Tuesday, November 24, 2020

2020 Ram Recap - Week 5 - The One In Which COVID Steals a Winnable Game

COVID Picks Up Second Victory Over the Rams

What do the University of New Mexico and UNLV have in common besides having terrible football teams? COVID football cancellations! Yet another winnable game struck from the schedule due to this stupid pandemic. Go State. 

The events that transpired last week were weird and 100% in line with 2020 proceedings. There was a report that the game was cancelled, followed by an Addazio press conference where he said the game was on as far as he knew, followed by conflicting reports about the game status, followed by the Mountain West Conference finally announcing that the game was cancelled. Uncertainty? Chaos? Confusion? COVID? Must be a 2020 Ram football game against a team we can actually beat. 

Upcoming: The United States (Ch)Air Force Academy

Thanksgiving may not feel the same this year as we are bunkering down and staying home, but at least we have football to look forward to! And not of the NFL variety. I'm sure I will watch that too, but the Rams play those pesky Zoomers from Colorado Springs at noon. Air Force is one of those teams that should thrive under these weird COVID restrictions - the football team is used to a regulated and regimented schedule. Air Force is also a team that tends to control games against the Rams (especially in recent history) using their annoying triple option before their quarterback goes 3-3 for 140 yards and 3 TDs. The Falcons are 2-2 on the year with massive wins against Navy (bad) and New Mexico (bad) and losses against Boise State (good) and San Jose State (good?!!). 

The secret to beating Air Force this year (and every year) is disciplined play along the defensive front. Teams that stay disciplined and tackle well can beat the Falcons. Teams that get out of their lanes and charge too far upfield get shredded by this old school offensive scheme. The good news? CSU's defensive front has been the strength of this team this season. The struggle has come from the back end - the secondary. Strength versus strength bodes well for this Ram team, but I worry that Air Force has just enough of a passing attack to exploit that struggling secondary. Again - the receivers from Air Force are not the same caliber as the ones from Boise State (or Fresno State for that matter), so we should be able to defend this team assuming the quality play from the front seven remains. 

But can we score? One of the major frustrations with the Mike Bobo squads was their inability to win the line of scrimmage. Steve Addazio's teams are known for their grit and fire, especially along the offensive lines. Air Force's defensive front is always going to be smaller than CSU's o-line. The Rams win this game if Addazio's line plays the way Addazio wants them to play - aggressive, mean, and downhill. Open running lanes mean defensive players creeping toward the line, which means more room for Trey McBride, Dante Wright, EJ Scott, and Nate Craig-Myers to roam free.

Plus, do we really think anyone on Air Force can guard DanTrey? No, they cannot. 
Courtesy of SportsBookReview.com

Although I predicted a Ram loss at the beginning of the season, I've talked myself into a Ram victory. Those pompous cadets need to get a beatdown at the hands of my Rams. Go Rams!! 

WeekOpponentPredictionResultFlick's Picks
1New MexicoWCOVID0 - 0
2at Fresno StateWCSU 17 - FSU 380 - 1
3WyomingLUW 24 - CSU 340 - 2
4at Boise StateLBSU 52 - CSU 211 - 2
6at Air ForceL
7at San Diego StateL

8Utah StateL

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