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Behind Enemy Lines: Colorado State Rams Q&A

Justin Michael of Rams Report joins us to elighten the masses about CSU.

NCAA Football: New Mexico Bowl-Marshall vs Colorado State Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Thanks to Justin Michael of Rams Report for joining us to chat about the Rams prior to Friday’s Rocky Mountain Showdown between Colorado State and Colorado.

  1. Colorado State obviously had a lot of mitigating factors that could have contributed to an unexpected loss against Hawaii. How much do you attribute the loss to these factors (new staff, extended HC absence) versus the actual quality of the team?

There were a lot of reasons CSU ended up losing to Hawaii. The Rams are fairly inexperienced on both sides of the football and losing Mike Bobo for 10 days was obviously not ideal. He is not really even completely back yet. Quarterbacks coach Ronnie Letson will be calling the plays again Friday because Bobo is still going through testing and can’t be present in all the team meetings. Ultimately the loss to Hawaii boiled down to CSU’s inability to tackle & a general lack of preparation though. I’m not sure if that had more to do with the fact that Bobo was gone or if the team simply overlooked its opponent. To be fair, I certainly did not expect Hawai’i to come out and methodically move the football at will. None of the local Hawai’i beat writers seemed to think much of the offense going in either. So, it was definitely surprising to see CSU get absolutely worked. The Rams definitely lack size in the front seven but I believe there is more talent in the secondary than last Saturday’s performance indicated. Offensively, CSU has the potential to be dangerous but the offensive line does not appear to be as strong as it has been in previous years.

2. Are CSU fans happy with Mike Bobo as head coach?

The group is pretty split at this point. Bobo is definitely popular with a lot of fans because of his personality and ability to recruit. He is 0-9 against Boise State, CU & bowl opponents though and only 2-4 against Air Force and Wyoming. Until they start winning big games, there will always be fans that are upset.

3. Who is one player on offense that CU fans should know about?

The obvious answer is Tennessee transfer Preston Williams (No. 11) but senior wide receiver Olabisi Johnson (No. 81) is deceptively the most important piece of the offense. Johnson gets overlooked frequently and it really does not make sense to me because there is not anything he does not do well. CSU likes to use him in a variety of different ways, so I expect a heavy dose of Johnson in Friday’s game plan.

4. Who is one player on defense that CU fans should know about?

Josh Watson. Watson is one of the most experienced players on either side of the ball, and will likely have a lengthy career at the next level. Watson is effective in pass coverage, plays the run well and always has the potential to throw out a highlight hit.

5. How does CU stop CSU’s offense and how does CU move the ball against CSU’s defense?

CU’s defensive front seven is going to present a problem for CSU’s offensive line. Colorado State loves to use its wide receivers and move the ball down the field in chunks, but if they can’t protect the quarterback, it will not matter how much talent they have on the outside. On the flip side, CU should move around Montez and let him use his athleticsm. CSU struggled to contain Cole McDonald all game last week and he burned them with his athleticsm repeatedly. Montez generally looks to throw the football down field when he scrambles, but CSU’s secondary struggled to contain Hawaii’s wide receivers when McDonald escaped the pocket, so I am sure Montez will look to catch them out of position again on Friday.

6. What is your prediction for the game?

I don’t expect the game to be a huge blowout like many locals seem to. I do think CU’s offense is going to be too much for CSU to handle though. CU wins 38-20 after pulling away in the second half.