Colorado State at Fresno State

Colorado State at Fresno State | 2020 NCAA Expert Analysis

Written by on October 28, 2020

The second game of the Thursday college football doubleheader this week is from the recently-returned Mountain West Conference – this year without divisions – as Colorado State visits Fresno State on national TV.

How to Bet Colorado State at Fresno State NCAA Football Odds & TV Info

  • When: Thursday, 10 PM ET
  • Where: Bulldog Stadium, Fresno, Calif.
  • TV: CBS Sports Network
  • Stream: CBS Sports app
  • Radio:com
  • Opening NCAAF Lines: Colorado State -1.5 (total 59)

Last Meeting

Last year, Colorado State won at Fresno State 41-31. Logan Stewart made an interception to set up Warren Jackson’s go-ahead touchdown with 3:29 left and Colorado State held on. Stewart intercepted Jorge Reyna’s pass and returned it 25 yards to the Fresno State 13 with just more than four minutes left in the game. On the second play of the ensuing drive, Jackson caught Patrick O’Brien’s pass on a fade route for an 11-yard touchdown that made it 38-31 for the Rams. The Bulldogs turned it over on downs on their next possession and Max Poduska iced it with a 25-yard field goal with 48 seconds left.

Fresno State and Colorado State are set to meet for the 16th time on Thursday in this one and CSU leads 10-5. Colorado State owns the advantage in Mountain West play, 3-1. The Bulldogs’ last win against the Rams came on Oct. 6, 2012 when Derek Carr was quarterback.

Why Bet on Colorado State? | 2020 NCAA Expert Analysis

Colorado State’s original season open vs. New Mexico, set for Oct. 24, was canceled, making the Fresno State game the opener. With an Oct. 29 start, it marks the latest start for a first-year head coach in program history and the second-latest season opener in school history with the latest occurring during the last worldwide pandemic, Nov. 16, 1918. A seven-game regular season marks the fewest games Colorado State will have scheduled since 1942.

The new head coach is Steve Addazio. He begins his 10th year as an FBS head coach in 2020 with the Rams after seven seasons at Boston College (2013-19) and two seasons at Temple (2011-12). Addazio is only the second Colorado State head coach to have won a bowl game as a head coach with another school. Only Earle Bruce had won a bowl game prior to coaching at CSU.

Colorado State returns 69-percent of its overall team production from 2019. That mark ranks No. 45 nationally and is tied with Nevada for the most returning production in the Mountain West. Colorado State brought in a number of FBS transfers in the offseason, many of whom are expected to play key roles during the 2020 campaign including: QB Todd Centeio (Temple), TE Brian Polendy (Miami), OL Elijah Johnson (Boston College), OL Cam Reddy (Boston College), OL Adam Kortuz (Boston College), and DL Scott Patchan (Miami).

Senior punter Ryan Stonehouse enters the 2020 campaign with the NCAA’s career punt average record at 47.0. Colorado State’s defensive efforts the final seven games of 2019 set a historic mark. Over the final seven games, all against FBS opponents, the Rams held opposing offenses to fewer than 400 yards of total offense. It was the longest such stretch since the 1995 squad held eight consecutive opponents under 400 yards.

Why Bet on Fresno State? | 2020 NCAA Expert Analysis

Fresno did play its season opener last week and lost 34-19 at home to Hawaii. The Rainbow Warriors took advantage of four Bulldog turnovers with an offense that had 552 yards. FSU registered 409 yards, but turnovers and drives cut short in the red zone that resulted in three points instead of six points was too much to overcome.

In his first start for Fresno State, quarterback Jake Haener passed for 289 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions while running back Ronnie Rivers led the Bulldogs’ offense with 124 all-purpose yards. Rivers is one touchdown shy of 30 career rushing TDs. He is currently tied T-4th all-time in that category and would move to solo fourth with a score on Thursday. Rivers currently owns a streak of nine-straight games scoring at least once, whether it be rushing or receiving.

The loss snapped Fresno State’s three-game win streak against Hawaii. The Bulldogs have won eight of their last 10 games against the Warriors. There were 18 players that made their playing debut for FSU, and six were true freshmen. Fresno State started nine different players on defense in its 2020 opener versus its 2019 season opening starting lineup.

It was the Fresno State coaching debut of Kalan DeBoer. DeBoer served as Fresno State’s offensive coordinator in 2017 and 2018 under head coach Jeff Tedford, who stepped down after last season. DeBoer spent 2019 as the offensive coordinator for the Indiana Hoosiers, who boasted the No. 2 offense in the Big Ten, averaging 443.6 yards per game.  DeBoer was once a head coach before, at NAIA Sioux Falls. He spent 10 seasons there (2000-09), the first five as the offensive coordinator before taking over in 2005 as head coach.

The last time the Bulldogs hosted a Thursday night game was Nov. 5, 2015 versus Nevada. Thursday’s meeting will pit two of the six first-year head coaches in the Mountain West against one another. Fresno State will face three-straight first-year coaches to open the season (Hawai’i, Colorado State, UNLV).

Game Trends

  • Rams are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games as a favorite.
  • Rams are 4-0 ATS vs. a team with a losing record.
  • Rams are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 Thursday games.
  • Bulldogs are 19-6-1 ATS in their last 26 games as an underdog.
  • Bulldogs are 11-4-1 ATS in their last 16 games in October.
  • Bulldogs are 9-1-1 ATS in their last 11 games as a home underdog.
Expert Prediction Fresno State 35, Colorado State 30
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