College Football Picks, Predictions, and Previews: The Way It Oughtta Be

Utah State vs. Colorado State 12/12/2020 College Football Picks, Prediction, and Preview

The Utah State visits Colorado State on 12/12/2020 at 9:30PM.

Utah State and Colorado State face off in an important game for both teams as every game in this shortened season with limited or no fans in attendance means more. Utah State has a record of 1-5 this season. Colorado State is 1-3 this season. Both have players to meet and know.

Utah State Team Defense Preview

Utah State has had 63 defensive drives in non-garbage time minutes and they yield 6.3 plays per drive. The struggle is real. Utah State cannot find a way to get opposing offenses off the field. Three and outs are not common and if the team needs a three-and-out late in a game to get the ball back, it is just not happening.Offensives should lick their lips given their inability to stop anyone, this is one of the worst defenses in the country. The Defensive Coordinator coaching search threads on Utah State message boards are flights of fantasy. Utah State opponents pass the football 49.37% of the time.Opponents typically have some form of run/pass balance against them.

This is a pushover defense. There is not enough push from the Defensive Line and not enough imagination from the Defensive Coordinator to cause chaos in the backfield.Opponent rushing yards attributed to their offensive line this season comes out to 3.33 yards per carry. Sorry to say this about this front seven, but the best way to make an average offensive line look good is for them to face this horrid front seven. Running backs should look forward to this porous defense filled with poor tacklers who take terrible angles. They are capable of giving up a long run, which is really demoralizing when the opposing team has the ball deep in their own territory.

This is not a disruptive Defense and they get pushed over way too easily. Perhaps they are too vanilla with playcalling. Getting more granual into the front seven and their ability to cause trouble, they are just average in this regard. Utah State has shown themselves to be better at stopping the pass than the run this season.

Utah State Team Offense Preview

Utah State has had 60 total drives this season and they generate 5.02 plays per drive. Relatively speaking, Utah State is not a team that runs many plays per drive. The offense is either prone to faltering and struggles to notch first downs or extremely explosive, we will need to find out a bit more to get answers. Struggles to get ahead of the chains and convert on third and fourth down are common, the offense can stagnate. Utah State passes the football 47.51% of the time.Relatively speaking, this is a team that favors run/pass balance.

Utah State struggles with running the ball, getting zero or negative yard plays is disspiriting and the offensive line is not effectively making a good push. Poor playcalling, pre-snap adjustments or post-snap reads may be responsible and this could fall on the Quarterback, Offensive Coordinator, and Head Coach. How effective is the offensive line given what we know about their ability to prevent negative yards on rushing plays? More than you think, thanks to the Adjusted Line Yards metric. Utah State can take credit for 2.77 yards per carry. Generally speaking, this is an average offensive line as far as their ability to set up the running game. When it comes to getting to that second level where linebackers have not crashed down on the line of scrimmage, they are getting stopped with ease. They are capable of busting out a long run, which is really good when the team has the ball in their own territory.

Defenses have had average success disrupting the flow of the Utah State Offense. Front sevens are causing an average amount of trouble for the Offense. Utah State has shown themselves to be a better running team than passing team this season.

Colorado State Team Defense Preview

Colorado State has had 46 total defensive drives this season and they yield 5.85 plays per drive. Colorado State lets opponents run a lot of plays per drive and in the Fourth Quarter, this team could be gassed. Opponents face third and long situations a lot against this defense. This is a defense that forces opponents to commit penalties, have compromised offensive line play, and fail to convert on crunch possessions. Passing plays make up 47.21% of their opponents’ play calls.Their opponents favor running the ball as opposed airing it out.

Colorado State opponents have struggled with running the ball and this defense has crushed the spirits of their opponents with zero or negative yard plays. 4th and Short is not a cake walk against this defense, maybe passing on 4th and Short or having some sort of RPO is the way to go here because if an Offensive Coordinator thinks that they can just line and run a Quarterback Sneak or hand it off to a tailback, they are mistaken. How effective are opposing offensive lines given what we know about their ability to force negative yardage rushing plays? Colorado State can take credit for holding the offensive line of their opponent to 2.06 yards per carry. Opponent offensive lines have been simply unable to support their running games against this defense. When it comes to getting to that second level, running backs are getting stopped. This defense does not allow themselves to be gashed. The breakout rushing plays are simply not happening, it is a massive reach to expect this team to give up big rushing plays.

Disruptive plays are a part of the fabric of this team’s defensive effort. Game changing plays that drive Offensive Coordinators and Quarterbacks crazy, they find ways to deliver. Colorado State should have a sign ready for opponents near the Visitor Locker Room that says “Welcome to Hell”, this front seven is deep and they cause a lot of problems. Colorado State is better at stopping the run than the pass this season.

