Keys to Victory: CSU travels to Boise State

Despite a slow start, Colorado State football is 2-1 against the Mountain West this season. Friday Night’s matchup against the Boise State Broncos will be one of the team’s toughest challenges during conference play though.

The Broncos have historically dominated the Mountain West since joining the league in 2011, and the team is certainly a contender in 2018. BSU lost a tough game at San Diego State on Oct. 6, but the Broncos dominated Wyoming in its conference opener and narrowly defeated Nevada in a shootout last weekend (31-27).

Currently 0-7 all-time against the perennial kings of the Mountain West, a victory would be monumental for the Colorado State program Friday night. Not only would it drastically increase CSU’s chances of making a bowl game, but a win over the Broncos would be huge for a program that appeared to be regressing in the first month of the season.

Here are the keys to victory for Colorado State as they take on the Broncos on the smurf turf.

Boise State players celebrate in Fort Collins in 2015.   PHOTO:   Abbie Parr | Rocky Mountain Collegian

Boise State players celebrate in Fort Collins in 2015. PHOTO: Abbie Parr | Rocky Mountain Collegian

1. Limit Brett Rypien’s impact through the air:

It feels like the veteran quarterback has been at Boise State forever, but the four-year starter will be looking to go 4-0 against CSU in his career. So far this season, Rypien has been solid for an offensive unit that has averaged 482 yards per game, with over 300 of that coming through the air.

If the Rams are going to have any chance of stealing a road victory Friday night, limiting the veteran’s impact will be crucial. When Boise State lost to SDSU, the Aztecs held Rypien to just 170 passing yard and picked off Rypien twice. The loss was the only game so far this season where Rypien did not throw a touchdown pass.

2. Control the pace of play:

Boise State is a difficult environment for any opponent to come into, and Friday night will be no exception for Colorado State. If there is a silver lining for the Ram faithful, CSU football is 8-4 in conference road games under head coach Mike Bobo during his tenure. However, a victory over the Broncos would be bigger than any of his previous accomplishments away from home.

In order to do so, CSU cannot be afford to be one dimensional on offense, so running the football with consistent success is going to be crucial. The Rams have yet to have a game where the offense has been able to run the football well for four quarters, but Friday night would be the perfect time to start.

3. Do not give Boise State extra opportunities:

When faced against a talented opponent like Boise State, limiting turnovers and penalties will always be a key factor. The BSU offense is simply too dangerous, and if an opponent gives Rypien extra possessions, he is almost never going to lose at home.

Winning this game would be difficult enough. CSU cannot afford to allow the Broncos to come away with an easy home win by beating themselves with mental miscues.

PHOTO: Abbie Parr | Rocky Mountain Collegian