The New Mexico Bowl has been a fixture on the first Saturday of bowl season. In the 2017 edition of the New Mexico Bowl, the Marshall Thundering Herd and Colorado State Rams square off. It’s always an accomplishment for Marshall to reach a bowl game. When they do get to a bowl, they always seem to make the most of it. Note that they’ve won their last five bowl games, dating back to 2009 and 2015. The Thundering Herd earned a 16-10 win over Connecticut Huskies in the St. Petersburg Bowl. Both teams enter at 7-5, with Colorado State the team who are probably not happy with the way their season went. Not good enough for a time who were supposed to be contenders in the Mountain West. It wasn’t the case, as they didn’t do enough to reach the championship.
Colorado State finished the season on a high note, with a 42-14 win over San Jose State. They lost a heartbreaker to Boise State in overtime, 59-52, but responded against the Spartans. They nevertheless lost three of their last four games, with losses coming against Air Force, Wyoming, and Boise State. They needed to finish out the season strong, but they struggled to handle teams they maybe should have beat. Colorado State was in full control of Boise State, and then a switch was flipped and it all came crashing down. The Broncos were down by 18 points going into the second-half, but came back to force overtime and win. Tough loss for Colorado State, who have had a couple of bad beats this season.
In the second game of the year, Colorado State was on the short stick of awful officiating vs Colorado. Some questionable offensive pass interference calls doomed them in a 17-3 contest. Take them away, and it would have been an interesting finish. Colorado State went on to win five of their next six, but finished cold to prevent them from going to the Mountain West Championship. I can see both of these teams being motivated for this game. If anything, I like the hand-crafted clay pot trophy the winner receives. Who is going to take it home with them? We’ll see, it should be a good one. Head below for our free New Mexico Bowl pick.
Marshall Thundering Herd vs. Colorado State Rams Betting Odds:
vs. Colorado State -5.5(-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Marshall vs. Colorado State Pick:
Marshall are going to have their hands full with the Colorado State offense. Specifically, Nick Stevens and Michael Gallup. The dynamic wideout enters the New Mexico Bowl with 1,350 yards receiving and 7 touchdowns. Marshall must keep an eye on Gallup, or he will erupt for a deep bomb. The guy throwing him the ball, Nick Stevens, has quite the portfolio as well.
Stevens has passed for 27 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He’s thrown at least 3 touchdowns in five games this season. Marshall has been good football on the defensive side of the ball, but their offense is prone to falling asleep. They scored 21 on Kent State, 14 on Charlotte, and then they managed 7 points against UTSA. Marshall also has five games where they’ve scored more than 30 points. They can be hot and cold in that regard.
Colorado State has a hot and cold defense. They’re 27.5 points per game, but allowing 426 yards per game for 90th in the nation. They’ve had games where they play lock down defense, and other instances where they got ripped. If they played bad offenses, they seem to be fine. They held San Jose State, Wyoming, and Colorado all to under 20 points. Conversely, they’ve also given up more than 40 points a few times, one of which game against Alabama. Colorado State did score 23 points in that game, which almost makes it look like a good loss.
The Rams average 501 yards per game, 10th in the FBS. If you can score 23 on Alabama, it’s a sign that it isn’t the worst offense out there. Dylan Dawkins is a load to handle on the ground. The senior has averaged over 1,300 yards rushing with over 6 yards per carry. The Thundering Herd will counter with Chase Litton at quarterback. Litton has passed for 23 touchdowns and 12 touchdowns. Just like Colorado State, they finished up the season slow, with losses in four of their last five. Marshall cannot run the ball at all, they rely on Litton often. Their offensive line is a beast to handle in pass protection, as they are 2nd in the nation in sacks allowed. Colorado State also owns the 96th best pass defense, so there will be opportunities downfield. I think this should be a total of 62 or 63. I’d give the OVER a look in the New Mexico Bowl.
PICK: OVER 58 (-110)