Colorado State vs. Idaho prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the Idaho Potato Bowl between the Rams and Vandals.
When: Thursday, Dec. 22 – 7:00 p.m. ET
Where: Albertsons Stadium, Boise, Idaho
TV Broadcast: ESPN
Colorado State (7-5) had a rough stretch through its first seven games, going 3-4 to open the season. However, Mike Bobo’s team finally found its groove in its final five matchups. The Rams ended up going 4-1 to close the season, and their final two games ended in wins over New Mexico and eventual Mountain West Champion San Diego State.
As for Idaho (8-4), it split its first eight games of the season before coming up big down the stretch. The Vandals ended their season having won their last four games over Louisiana-Lafayette, Texas State, South Alabama and Georgia State to finish third in the Sun Belt.
What To Know About Colorado State
The Rams ended up playing musical chairs with their quarterbacks early in the season before turning to Colin Hill. He went down with a torn ACL, and then the starting job was given back to Nick Stevens. He took on the role, and ended up completing 65.5 percent of his throws for 1,491 yards, 14 touchdowns and three interceptions. Though, two of those picks were thrown in Colorado State’s season-opening loss to Colorado in Week 1.
Dalyn Dawkins has been great for the Rams on the ground. He totaled 801 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 145 carries. Right behind him with 143 carries is Izzy Matthews, who has rushed for 12 touchdowns and 705 yards.
What to Know About Idaho
Matt Linehan can move the ball through the air for the Vandals, but it’s not without its bumps along the way. Linehan has thrown 15 touchdowns to 10 interceptions this season, and he’s connected on 61.5 percent of his passes for 2,803 yards. Trent Cowan reeled in six of those touchdowns and has caught 46 balls for 532 yards.
Aaron Duckworth has been the go-to option in the running game for Idaho. He’s taken 139 carries for 619 yards and four touchdowns. Isaiah Saunders is right behind him with 584 yards on 126 carries, but he leads the team with six rushing touchdowns.
Offense: Colorado State – The combination of Dawkins and Matthews is too much for Idaho.
Defense: Colorado State – The Rams are 16 spots ahead of the Vandals at No. 60 in scoring defense, giving up 27.8 points per game.
Special Teams: Idaho – Austin Rehkow has hit all 35 extra points and is 26-of-29 on field goal attempts.
Coaching: Colorado State – Give credit to Bobo for tinkering with the quarterback situation and finally getting his team heading in the right direction.
Matchup To Watch
Nick Stevens vs. Idaho defense
He’s done a great job of protecting the football since his struggles earlier this season, and Stevens must do the same in this game. If he tries to do too much, he’ll get picked off or put the Rams in some unfavorable 3rd-and-long situations.
Spread: No line as of publication
Over/Under: No line as of publication
Colorado State vs. Idaho Prediction
The Rams are going to give Stevens the green light to stretch the field vertically, and it will pay off. He’ll throw for more than 200 yards and two touchdowns, but the bulk of the scoring will come in the running game. Matthews and Dawkins will each find the end zone, and Colorado State will pick up a win.
Colorado State vs. Idaho Score Prediction: Colorado State 38, Idaho 24
Campus Insiders Staff Picks
Brian Stultz: Colorado State
Jeff Bartl: Colorado State
Rich Cirminiello: Colorado State
Robert Judin: Colorado State
Jordan Cornette: Colorado State