#91 Colorado State Football 2012 Preview

Colorado State Rams

2012 Overall Rank: #91
#7 Mountain West Conference

Colorado State College Football 2012 Preview

Colorado State Team Page


The young Rams struggled last season and compiled an abysmal 3-9 record. They made a coaching change, bringing in a national championship coach, the former offensive coordinator for the Crimson Tide, Jim McElwain. He is a proven winner and is looking to turn Colorado State’s program around. It will be an uphill battle, but one that coach McElwain is going to embrace.

2011 Record: (3-9, 1-6)
2011 Bowl: None
Coach: Jim McElwain (0-0 at Colorado State, 0-0 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Dave Baldwin
Defensive Coordinator: Marty English

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Chris Nwoke, RB, 1,176 yards
Passing: Pete Thomas, QB, 1,607 yards
Receiving: Crockett Gillmore, TE, 468 yards
Tackles: James Skelton, LB, 41
Sacks: Nordly Capi, DL, 9
Interceptions: Momo Thomas, DB, 2

Other Key Returnees:  DL C.J. James, LB Shaquil Barrett, LB Mike Orakpo, WR Lou Greenwood

Key Losses: DB Ivory Herd, RB Raymond Carter, K Ben DeLine


The Rams have a rushing attack led by junior Chris Nwoke. He rushed for over 1,000 yards last season and nine scores. He will only get better as he matures as a player and expect the Rams to feed him the ball. He is a proven workhorse and looks primed to deliver in a big way. Coach Jim McElwain has worked with Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson, both of who dominated the collegiate ranks and were tasked with the burden of shouldering the offense. Nwoke will fill this role for the Rams and McElwain will want to take pressure off of signal caller Pete Thomas as he continues to develop.
The Rams pass defense was outstanding a season ago, ranking 13th in the nation in passing yards per game.  With many starters returning there is no reason to believe the Rams will not repeat this success. Their formula of a strong running game and a strong pass defense can make it difficult for teams to come back from and can help the Rams protect any lead that they earn.

The Rams passing attack struggled mightily both in completing passes to move the chains and racking up yards, ranking 94th in passing efficiency and 90th in passing offense. This stagnant attack is likely a major reason they were unable to score points, mustering up a measly 21 points per game. To further complicate their troubles in the passing department, they were unable to protect the quarterback, surrendering nearly three sacks per game, tied for 106th in the nation.

Colorado State may have had a stifling passing defense but their run defense and their scoring defense struggled greatly. They gave up an average of 233 yards per contest. It is difficult to win games if your run defense is abused that easily as the Rams found out last season. Becoming stronger and more physically tough to help defend the run should be one of the Rams top offseason priorities.

The Bottom Line:
The Rams brought in a new coach who will help fix their offensive woes. They turned the ball over way too often, a cardinal sin in the game of football, particularly in Jim McElwain’s scheme. He will harp on protecting the football and expect the Rams to respond well and have a better turnover margin this season. They have a very young team so there is lot of room for growth and the future may be bright. But rebuilding is a process so do not expect too much from this developing team.

2011 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 166.83 (44th in the nation, 6th in conference)
Passing Offense: 184.58 (90, 5)
Total Offense: 351.42 (87, 6)
Scoring Offense: 21.42 (101, 6)
Rushing Defense: 233.67 (116, 7)
Pass Defense: 179.58 (13, 2)
Total Defense: 351.42 (87, 6)
Scoring Defense: 31.25 (91,6)
Turnover Margin: -.33 (85, 7)
Sacks: 2.17 (41, 2)
Sacks Allowed: 2.92 (T106,7)