#95 Colorado State Football 2016 Preview

Colorado State Rams
Overall Rank: #95
#8 Mountain West
Colorado State Team PageColorado State Logo


Coach Mike Bobo had a relatively successful debut season at Colorado State, going 7-6 and making a trip to the Arizona Bowl. The Rams still have some rebuilding to do though and it will take some time before Colorado State is seriously competing for a Mountain West title.
2015 Record: 7-6, 5-3
2015 Bowl: Arizona Bowl vs. Nevada (L 23-28)
Coach: Mike Bobo (7-6 at Colorado State, 7-6 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Will Friend
Defensive Coordinator: Marty English
Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Dalyn Dawkins, RB, 867 yards
Passing: Nick Stevens, QB, 2,679 yards
Receiving: Xavier Williams, WR, 231 yards
Tackles: Kevin Davis, LB, 101
Sacks: Kiel Robinson, LB, 4.0
Interceptions: Kevin Davis, LB, 1; Tyree Simmons, DB, 1
Other Key Returnees: LB Deonte Clyburn, OL Fred Zerblis, P Hayden Hunt
Key Losses: RB Jasen Oden, WR Rashard Higgins, WR Joe Hansley, DL Martavius Foster, DL Joe Kawulok, DB Kevin Pierre-Louis, S Trent Matthews, DL Cory James
Colorado State has a solid running game with Dalyn Dawkins and Izzy Matthews leading the way. Dawkins rushed for 867 yards and two touchdowns, while Matthews added 590 yards and five scores. And Coach Bobo wants to establish the run first and that should not be a problem with Dawkins and Matthews. The passing offense was prolific, but did lack some consistency. Nick Stevens threw for 2,679 yards and 21 touchdowns as a sophomore. But those numbers will likely go down with Rashard Higgins, Joe Hansley and Kivon Cartwright moving on. Higgins has been one of the best receivers in the game during his collegiate career and he ended it by catching 75 passes for 1,062 yards and eight touchdowns. While CSU looks for new playmakers in the passing game, Stevens and the running backs will have plenty of time to operate thanks to a talented offensive line.
The defensive strength will be at linebacker where Kevin Davis and Deonte Clyburn return after combining for 175 tackles. The front line has some serious rebuilding to do. Buck linebacker Joe Kawulok recorded 5.5 sacks and his backup, SteveO Michel is gone too. Also lost is end Martavius Foster, who also tallied 5.5 sacks. That leaves a lot of inexperience and questions in the pass rush. Darnell Thompson and Evan Colorito will be asked to pick up much of the slack, but the lack of depth up front could be a huge problem. The secondary improved as last season went on, but now they have to replace safeties Kevin Pierre-Louis and Trent Matthews. Cornerbacks Tyree Simmons and Preston Hodges are experienced cornerbacks and that is one spot where Colorado State has some depth, but the safety spot is an issue and that could have a big impact on the entire defense.
The Bottom Line:
This is a Colorado State team that could take a small step back this year. The offense is solid, but replacing all of those receivers is not going to be a simple task. With Colorado and Minnesota on the schedule, along with trips to Boise State, Air Force and San Diego State, reaching six wins is going to be tough. Bigger and better things are ahead for Coach Bobo and the Rams though.
Projected Bowl: None
2015 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 197.8 (33rd in nation, 5th in conference)
Passing Offense: 228.1 (61, 2)
Total Offense: 425.8 (47, 3)
Scoring Offense: 29.6 (62, 5)
Rushing Defense: 213.3 (106, 8)
Pass Defense: 177.6 (9, 2)
Total Defense: 390.9 (55, 6)
Scoring Defense: 27.2 (64, 6)
Turnover Margin: -0.92 (117, 11)
Sacks: 1.85 (80, 9)
Sacks Allowed: 1.31 (22, 3)


See All College Sports Madness Top 104 Football Previews