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Overly Optimistic Prediction of the Week: Colorado State

This will be way more fun than last year.

Quick Lane Bowl Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

Good lord, is it game day yet? I feel like we’ve been off for a month. But hey, it’s the final tune-up before the regular season! You know what that means? Cupcake. I mean, it’s not a Missouri Valley-level opponent, but when a Mountain West team rolls in as 17-point underdogs you know something’s up.

This week the Gophers get their third consecutive “state” school (with Penn State just around the corner) when the Colorado State Rams come through town. The Gophers won in a squeaker last year in Fort Collins in OT, but we’re hoping that’s not the case this year. And it won’t be.

Once again, we’re predicting a win at the OOPOTW for a number of reasons:

  • Have you seen Mitch Leidner recently? Yeah, that’s a big, fat ZERO in the interceptions column.
  • Shannon Brooks is back. And Rodney Smith is rolling up almost 5 YPC, and a little secret weapon named Kobe McCrary has emerged. I mean, talk about backfield depth. The Rams had a horrid rush defense last year, so let’s just assume it’s bad again this year.
  • The Rams are starting a freshman quarterback who is making only his second career start.
  • There’s been so much turnover from the 2015 Colorado State team that almost took down Minnesota that it’s hardly comparable. This is an inexperienced team.
  • The Gophers currently have the 23rd-best rush defense in FBS. Dude.

So, yeah. Pair a fresh Gopher team with a 17-point MWC underdog and you have the makings for a lovely fall day.

Prediction: Gophers over Rams 35-17.

A couple bonus tidbits about Colorado State:

  • Did you know their first-ever bowl game was in the 1949 California Raisin Bowl? California Raisins! Now THAT’S a bowl right there. I’m still waiting for the Pringles Bowl.
  • While we probably won’t see the aggressive “pumpkin and alfalfa” uniforms that have gotten the Rams some national notoriety, they have been sporting them more often than usual. I mean, just check these things out. And those helmet decals are just freaky.