Colorado State @ Utah State Preview

Nov 23rd, 12:30 PST - CBSSN

Preview: Let the battle for 2nd place in the Mountain Division commence! While it ain’t the championship game, these teams have both had positive gains in 2013. Utah State lost their all-everything QB, Chuckie Keaton, early in the year, but didn’t let that ruin their season. They’ve relied on their strong defense led by a trio of hard hitting linebackers. And they’ve pieced together enough firepower offensively to win 5 of 6 conference games. For Colorado State, they are finally hitting their stride in implementing coach Jim McElwain’s power run game. They’ve also got a stout defense led by the dangerous rush linebacker Shaquille Barrett (6'2" 250lb SR). Barrett is the top NFL prospect in the game. He's got the size and skill set to rush the passer at the next level. He's a natural "see ball, get ball" kind of player, that you don't find too often. McElwain also has found his workhorse in the phenomenal RB Kapri Bibbs (5’11” 205lb SO). Bibbs has only been the starter for about half the season and leads the FBS with 25 TDs! While Bibbs isn’t ready for the NFL, he’s got time. This is only his first year in FBS (JC transfer), and he could be a Heisman candidate in 2014. But first he’s got to face one of the toughest defenses in the Mountain West. Zach Vigil (6’2” 321lbs JR) and Jake Doughty (6’0” 230lbs SR) are the leaders of the D up the middle. But it’s OLB Kyler Fackrell (6’5” 245lbs SO) who jumps off the screen as an NFL prospect. He’s got the size to take on offensive linemen and just blow up a play. CSU will definitely use their tight ends to double Fackrell. Speaking of tight ends, both Crockett Gilmore (6’6” 253lbs SR) and Kivon Cartwright (6’4” 237lbs JR) have pro potential, and are weapons in the pass game. This game will also feature the two best centers in the Mountain West in CSU’s Weston Richburgh (6’4” 297lb SR) and Tyler Larsen (6’4” 312lb SR) for the Aggies. This is going to be matchup of tough guys battling for 60 minutes. If you like dog fights, you are going to love this game!

Colorado State Players to Watch: Crockett Gilmore TE(10) #10 SR – Weston Richburg C(15) #70 SR – Kapri Bibbs RB #5 SO - Chris Nwoke RB(42) #9 SR – Jordan Gragert RG(52) #64 SR – Shaquil Barrett OLB(24) #56 SR – Aaron Davis WLB() #37 JR – Cory James SLB(60) #31 SO – Shaq Bell CB #3 SR – Trent Matthews FS(37) #16 SO

Utah State Players to Watch: Tyler Larsen C(3) #58 SR -- Chuckie Keeton QB(32) #16 JR (OFY) -- Eric Schultz RT(44) #66 SR -- Nevin Lawson CB(37) #1 SR -- Jake Doughty ILB(57) #51 SR -- Zach Vigil ILB(56) #53 JR -- Kyle Fackrell OLB(41) #9 SO

Key Matchups: Richburg/Bibbs v. Vigil/Doughty – Gilmore/Cartwright v. Fackrell