CSU Rams (1-5, 1-1 MW) vs. Hawaii (2-5, 1-1); 2 p.m., Saturday, Canvas Stadium
TV/Radio: Spectrum Sports/1600 AM, 98.1 FM
Line: CSU -5.5, 46.5 over/under
Weather: 72 degrees, mostly sunny
What to know
Millen making a mark: What kind of difference could the likely return of QB Clay Millen mean to the Rams’ passing game? In Millen’s first four starts, CSU averaged 195.8 passing yards while throwing for six scores and four interceptions. In the two games without Millen, the Rams averaged just 120.5 passing yards with no scores and three picks. And if there’s a pass game to keep the Rainbow Warriors honest …
Things could open up for RB Avery Morrow: The transfer at tailback had a breakout performance (168 rushing yards) in Reno with mobile Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi behind center working the zone read. He then backed it up with an 116-yard game against Utah State while paired with dropback QB Giles Pooler last weekend. Millen is more the latter than the former.
I know you: From a numbers perspective, the Rams and Warriors facing off against each other could feel a little like looking into a (somewhat) cracked mirror. Both were pummeled at Michigan last month in “buy-game” matchups at the Big House; both expected to throw the ball better than they have; and both utilized defense and the run game to beat Nevada in consecutive weekends — CSU at Reno on Oct. 7; Hawaii at home on Oct. 15. The Rainbow Warriors are 0-4 when surrendering 135 rush yards or more, 1-1 when allowing 134 or fewer.
Pride on the line: The Rams will be wearing their “State Pride” alternate uniforms — a slick red, white and blue (and smattering of gold) ensemble that resembles the Colorado state flag. CSU is 1-2 since 2017 over its previous three outings while wearing the program’s tribute to the Centennial State.
CSU LB Dequan Jackson vs. Hawaii RB Dedrick Parson: In the five games over the last two seasons in which Parson has notched 75 yards rushing or more, the Warriors are 4-1. Win the line of scrimmage, win the game.
CSU WR Tory Horton vs. Hawaii CB Virdel Edwards II: With nine catches (all vs. Nevada) over the last two games, Horton’s missed not having Millen around most of all. Will the old chemistry pick up where it left it?
Sean Keeler, sports columnist: CSU 22, Hawaii 20
Ordinarily, you’d run screaming for the over whenever the Rammies hook up with the Rainbow Warriors. Strangely, though, neither offense is worth patootie, while both squads are currently playing as good on defense as they have all season. Or maybe that’s just because Nevada stinks. Slight edge to the mainlanders, so long as Millen plays.
Matt Schubert, deputy sports editor: CSU 27, Hawaii 21
The Rams discovered a run game with Avery Morrow in Clay Millen’s two-game absence. As long as that continues Saturday, CSU should have enough offense to outscore a rebuilding Rainbow Warriors outfit that has its own offensive issues.