Mike Brohard, who covers Colorado State for the Loveland Reporter-Herald, provides his insight into this matchup with CU:

3 Rams key to this game

1. Nick Stevens, QB: He's the trigger to the offense; not just in the passing game, but getting the Rams into good running plays. He's been strong at moving the ball around to his targets, not just relying on Michael Gallup.

2. Michael Gallup, WR: He has to play well enough to make plays and also draw attention, creating seams and openings for the rest of the CSU wideouts.

3. Josh Watson, LB: The junior triggered the Rams' five-turnover performance in the win over Oregon State, forcing a fumble and snaring an interception. He has to make sure the defense is in the right set and not allowing explosive plays.

Who they're talking about

CU players the Rams have talked most about this week:

1. Phillip Lindsay, RB: He was the first guy CSU coach Mike Bobo brought up, calling him the heart and soul of the Buffs. His ability to break plays in the running and passing game is a major concern for the Rams.

2. Buffs wideouts: All of them, not one in particular, because the general feeling is each of them can burn you on any given play. Covering them will be a huge test for a growing CSU secondary.

Key statistic for CSU

Third downs: Can they convert theirs and turn away the Buffs enough times on defense? Colorado State struggled defensively in this regard all of 2016.


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CSU can win this game if ...

They play confident and not get deterred by the big plays the Buffs are bound to get in this game. CSU can give up explosive plays, just not ones that generate points.