2011 Predictions & Game Story
Week 2 - Northern Colorado at CSU
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Sept. 10 Colorado State 33 … Northern Colorado 14
CFN Analysis: COMING
(AP) FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- Raymond Carter ran for 100 yards and two touchdowns leading Colorado State to a 33-14 victory over Northern Colorado on Saturday.
Pete Thomas became the school's first sophomore quarterback to reach 3,000 career yards passing. Thomas was 28-for-42 for 259 yards and a touchdown with three interceptions.
Colorado State (2-0) has won the last 16 meetings and is 17-0-1 in the series that began in 1893. Quintin Hildreth had 117 yards rushing, including a 66-yard touchdown run for Northern Colorado (0-2).
Carter had two rushing touchdowns and Thomas threw for 155 yards by halftime as Colorado State led 28-0 at the midway point. Colorado State finished with a 501-216 advantage in total offense.
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Northern Colorado (0-1) at Colorado State (0-1) Sept. 10, 6:00, mtn.
Here's The Deal … It's not time to get all excited yet, but Colorado State is coming off a strong defensive performance on the road against New Mexico to start out the season, and the Mountain West campaign, 1-0, and with the big rivalry date coming up next against Colorado, it's tune-up time. The Rams need a lot of work, surprisingly, with an offense that was supposed to be explosive and wasn't out of the gate, and this is the game to get all the timing down. With winnable games against San Jose State, Utah State, and Wyoming still to go, the Rams can get into a position for its best season under Steve Fairchild if they can show that things are moving forward after a spotty Week One.
Northern Colorado is trying to build up the program and isn't expected to do much of anything in Big Sky play. After losing to D-II Lindenwood, this could be a very, very long season, and the Bears could be used for nothing more than target practice. The defensive front can get into the backfield, but it'll have to do it on a regular basis to make this interesting.
Why Northern Colorado Might Win: The Bears don't have a top defense, but it has enough quickness up front to potentially get into the backfield and pressure Pete Thomas and the Rams into hurrying things up. The running game was non-existent against New Mexico, coming up with just 92 yards, and Thomas was underwhelming as the attack came up with just 270 yards. If the Colorado State passing game really is that off, and if it's really struggling as much as it showed last week, the game could be a bit of a battle for a few quarters. It was a pain for the Rams to come up with 14 points against a miserable Lobo D.
Why Colorado State Might Win: Lindenwood. If the Bears couldn't slow down a D-II team, how is it going to handle a team with the potential of Colorado State? The Rams are much, much better than they showed against New Mexico, and Thomas isn't going to have two mediocre games in a row. On the other side of the ball, Colorado State's defense turned up the pass rushing heat with a dominant performance with nine sacks and 13 tackles for loss. The Bear offensive line couldn't do much last week, and this week it'll be under attack from several different sides from the start.
What To Watch Out For: Who the heck is Nordly Capi? The Rams suffered what appeared to be a devastating blow losing top pass rusher Broderick Sargent for the year with a knee injury, but Capi, who wasn't projected to be anything more than a backup in the rotation, couldn't be stopped against New Mexico with 3.5 sacks and an NCAA record-setting four fumbles. Extremely quick and with tremendous closing ability, now the spotlight will be on to see if he can keep up the production for a second straight week.
More important is the play of Thomas, who completed 22-of-26 passes against New Mexico, but they didn't go anywhere. He threw for 178 yards and a touchdown, and there were a couple of big plays, but for the most part the Ram passing game sputtered and didn't do enough on third downs. This is the game to start bombing away to show that the CSU air show can get vertical.
What Will Happen: Thomas will be ultra-efficient, and unlike last week, the running game will start to produce a bit more effectively. Northern Colorado will throw the ball a bit, but it's going to be blown out of the water by a Ram team looking to show it can put points on the board.
CFN Prediction: Colorado State 41 … Northern Colorado 13
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