The 2017 college football season kicks off today, Saturday, August 26, with five games. On August 31, the season will be in full gear. The first game of the 2017 season has the Oregon State Beavers (0-0) at the Colorado State Rams (0-0) at 2:30 p.m. The Beavers, who are in the Pac-12 North, were 4-8 last season and look to be a fifth place team in 2017. The Mountain West Conference Rams had a 7-6 record last season and are considered to be one of the best teams on the conference’s Mountain Division. Our 2017 Oregon State plays Colorado State free pick has the Rams at -3.5 and the over/under at 61.0.
Beavers Offense vs. Colorado State D
A lot is riding for Oregon State on transfer QB Jake Lutton. Lutton has one heck of an arm and is extremely accurate, but he has a receiving unit that is problematic. WR Jordan Villamin, who put in a disappointing junior season last year, needs to step up, while TE Noah Togiai, who looks to come back from a season-ending knee injury, will need to be effective. Wideout Seth Collins is nursing an injured finger and may not play. The rush attack should be healthy. Ryan Nall, who last season averaged 6.5 YPA and scored a baker’s dozen TDs, will lead the attack. The O-line is weaker than it was last season and is a concern.
The Colorado State defense is solid in the front seven, but flimsy in the secondary. Eight starters return on defense; they will be missing just two of their top tacklers from last season. The Rams need junior DE Darnell Thompson to play well in this game and pressure Lutton. MLB and leader on defense Josh Watson will blitz and also take down runners. The Rams allowed 30.4 PPG last season. They may do that today.
Rams Offense vs. Oregon State Defense
Colorado State has an offense that can attack on the ground and in the air. Senior QB Nick Stevens is a solid pocket-passer who last season connected on 64.2% of his throws. His top receiver Michael Gallup, who caught 14 TD passes, will be Stevens primary target today. The ground game is scary good, featuring four solid runners who last year combined for 27 touchdowns. Dalyn Dawkins and Izzy Matthews can both grind it out, and they have a solid O-line to open up running lanes.
Here’s the skinny on the Beaver defense, it could not stop the run last season. They were ranked 102nd nationally versus the ground game. The team’s front men were a disappointment, and they don’t look much better this year. Another issue for this team is its secondary, which has to replace a top corner and a fine safety. Look for sophomore CB Xavier Crawford today. If he can have a big game, that will help Oregon State’s cause. MLB Manase Hungalu also needs to play well. Like their opponents, the Beavers allowed just over 30 PPG last season. If they cannot stop the run, they’ll allow at least that much.
2017 Oregon State Plays Colorado State Free Pick: Final Word
Here are a few things to consider. The first is the Rams will celebrate the opening of their new stadium today. That means along with all of the excitement of their home opener, Colorado State will also be juiced to be in their new environs. In addition to that the Rams are 20-3 in home openers and have won their last four. Colorado State also has a major edge on special teams. The spread is minimal. We think there will be a lot of points scored today, but in the end the home team will prevail. Our 2017 Oregon State plays Colorado State free pick is the Rams at -3.5 and over 61.0