Game Week: #RAMTEARS Edition has arrived. In what is the least hyped game in Boise State history, the Broncos take on the
Big XII’s own Colorado State Rams. After thrashing New Mexico last week, and alleviating the triple-option-induced anxiety for a month, Boise State is putting their 2016 Revenge Tour on hold to take on a Rams team that is 0-5 lifetime against the Broncos. The Rams are not a good football team and they may be an awful one. This week’s Bet on Blue will break down the Colorado State Rams, discuss the betting line for the contest, and decide if we should Bet on Blue.
THE COLORADO STATE RAMS
Colorado State’s head coach is Mike Bobo. After an eight-year stint as the offensive coordinator at Georgia, Bobo took over as the Head Ram in 2015. Since taking over the reins, Bobo has compiled a record of 8-17 against FBS opponents. Colorado State will have to beat Boise State on Saturday to stay above .500 in MWC games under Bobo. The Rams are paying Mike Bobo $1.5 million a year which comes out to around $250,000 per FBS victory. Bryan Harsin, by comparison, has received $115,000 per FBS win. Apparently when you have out-of-this-world academics you can waste money on bad football coaches!
Colorado State is averaging 20 points per game against FBS teams to open the 2016 season. The Rams are also winless against every team they’ve faced that has a winning record. If that news isn’t joyous enough for you, Colorado State will also be without their starting quarterback against BSU on Saturday night. The Rams freshman QB will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL after throwing for eight touchdowns against two interceptions in five games this season. Former Colorado State starting quarterback Nick Stevens is Collin’s replacement. Stevens hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass yet this year but has managed to throw two picks on 28 pass attempts.
The rest of the Rams’ offense is solid but unexciting. Colorado State will look to run the ball often against the Broncos (good luck) and have two decent backs that have had some success this season. The Rams best running back is the Junior Purdue transfer Dalyn Dawkins who is averaging almost five yards per carry on the season. Dawkins also has 10 catches for 126 yards. Dawkins backfield counterpart is Sophomore Izzy Mathews who has just one less carry than Dawkins but only averages 4.2 yards per tote.
Junior Michael Gallup (nice name) leads Colorado State’s receiving corps averaging four catches for 65 yards per game. No other receiver stands out, but the Rams do spread the ball around with six different receivers catching touchdowns so far in 2016. Of course, all of those touchdowns came with Hill under center and not the touchdown-less Nick Stevens. Pray for Stevens.
Colorado State is surrendering 31 points per game against FBS foes on defense, and allowing nearly 38 points per contest against teams with a winning record. That is not ideal as they head to Albertsons Stadium to face a Bronco squad that seemingly found their groove in Albuquerque and is scoring 37 points a game on the year. The Rams allow a putrid 205 yards per game on the ground and 237 yards a game through the air.
The bad news for the Ram’s defense goes on and on. They are close to dead last in 3rd down defense, awful at forcing turnovers, and this is all with a stat-padding FCS team on the schedule. Maybe the most troubling statistic for Ram’s fans is that Colorado State is 124th out of 128 teams in red zone defense (surrendering points on 24/25 chances) and Boise State is perfect on the year in the rezone barring a victory formation kneel-down. The Rams have a few playmakers on defense and are good at getting into the backfield, but they will be badly outmatched against the resurgent Bronco offense.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN?
Let’s make this short and sweet. Boise State is going to destroy the Rams on Saturday. Last week the Broncos offense reversed their trend of inconsistency, and this week Boise State will snap out of their home field funk. This will be the game that the turnover drought that has afflicted the Broncos finally comes to an end. Between the rain in the forecast, a flood of turnovers, and a river of #RAMTEARS expect a wet and wild beatdown of Colorado State on Saturday night. Broncos run away with this one, 44-14.
Speaking of wild, the line for this game has been a rollercoaster. Boise State opened as a 26.5 point favorite before the line ballooned up to -31.5 by mid-week. As of Thursday evening, the line is back down to -28 in several places. The over/under sits at 59.5 meaning the betting markets predict a 44-16 Bronco victory.
There are a few trends to look at this week, including (stats from Oddsshark.com):
- Boise State is 5-2 against the spread in their last seven games
- Boise State is 0-5 against the spread in their last five home games
- Colorado State is 14-7 against the spread in their last 21 games on the road
- The under has cashed in four of Colorado State’s last five games on the road
SHOULD WE BET ON BLUE?
The correct play this week is to pass on the spread. It’s tempting, but the trends against the Broncos on The Blue of late are too damning to confidently lay down cold hard cash on Saturday night. Another factor is that pesky BYU game on five days’ rest. If Boise State gets up big early, it may behoove the Broncos to sit their starters a little earlier than usual. The Broncos will probably cover, just don’t bet on it. If you really want to put some money down on the game, the under is the safest bet.
Bet on Blue or not, the Boise State Broncos are moving to 6-0 in dominant fashion on Saturday night!