5 Keys – 1 Prediction: Colorado State Rams
1.) Start Fast
A nice quick TD would go wonders in making everyone forget about Ole Miss. I have to imagine this goes for both the fans and the players. Scoring quickly would get the crowd involved and get the players excited. It would also go a long way in re-establishing some confidence in the new/old offensive scheme. The hidden factor here as well could be what it would do the Colorado State Rams psychologically. Boise State is known as the dominant team in the Mountain West. Even more than that, they are known for being almost unbeatable on “The Blue”. If Boise State jumps on a team at home chances are, that team knows they are going to lose.
2.) Hedrick Must Be Better
I don’t think there is a ton of debate or analysis needed here. Hedrick did not play well against Ole Miss. You won’t win games against good teams turning the ball over 4 times. Hedrick had a monster game against CSU last season racking up 6 TD’s. Perhaps the Rams are exactly what the doctor ordered to get Grant back on track and ready for a huge rest of the year. If that does not happen, one has to wonder how long the leash is for Hedrick under the new regime.
3.) New Weapons
We all love Jay Ajayi, Shane Williams-Rhodes, and Matt Miller. But if this team is going to succeed, somebody else has to step up. The candidates are there, Dallas Burroughs, Chaz Anderson, Devin Demas, or Jack Fields. I don’t care which one of these guys become a factor, somebody just has to become one. Boise State has never been a team that wins because of a limited amount of players making plays. Boise State’s success has always created by putting multiple people in a position to succeed. This team should be no different, yes, Miller, SWR, and Ajayi are going to carry the load but somebody else needs to be a threat for this team to contend for a Mountain West title.
4.) 3 Quarters Becomes 4
Boise State’s defense looked good, like really good for 3 quarters. They showed the flying to the ball mentality with gang tackles, they got pressure on the QB, stuffed the run, and forced turnovers. Colorado State is a team that has an offense built on running the ball. And frankly, in the 2nd half against Colorado, they looked great doing it. They bring in 2 very physical talented RB’s(Jarrells & Hart) who both rushed for over 100 yards in their debut. For Boise State to win this game they are going to have to show up for all 4 quarters on defense. Colorado State is going to look to keep this game close late. Then, they will depend on their physical style of play to wear down Boise State so they can start running the ball at will. Boise State can’t afford to let that happen, and the can’t let another repeat of the 4th quarter to happen in this game.
5.) Don’t go anywhere Jay
Jay Ajayi is looking poised to have a record-setting type of year. With that, until Boise State can find multiple weapons on offense Jay Ajayi can’t go anywhere. Yes, Jay needs less carries to make it through this season. But unfortunately right now that might not be an option. Boise State showed they are limited on play-makers an until that changes Jay can probably expect to see the ball 25+ times a game. This means, the production of this offense, at least for now, depends on Jay Ajayi. The good news is if Jay can have a great game against one of the most talented defenses in the country in Ole Miss. Then chances are the Mountain West is going to have a really tough time trying to keep Jay in check.
Last week my prediction was right, and wrong all at once. We certainly saw some stuff BSU ran against Georgia, but we also saw some stuff that was not exactly retro BSU. So I am going say I get a C+ on that one. This week, I am going to take it to the defensive side of the ball. I believe in Marcel Yates, perhaps more than anything I believe in the mentality he brings to the team. So because of that, my prediction is going to be that Colorado State will not rush for over 150 yards. Last week against Colorado they ran for 266 yards and 3 touchdowns. This week, I believe Boise State will keep them under 150 yards and 3 touchdowns on the ground. We have shown we have a crew that can stuff the run, and this week, it will be no different!