The Colorado State Rams are looking to get a win east of the Mississippi.
While the Rams have not had an abysmal start—they are 2-1 with wins over the Colorado Buffaloes and UC Davis—they suffered a 37-24 loss at Boise State.
Colorado State University has not played Boston College since the teams’ first and only encounter at the San Francisco Bowl in 2003, where Boston College got the win. The Mountain West Conference team has not even traveled this far east since 1959, when it played Army.
Although the Rams are coming off a bye week and are arriving in Boston on Thursday—a day earlier than usual just to get time at the New England Patriots’ practice field—many on the outside are still reluctant to give the Rams serious consideration as a dangerous opponent for BC.
This may be largely due to the fact that much of their offensive line is scrambling to pick up the pieces because of injuries.
Jake Bennett—the most recent player sidelined—injured his knee in practice last week. Head Coach Jim McElwain could not confirm what type of knee injury was sustained, but is positive that Bennett will be out for the season, according to CSU game notes.
Senior tackle Mason Hathaway succumbed to a knee injury before the start of the season, leaving him out of the game as well—and tackle Jordan Finley, who had ACL surgery back in the spring, is still at least a week away from heading back onto the field.
This could lead to trouble for the rest of the team—without some of its strongest players, the Rams may have a hard time adjusting to the added pressures of BC’s defense.
Despite the increasing numbers of injured players, Colorado State does have its strong points.
Senior quarterback Garrett Grayson has had back-to-back 400-yard games—the first CSU QB to accomplish this since Terry Nugent in 1983.
While the Rams lost, Grayson produced a career-best 434 passing yards at Boise State. He has thrown 40 touchdowns in his career, which is the third-most all-time at CSU. The Rams’ QB is not the their only strength, though.
Wide receivers Rashard Higgins and Jon Hansley both had 100-yard receiving days against Boise State, which is also a first since 2005.
CSU’s wide receivers have also made university history by becoming the first two wide receivers to have back-to-back 100-yard games (Higgins and Hansley against Boise State, and Higgins and Elroy Masters Jr. against UC Davis).
“I think Coach McElwain has done an unbelievable job with his program,” BC head coach Steve Addazio said in a teleconference on Wednesday. “I’ve watched them, they’re really well coached in all three phrases. On offense they’re very explosive with their quarterback. He’s got a great arm, and they’ve got a couple of really good running backs and receivers, very talented team on defense, real stout inside, two two techniques that are explosive guys.”
With the Eagles coming off of two back-to-back wins—one of course being the victory against USC—and the Rams arriving in Boston with a loss to Boise State under their belt, the Eagles are riding high on momentum coming into Saturday.
As the majority of the BC community knows little to nothing about CSU, it’s easy to assume that the Rams won’t have much to offer in this game. With many predicting the Eagles’ win, one can’t help but wonder what Colorado State must do to go into the game determined to get that long-awaited revenge in Chestnut Hill.
BC, on the other hand, will simply try to keep the wins coming.
“So very, very good football team coming in here off of a bye week with an extra week to prepare, and so we’ve got to play our ‘A’ game,” Addazio said. “We’ve got to really rally together here and to have a great finish or a great week of preparation so we can take this team on and give ourselves an opportunity to get our fourth win.”
Update: Hansley suffered a possible concussion in practice on Wednesday and will almost certainly not play on Saturday.
Featured Image by Emily Fahey / Heights Editor