Rams cope with key quarterback injury
Colorado State has settled into a nice rhythm, posting five consecutive winning seasons.
But the Rams face a mountain of uncertainty thanks to an unexpected injury at quarterback this offseason and experience is not in abundance at some skill positions.
The Rams are No. 101 in Orlando Sentinel college insider Matt Murschel preseason 2018 college football rankings. Murschel ranked all 129 Football Bowl Subdivision teams in the country. The Sentinel staff takes a closer look at a new team daily, counting backward from No. 129 to our projected No. 1 team. Colorado
Mike Bobo (21-18, entering fourth season; 21-18 overall)
7-6, 5-3 in the Mountain West Conference; tied for second in Mountain Division
It must have felt like déjà vu for Colorado State fans, who watched the Rams finish with their third consecutive 7-6 season. The team won six of its first eight games last season before losing four of its remaining five. The program suffered its third consecutive bowl loss under coach Mike Bobo. 7 5
QB Nick Stevens, RB Dalyn Dawkins, WR Michael Gallup, WR Detrich Clark, TE Dalton Fackrell, OL Zach Golditch, OL Trae Moxley, OL Jake Bennett, DE Jakob Buys, DT Darnell Thompson, BUCK Evan Colorito, LB Kiel Robinson, CB Kevin Nutt Jr.
WR Olabisi Johnson, RB Izzy Matthews, FB Adam Prentice, OL Nicho Garcia, OL Ben Knox, LB Max McDonald, LB Tre Thomas, LB Josh Watson, S Jordan Fogal, CB Anthony Hawkins
Dalyn Dawkins became the first 1,000-yard rusher for the Rams since Dee Hart in 2014 after the senior rumbled for 1,399 yards and 10 touchdowns. He leaves the school ranked third on the career rushing list with 3,185 yards. Izzy Matthews managed 613 yards in just 11 games last season and ranks fifth in program history with 26 career rushing touchdowns.
The Rams received some good news when safety Jordan Fogal was granted another year of eligibility. Fogal finished second on the team in tackles (71) last season while recording two interceptions last season.
Senior Nick Stevens earned first team All-Mountain West honors last season after leading the league in the majority of the passing statistics, including yards (3,799), yards per game (292.2), completions (282) and touchdowns (29). The plan was for Collin Hill to step into the starting role in 2018, but the redshirt sophomore re-injured his left knee during a pickup basketball game before spring, effectively ending his season before it even began.
Yet it’s not all doom-andgloom for the Rams, who landed Washington graduate transfer KJ Carta-Samuels.
Michael Gallup leaves the program after putting together one of the most successful careers at Colorado State. He was a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award, given to the country’s best receiver.
The Rams finished in the bottom half of the conference in total defense after allowing nearly 432 yards per game.
After an extended period of prosperity at the quarterback position led by Nick Stevens, the Rams now face uncertainty and are hunting for a reliable quarterback.
If Colorado State hopes to continue its streak of consecutive bowl appearances, it will need several groups to come together and exceed expectations.
Colorado State tailback Izzy Matthews returns to help lead the Rams' offense.