Hawai'i at Colorado State Preview & Prediction
Mark Taylor takes a look at this matchup and gives his take on the week zero Mountain West showdown in Fort Collins as Hawai'i visits Colorado State.
Hawai’i Warriors at Colorado State Rams (-14) - 58.0
Saturday, 8/25 at 7:30 PM EST
Canvas Stadium — Fort Collins, CO
We kick off our CFB wagering coverage with some Week 0 action and an early Mountain West clash in Colorado.
About Colorado State: On the surface, it appears the Rams are starting over on offense. Despite losing their star QB in Nick Stevens and all-everything WR Michael Gallup, the key cog remains - and that is head coach and offensive play caller Mike Bobo. That was almost not the case as Bobo was hospitalized just this week with a health scare. The weapons in to replace Stevens-Gallup are more than sufficient with KJ Carta-Samuels getting his starting opportunity after backing up Jake Browning at Washington the past couple of seasons. He’ll have plenty of options in the passing game with Olabisi Johnson returning and Warren Jackson, an emerging sophomore. Izzy Matthews returns to lead the running game after the departure of Dalyn Dawkins. There is a bit of depth issue in the stable of backs with a couple of backups not listed on the depth chart due to injury/suspension concerns.
About Hawai’i: It’s not just on the surface that Hawai’i is starting over and they don’t seem to have the sure-fire replacements in line to pick up the slack. They return just nine starters from a 3-9 (1-7) team a season ago. Head coach Nick Rolovich will likely turn to sophomore Cole McDonald to replace departed Dru Brown (graduate transfer to Oklahoma State), though that hasn’t been officially announced. They also lost their top back in 1,500+ yard rusher Diocemy Saint Juste. Carrying that load is unproven sophomore Freddy Holly III and a few other options. No one player will be able to match the production of Saint Juste. They do get WR John Ursua back, who was setting the world on fire before an injury cut his 2017 short. Beyond him, the receiving corps is a bunch of question marks. Expect to see JUCO transfer Cedric Byrd to play second-fiddle for the new quarterback.
The Difference: Hawai’i is starting over on defense - a defense that allowed 33.9 points per game last season. As mentioned above, the Rams have some turnover on the offensive side - but seem primed to go with the “next man up” and pick up where they left off.
The Prediction: Colorado State has invested in their atmosphere and game day experience at Canvas Stadium. That place will be rocking. The Rams offense will take a few drives to get rolling and calm down. It will be close at half time before they pull away from an overmatched Hawai’i squad.
Colorado State 35 - Hawai’i 17
Colorado State -14 (2-star)
UNDER 58.0 (2-star)