Keys to victory: Colorado State vs Hawaii

The 2018 college football season is finally here. After a month of training camp, the Rams are prepared to take on the Rainbow Warriors of Hawaii in a Week 0 matchup between Mountain West foes. After talking to players from both sides of the football, here are the keys to victory for Colorado State football Saturday. 

1. Win the turnover battle: Colorado State is a more talented football team but turnovers can be the great equalizer. CSU has a first-year starting quarterback playing behind a completely reshaped offensive line, so controlling possession will be crucial for the Rams in the home opener. 

2. Use the tight ends effectively: All of the hype has surrounded CSU's elite group of wide receivers this summer, but the Rams have an athletic group of tight ends that will likely tear it up in 2018. Now in his second season as a starter, Cam Butler (sophomore) is consistently going to be a defensive mismatch for linebackers and should have a chance to rack up big numbers this season. Butler found the end zone three times as a true freshman and the Rams won all of the games he scored in. With defenses likely trying to key in on CSU's wide receivers, using Butler and the other tight ends in the middle of the field, will only open up the offense for QB K.J. Carta-Samuels.

3. Get Izzy Matthews 20 carries: Izzy Matthews has been contributing for CSU since he was a true freshman, but 2018 is his first real opportunity to be the lead back. With Marvin Kinsey and Rashaad Boddie likely not seeing the field this week, getting Matthews in a rhythm early would benefit him this week and moving forward. Matthews is not going to blow away defenses with all-world speed or over the top athleticism, but there really is not an aspect of the game he does not do well. If Matthews rushes for over 100 yards Saturday, CSU is going to be in a position to win the football game. 

PHOTO: Elliott Jerge | Rocky Mountain Collegian