Colorado State (2-3, 0-1 MW) vs. Boise State (3-3, 2-0 MW)
When/where: 7:45 p.m. Saturday/Canvas Stadium
TV/Radio: FS1/1600 AM, 104.3 HD2
BetMGM Line: Boise State -8.5, 60.5 over/under
Weather: 47 degrees, clear
Turnover trouble: The good news? Rams quarterback Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi has shown an ability to move the football. The bad news? He’s also been exceptionally turnover prone, with 10 interceptions over five games — the most in FBS by two (Illinois’ Luke Altmyer has eight picks). That includes a three-pick night last weekend at Utah State that helped undo the Rams’ 17-0 first-quarter lead.
Air opportunity: Luckily for the Rams, this Broncos secondary has holes. Boise State has just three interceptions through six games while also giving up an average of 295.2 passing yards/game. Granted, some of that has to do with BSU going up against the country’s top aerial attack (Washington) in Week 1. But the Broncos also just allowed San Jose State’s Chevan Cordeiro to throw for 325 yards in an eventual 35-27 BSU win that required a 20-point comeback.
Broncos rally: Speaking of that Boise State comeback, there’s a chance the Broncos figured a few things out against San Jose State. Not only did they shut out the Spartans in the second half, but Taylen Green also appeared to take a step forward in BSU’s QB rotation, running in two touchdowns and throwing for another in the final two quarters. Green will remain the starting quarterback this week, but Maddux Madsen is also expected to take snaps for a Broncos offense looking to take advantage of the worst pass defense (333 yards allowed/game) in FBS.
Missing Mo?: Lost in the disappointment of another poor defensive performance at Utah State was yet another spectacular game Mo Kamara. The Rams’ senior defensive end registered three sacks for his fourth multi-sack game this season, and now leads the nation with 9½ sacks through five games. There’s just one problem: Kamara had to leave last week’s game in the third quarter with an injury, and it remains unclear if he’ll be able to play Saturday. There’s one other big name who could be a game-time decision as well: receiver Tory Horton.
O-for-Boise: One of the primary reasons Colorado State has been unable to move up the ladder in the Mountain West? The Rams are 0-12 against Boise State, with all 12 of those losses coming after the Broncos joined the conference in 2011. Last year’s game was particularly brutal, with Boise State recording the second-largest margin of victory in series history, 49-10.
Kyle Newman, sportswriter: Boise State 45, CSU 28
After last week’s thrashing by Utah State in which the Rams gave up an alarming 639 yards of offense, including 252 on the ground, I’m not convinced Freddie Banks’ defense can stop anyone in the Mountain West. Add in the fact the Rams are 0-12 all-time against the Broncos, and CSU will be lucky to keep this game close in the second half.
Sean Keeler, sports columnist: Boise State 30, CSU 23
To paraphrase my esteemed colleague Mark Kiszla, the Rammies are a 2-10 team with Tory Horton and Mo Kamara attached. If one or both CSU stars can’t go, this one could turn nasty. Stat to note: the Broncos are down by blue turf standards, allowing 14.4 second-half points per game, a clip that ranks 81st in the country. Which would get your hopes up, except that CSU is allowing 20 points per game after halftime, which ranks 124th. Yikes.
Matt Schubert, sports editor: Boise State 38, CSU 35
If ever there was a year for the Rams to finally take down Boise, this one is it. The Broncos defense is far from vintage. The question is: Can the Rams come up with enough stops to take advantage? The answer here is no.