2022 Colorado St. Rams Preview

by Matt Fargo

Colorado St. Rams

2021-22 Season Record 3-9 (2-6 MWC Mountain) - 4-8-0 ATS - 6-6-0 O/U

Returning Starters

Offense - 6
Defense - 6

Overview

It was a quick hook for head coach Steve Addazio who finished 3-9 in his first full season at Colorado St. and for a team that had not won more than seven games in five seasons before he arrived, it was a surprising fire. He might have just been a band-aid before the Rams got the guy they really wanted in Jay Norvell who made a lateral move in the MWC, coming over from Nevada. He went 33-26 with the Wolf Pack and while he did nothing spectacular there, Colorado St. upped the ante by offering him a $4 million raise that he could not pass up. Colorado St. was No. 57 in total offense and No. 66 in total defense last season which was not horrible but a six-game losing streak to end the year sealed the fate. The Rams have not won a bowl game since 2013 and even getting to the postseason in 2022 looks to be a challenge with all of the difficult games taking place on the road.

Offense

As mentioned, the offense was not horrible and should improve under Norvell and his wide open passing attack. Six starters return and five newcomers that will be taking over followed their coach to Colorado St. Quarterback Clay Millen only played in two games for the Wolf Pack last season but was the projected starter before making the move where he will take over right away. Along with him come two receivers in Tory Horton and Melquan Stovall who combined for 1,302 yards receiving on 11.4 yards per completion so there will be a seamless transition. The two top running backs are gone but potential is there with A'Jon Vivens and another Nevada transfer in Avery Morrow. The offensive line will be replacing four starters, all experienced transfers with two of those coming from, yes you guessed it, Nevada. It is an interesting mix but one that should prosper.

Defense

The defense was good but inconsistent last season especially down the stretch where the Rams allowed 37 ppg during the final six games. The strength is at linebacker where two of the top three returning tacklers reside and will be the core to get the unit into better situations. The defensive line features Mohamed Kamara at one end and he was a big disrupter as he had 6.5 sacks and with an upgrade on the other side, he should be even better. Overall, the Rams finished No. 24 with 83 tackles for loss and the pieces are in place for at least similar production with possible upside. Getting to the quarterback will be important with a secondary bringing in a lot of new faces. Three transfers come in to help a unit that finished No. 39 in passing defense but lost most everybody. Overall, the defense is in a good place that could improve if the chemistry holds.

2022 Season Outlook

This is a program that should be better than what has taken place over the last two decades with just one season with double-digit wins and while the Rams will not get there this season, the future looks bright with Norvell if he can bring in strong recruiting that was once one of the best in the conference. Colorado St. opens the season at Michigan as a four-touchdown underdog but then has three winnable games on deck with a matchup at Washington St. being a game that could light an early spark. Norvell then heads back to Nevada for the conference opener before a pair of home games against Utah St. and Hawaii. Three of the next four are on the road with two difficult ones at Boise St. and Air Force. The O/U win total is 5.5 and the schedule has five home games that should be won easily so it will take an upset on the road or Utah St. at home to get the over and a bowl invite. 

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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