Nevada vs Colorado State Football Prediction & Preview – AthlonSports.com


Carson Strong and the Wolf Pack look to end their two-game losing streak as they end the regular season on the road against the Rams in shock

Strong on paper and super strong in the passing game wasn’t enough for the Nevada Wolf Pack. Despite quarterback Carson Strong’s excellence, their Mountain West title hopes have faded.

Consecutive defeats at the end of the season will do it to a team.

So instead of preparing for next week’s conference championship, the Wolf Pack (7-4, 4-3 MW) will face the Colorado State Rams on Saturday night just to prepare for bowl season.

“It’s hard to swallow,” Nevada head coach Jay Norvell said. “The last two weeks have been difficult.

The Rams host, meanwhile, is simply playing for the pride of his campaign final tilt on Saturday night at Canvas Stadium in Fort Collins, Colorado. There is no title in sight, with a conference rating of 2-5, and not even a bowl offer in play, entering this game with an overall record of 3-8.

“Obviously we have failed and our record is not where we want it to be as a record but building our program is where we want it to be,” the coach said. Colorado State Chief Steve Addazio to reporters. “We’ve really come a long way from last year when he first got here to where we are now, and we continue to build. I’ve been here six years, and this is the team. of which I am most proud.

“I’ve been with a lot of teams with a lot of guys, but this team keeps fighting and keeps pushing. We have come a long way and we will continue to do so. “

Nevada in the State of Colorado

To start up: Saturday, November 27 at 9 p.m. ET
TV: CBS Sports Network
Disseminate: Nevada -4

When Nevada has the ball

It was a slow start for Strong & Co. in the 41-39 triple-overtime home loss to Air Force last week. He was sacked from five teams in the first half as the offense managed only one field goal in the first 30 minutes.

Norvell highlighted the crucial Week 11 loss to the no. 22 San Diego State as a major downer heading into their final home game of the campaign.

“I’m not sure we’ve completely eliminated this loss from our system,” Norvell said of the fall in San Diego state. “We didn’t start well in the first half.

But the boy made the Wolf Pack rally in the second half behind three Strong touchdowns. He threw one more in the second overtime, but that wasn’t enough as the Falcons scored the two-point winning try in the third OT as Nevada failed.

Strong’s effort (26 of 43, 340 yards, 4 touchdowns) took him to a new school record for goals (349) in a single season and put him within two of the 34 touchdown mark. Chris Vargas in 1993. Now at 3,887 passing yards, Strong, who is set to declare himself for the NFL Draft in 2022, is also approaching Vargas’ single-season record of 4,265 passing yards.

“He’s tough as hell, just looking at him,” Addazio told reporters of Strong. “He does a lot of punches, but he’s tough, he’s tough, he throws the ball with pinpoint accuracy… He’s a tall guy who looks physical. He looks like he’s got a lot of confidence. him. He is doing very well. I am very impressed with him. “

How is the Wolf Pack attack not impressive? The running game is nonexistent, now ranked dead last out of 130 FBS teams at 59.6 rushing yards per game. The team’s 2.4 yards per carry also ranks low.

So, when it comes to Colorado state’s defensive game plan, why bother to stop the race? The focus should be on Strong – who will seek out the best targets Romeo Doubs (75 rec., 1,012 yds., 9 TDs) and Cole Turner (60, 672, 10) – throughout the match, especially with the Nevada offensive line. allowing three sacks (3.2) per game.

But Strong could well burn the Rams down regardless, especially after what was a tough outing for the defense last week. CSU surrendered 426 passing yards and two touchdowns in last week’s 50-45 loss to Hawaii. This is the most passing yards in a single game for the Rainbow Warriors this season.

When the state of Colorado has the ball

Offensively, a lot of the positives can be taken from last week’s loss to Hawaii. Todd Centeio was sensational, his 527 passing yards and five touchdowns the second-highest ever for a Rams quarterback. He now has 2,773 yards and 15 touchdowns against eight interceptions over the year.

Trey McBride caught six of those passes for 89 yards before learning he was named a finalist for the Mackey Award, which goes to the nation’s highest tight end. McBride, who leads his FBS peers in receptions (84), yards (1,008), receptions per game, yards per game and 100-yard receiving games, has a strong case for winning the prestigious award against to the other finalists Charlie Kolar (Iowa State) and Jalen Wydermyer (Texas A&M). McBride is also currently screened as a first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft according to ESPN’s Todd McShay.

But with Centeio and McBride being seniors, a final hurray at home would be welcome. And the same goes for tight end Cameron Butler, who collected two balls for 93 yards against the Rainbow Warriors.

There is also that aspect of continuing to build the program that Addazio is embracing, and last week’s game helped on a few other offensive fronts. Junior wide receiver Dante Wright (8 rec., 150 yards) and his classmate Gary Williams (6, 92) both performed well.

So Saturday night’s final is another opportunity to build on the Rams’ offense for next season, especially with the Nevada defense surrendering nearly 400 yards per game.

Final analysis

Will it be too much for the Rams to handle?

Likely.

“They are playing games,” Addazio told reporters. “They played really good games against Air Force. It was an amazing game. I thought Air Force was going to take off a bit at one point, but not that fast, and they got past the quarterback, but it made some amazing throws. These guys, you can tell, they’re just baseball players. It’s a real challenge there. “

Yes it is.

The Rams would love to come out on top, especially after five straight losses and just one home win this season. And the Wolf Pack could get into that game a bit after back-to-back losses that ended their conference title aspirations.

But any possible trap game situation is offset by Nevada’s dynamite QB. Strong is trying to push his draft stock as high as possible, so he’ll add to his CV and film archive by slicing up a Colorado state defense that has done a good job, statistically speaking, against the pass this season. .

He can arm rams on his own.

Prediction: Nevada 38, Colorado State 26

Podcast: Week 13 preview, predictions and picks against the spread

– Written by Todd Saelhof, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and Sports Writer / Editor for Postmedia in Canada. Follow him on @ToddSaelhofPM To #CollegeFootballFrenzy.



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