Florida vs Colorado State
9.15.18 / 4:00 PM
Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
The Rams of Colorado State University will be coming to Gainesville on Saturday to take on the Gators. This will be the first time the two teams have faced each other. Florida scheduled the Rams as a condition of former head coach Jim McElwain‘s contract buyout with CSU. The Rams will earn $2 million dollars for making the trip.
The two schools are on opposite ends of the emotional spectrum after facing very different outcomes last Saturday. This year’s Florida team will go down in history as the first to lose to SEC foe, Kentucky in 31 years. Adding insult to injury, it is the first time Kentucky has defeated Florida in the Swamp since 1979.
Florida had all of their weaknesses exposed in the humbling loss and were manhandled through much of the game. On the flipside, Colorado State picked up their first win of the season as they rallied from an eighteen point deficit to defeat the Arkansas Razorbacks by a final score of 34-27.
At a glance:
Colorado State Rams
Fort Collins, CO
2018 Record: 1-2
Head Coach: Mike Bobo
In three games, Colorado State has found themselves in deep deficits every time. After trailing 37-7 against Hawaii in week zero, the Rams powered back and actually had an opportunity to defeat the Rainbow Warriors before eventually falling by a final score of 43-34.
There were no such heroics when they faced in state rival Colorado, however. The Buffalos were in control from the onset as they stampeded to a 45-13 win. Though, each game has yielded different results, there are some key commonalities in each one.
K.J. Carta-Samuels has been a very real threat to opposing defenses. In three outings he is 84/130 for 1,102 yards with 8 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Add to that receivers, Preston Williams, Olabisi Johnson, and Cameron Butler, and Florida’s depleted secondary will have a very heavy workload Saturday afternoon.
Williams is a transfer from the University of Tennessee and has made a huge impact on the offense this season, racking up 27 Rec, 391 yards, and 4 touchdowns. Johnson is responsible for 17 Rec, 286 yards, and 3 touchdowns, while Cameron Butler added 107 yards on 4 catches against Arkansas.
With such a powerful set of weapons, the Gators can’t afford to take their foot off of the accelerator if they get a lead. The Rams can and will come back strong.
The good news for Florida is that this CSU defense is atrocious, to say the least. Opposing offenses have found the endzone twelve times against a benign Rams defensive unit. The Rams have allowed 894 yards through the air and an additional 763 on the ground.
Florida will need to take advantage of every opportunity that the Rams defense gives them and put up points in wholesale. The defense must show better fundamentals in gap discipline and tackling. Last week, they missed on 20 tackles that resulted in an additional 168 yards for the Wildcats.
Dan Mullen has indicated that he is pleased with the overall response and attitude in practice this week. The team has come in to game preparation with intensity. They will need to keep that focus and resolve through four quarters on Saturday.
If Florida comes out angry and focused on being more physical than their opponent, then there’s a good chance we will see a win this weekend. If they allow Colorado State to believe that they can compete with them, it could be a long afternoon.
Florida is currently a 19-point favorite over Colorado State. Kickoff will be at 4 p.m. EST. Game coverage will be broadcast live from Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on the SEC Network. Don’t forget to check out the live game threads on the ChompTalk.com’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.