Over the next few weeks, EagleAction is creating quick-hit study guides for fans to get to know each of BC's opponents for the 2014 season. Today, we look at the Colorado State Rams.
GETTING TO KNOW CSU
TIME tbd, Sept 27, 2014; Chestnut Hill, MA.
NUTS AND BOLTS
Coach: Jim McElwain, 3rd season (12-14 record)
2012 record: 4-8 (3-5 Mountain West)
2013 record: 8-6 (5-3 Mountain West)
Record vs. Power-5 schools since 2009 (non-conf): 3-4
Last win vs. Power-5 school: Washington State, 48-45 (2013)
Average score vs. Power-5 schools: 29 (opponents) - 20.4 (CSU)
Last meeting vs. BC (2003 San Francisco Bowl): BC won 35-21
A LOOK AT THE OFFENSE
Returning starters (based on final 2013 depth chart): 5
The Big Names: The Rams lost the biggest name from their offense last year as Kapri Bibbs left early for the NFL. Bibbs compiled 1,741 yards rushing last year and was the big reason that CSU was the 27th ranked rushing attack in the country.
The Rams figure to be more of a passing offense this year as quarterback Garrett Grayson returns coming off of a big year with 3,696 yards and 23 touchdowns. Grayson is also the team's returning leading rusher as well
The CSU offense will turn to some receivers this year to try and generate some offense. Tight end Kivon Cartwright returns after having 462 receiving yards and six touchdowns last year. Also returning is the leading receiver, Rashard Higgins, who had 837 yards receiving last year.
Reason for BC to worry: This isn't specifically related to the CSU offense and BC defense match-up, but the BC coaches have to worry a bit about where this game falls on the schedule. The Eagles open the season with a gradual ramp up of anticipated match-ups with UMass, followed by the ACC opener against Pitt, and then the national televised game against USC. Then, the schedule hits a lull with a game against Maine, followed by this game against CSU. If the Eagles aren't ready for this match-up they could be in for a rude awakening.
Reason for BC to rest easy: Aside from losing Bibbs, the Rams lost almost their entire offensive line. Four starters along the front have departed, and all four starters combined for 14 starts a piece last season. The players on the BC front four should be licking their chops for this match-up.
A LOOK AT THE DEFENSE
Returning starters (based on final 2013 depth chart): 7
The Big Names: Cory James is the star of the defense and the best pass rusher on the team. James had eight sacks last season as a sophomore and should be even more of a force this season.
Behind James are two solid linebackers Max Morgan and Aaron Davis, who combined for 254 tackles a season ago. Both players are seniors and very good run stoppers.
Reason for BC to worry: When you think of Mountain West teams you think of teams that like to play run and gun and air the ball out. You don't think of them as physical teams. The Rams might have given up 29.8 points per game last season, but that was mostly due to the pass defense. CSU actually had the 30th best rushing defense in the nation last year. CSU rose to the occasion against good competition too as the defense held Alabama to 66 yards rushing last year. The Eagles will not have an easy time running on the Rams.
Reason for BC to rest easy: If the BC offensive line can put bodies on Morgan and Davis they could be in good shape. The Rams are breaking in three new players on the defensive line and a brand new WILL linebacker.