The Colorado State Rams (0-2, 0-2 ATS, 0-2 O/U) battle the Washington State Cougars (2-0, 1-1 ATS, 0-2 O/U) in week three action on Saturday evening. The Rams are seeking their first win after losing to Middle Tennessee State last week. The Cougars were able to defeat Wisconsin to improve to 2-0 in their previous action. This marks the first meeting since 2013.
Rams Tagged with Upset Loss
The Colorado State Rams' difficult schedule continues. They had the daunting task of playing against the #8 Michigan Wolverines in the season opener and were clobbered by a 51-7 score. They were expected to win last week but were tabbed as large 14-point favorites in a surprising 34-19 upset home loss against Middle Tennessee State. CSU was selected to finish 4th in the MWC Mountain division but at this point, it seems unlikely.
The Rams have a new QB this year. Clay Millen is a talented freshman who hasn’t been the issue so far. He connected on 80% of his passes against the Wolverines and posted 256 yards last week. Millen has 393 passing yards and four TD passes in two games. A’Jon Vivens has taken a majority of the carries on the ground and hasn’t fared well, recording 76 yards in two games. Tory Horton has been a bright spot so far, bringing in a remarkable 255 receiving yards including 186 last week. The Rams' offense should improve as the season progress as Millen gains more experience.
The Colorado State defense has been exploited, squandering 440 and 380 total yards in two clashes. The pass defense contained Michigan in week one but gave up 266 yards last week. They stand 84th against the pass and 101st against the run. The Rams have recorded 26 points in their two performances, pegging them 123rd. The defense has conceded 85 points, pegging them 124th in the FBS.
Cougars Stun Wisconsin, Remain Undefeated
The Washington State Cougars enter their non-conference finale with an undefeated record. They avoided an upset with a 24-17 home win against Idaho in a game that had WSU favored by 28 points. Last week was much better. The Cougars were tabbed large 17.5-point dogs in a 17-14 road win against #19 Wisconsin. The Cougars are expected to be in the middle of the conference in the Pac-12 this season but the potential is there to be a dark horse team.
The Cougars have plenty of new players on offense including QB Cameron Ward. The sophomore played for UIW of the FCS last season where he was one of the best QBs. So far, he has been solid, recording 428 passing yards with a 4:2 TD to INT ratio. Nakia Watson has already eclipsed last year’s total of 114 rushing yards. The junior RB has 150 yards in two games. Donovan Ollie finished with 301 receiving yards in 2021 and leads the squad with 101 yards. The WSU offense will pass more than run.
The Cougars' defense is the strength of the team as evidenced by last week’s solid performance. While they allowed 401 total yards, the defense came up big when needed late in the game. They stand 70th against the pass and 55th against the run so far. Washington State has accumulated 41 points in two games, landing them 111th. The defense has limited their foes to only 31 points, good for 41st in the FBS.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The Colorado State Rams have not looked good so far. They lost by 44 points to Michigan in week one and were stunned in an ugly 34-19 loss to Middle Tenn State of the C-USA last week. Meanwhile, Washington State is fresh off a minor upset road win against #19 Wisconsin.
Furthermore, the Rams are going to have trouble scoring points. Freshman QB Clay Millen only has 393 passing yards in two games and has already thrown three interceptions. The Cougars' defense has been outstanding. Colorado State had minus ten rushing yards last week and the Cougars have allowed an average of only 118 rushing yards in two games. Also, Cougars QB Cameron Ward has fared well, tossing four TD passes in two games, and the Rams' defense has been exploited in their two games, allowing an average of 410 yards.
Full-Game Total Pick
This one should go over considering the low total. Colorado State received an encouraging effort from Clay Millen last week. The freshman collected 256 passing yards and three touchdowns in the Rams' 19-point output. He should produce considering WSU ranks 70th against the pass.
In addition, the Rams' defense is going to be an issue as seen so far. The performance of the defense against Michigan is one thing but squandering 380 total yards against the Blue Raiders is a bad sign entering this one against a power conference foe. The Cougars won’t dazzle on offense but have a good young QB and have opted for the pass in 58% of their plays in two games.