Colorado State Team Offense Preview

Colorado State has had 52 total drives this season and they generate 4.37 plays per drive. Relatively speaking, Colorado State is not a team that runs many plays per drive. The offense is either prone to faltering and struggles to notch first downs or extremely explosive, we will need to find out a bit more to get answers. Struggles to get ahead of the chains and convert on third and fourth down are common, the offense can stagnate. Passing plays make up 47.14% of their play calls.Relatively speaking, this is a team that favors run/pass balance.

Colorado State struggles with running the ball, getting zero or negative yard plays is disspiriting and the offensive line is not effectively making a good push. Poor playcalling, pre-snap adjustments or post-snap reads may be responsible and this could fall on the Quarterback, Offensive Coordinator, and Head Coach. How effective is the offensive line given what we know about their ability to prevent negative yards on rushing plays? More than you think, thanks to the Adjusted Line Yards metric. Colorado State can take credit for 2.17 yards per carry. So what does this mean? It means that the offensive line has been incredibly disappointing in their contribution to the ground game. When it comes to getting to that second level where linebackers have not crashed down on the line of scrimmage, they are getting stopped with ease. They feature a relatively average explosiveness in the running game, maybe there will be a breakout rushing play, but it is not something to count on from them.

Defenses have been able to impose their will on the Colorado State Offense this season. Front sevens of opposing defenses are causing a lot of problems. Colorado State is a better passing team than running team this season.

The Utah State Roster

The Players to Watch for Utah State

Jason Shelley QB 5-11 190

This season, Jason Shelley has put up 420 yards and 2 touchdowns. He has thrown 2 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 89.8thus far this season. Jason Shelley has thrown 2 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Jason Shelley has 68.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 68.36 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 33.0 times this season, which puts him in the 68.83 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 0.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Jaylen Warren RB 5-8 215

This season, Jaylen Warren has 252 rushing yards on 39 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 3 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Jaylen Warren picked up 33 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 5 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

Devin Thompkins WR 5-7 160

This season, Devin Thompkins picked up 214 yards. He caught the ball 20 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 1 receiving touchdowns this season.

Marcus Moore DL 6-3 280.0

The leading tackler among Defensive Ends for Utah State, Marcus Moore has 20 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 2 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 64.24 percentile among Defensive Ends. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 2 times this season, which put him in the 80.93 percentile among all Defensive Ends in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Shaq Bond S 5-10 190.0

He is the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Utah State, Shaq Bond had 47 tackles which puts him in the 93.37 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 6 tackles for loss this season, which puts him in the 98.89 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, this season he was able to take them down 0 times this season. Shaq Bond as a ball hawker was able to pick off 1 passes this season, which puts him in the 83.84 percentile among returning secondary position players this season.

Zahodri Jackson CB 5-10 185

Considered the leading tackler among Cornerbacks for Utah State, Zahodri Jackson had 20 tackles which puts him in the 73.8 percentile among Corners. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 0 tackles for loss this season, which puts him in the 34.7 percentile among Corners. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, this season he was able to take them down 0 times this season. Zahodri Jackson as a ball hawker was able to pick off 0 passes this season, which puts him in the 36.4 percentile among Corners this season.

The Colorado State Roster

The Players to Watch for Colorado State

Patrick O’Brien QB 6-5 235

This season, Patrick O’Brien has put up 591 yards and 3 touchdowns. He has thrown 2 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 125.7thus far this season. Patrick O’Brien has thrown 2 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Patrick O’Brien has 10.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 39.2 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 23.0 times this season, which puts him in the 59.57 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 2.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Marcus McElroy RB 6-0 235

This season, Marcus McElroy has 110 rushing yards on 41 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 3 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Marcus McElroy picked up 12 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 1 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

Dante Wright WR 5-9 180

This season, Dante Wright picked up 315 yards. He caught the ball 20 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

Scott Patchan DL 6-6 255.0

The leading tackler among Defensive Ends for Colorado State, Scott Patchan has 22 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 8 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 95.73 percentile among Defensive Ends. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 6 times this season, which put him in the 97.86 percentile among all Defensive Ends in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Marshaun Cameron DB 5-9 190.0

He is the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Colorado State, Marshaun Cameron had 29 tackles which puts him in the 77.3 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 3 tackles for loss this season, which puts him in the 93.75 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, this season he was able to take them down 1 times this season. Marshaun Cameron as a ball hawker was able to pick off 1 passes this season, which puts him in the 83.84 percentile among returning secondary position players this season.

Utah State vs. Colorado State Prediction, Picks, and Odds


Prediction: Utah State 22 Colorado State 32

Spread Pick: Utah State +13.5 -113 Bookmaker
Moneyline Pick: Colorado State -410 matchbook
Total Pick: Over 51 -108 Pinnacle Sports