorado State defense forced three sacks and had eight tackles for loss. In the win before that, CSU had nine tackles for loss and six sacks. Replicating that defensive pressure will be key again this week.
PHOTO: Tony Villalobos-May | Rocky Mountain Collegian