NDSU’s FBS opponent may not be as well known as compared to the teams of the past (Iowa State, Kansas and Minnesota twice), this is NDSU’s second foray into the Mountain West conference since the move up to Division 1, Wyoming was the first back in 2008. College football fans will remember the success that CSU had in the mid to late 90′s with Sonny Lubick, but it’s been a lot of lean years in Fort Collins since. ESPN Insiders can read a full breakdown of Colorado State with this link: http://insider.espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/page/BlueRibbon-ColoradoState/colorado-state-rams
Some highlights from the report that you may or may not know:
- Jim McElwain is the new head coach at CSU, he was the offensive coordinator for the national champs at Alabama, he’s bringing a pro-style offense to the Rams.
- CSU just completed a third straight 3-9 season, the seniors on this team only know losing and are eager to turn things around.
- The Rams quarterback is a sophomore; Garrett Grayson, he started the final 3 games of last season as a true freshman, throwing for 542 yards, a 55.8 completion percentage with 6 picks, certaintly will have to be better this season.
- Chris Nwoke is the stud running back, his best games came late in the season, including a 232 and 269 rushing performance against San Diego State and Air Force.
- Most everyone that reads our blog knows about the incidents that happened on the CSU campus involving a brawl between football players and students on campus, that resulted in two players being kicked off the team, including Mike Orakpo, younger brother of Brian who plays for the Washington Redskins, one of the leading tacklers on the team.
I don’t know how all of these factors will come together for Colorado State, but this is the 4th straight FBS opponent for NDSU that will have a first year head coach(Rhoads, Gill and Kill) and I’m certain that McElwain probably grimaced when he looked at his schedule and saw the defending FCS champions on his non-conference slate. The Rams will be buried in the Mountain West behind Boise State, San Diego State and probably UNLV, but anxious to see how NDSU travels to Fort Collins.