Sacramento State (2-0) at CSU Rams (0-3), MDT Saturday 2 p.m., Canvas Stadium
TV/Radio: KCDO-3/104.3 FM
Wire: Sac State -3.5, over/under 56
weather: 77 degrees, sunny
what to know
Another outlet. For the second week in a row, the CSU receiving room saw a player enter the transfer portal. This time it’s senior Mel Kunstovall, who, unlike Dante Wright, the departed senior, has actually been involved in the Rams’ offense this season, completing 13 catches for 106 yards. Another loss certainly didn’t help quarterback Clay Millen, who could only pass the ball to Tory Horton multiple times.
Avoid double digits. The Rams are on a nine-game losing streak Saturday that dates back to the infamous Utah no spikes, game-ending crash October 22, 2021. That loss was the beginning of the end for coach Steve Adazio. Saturday’s loss will give CSU its first 0-4 start since 2007, the final year of the Sonny Rubick era.
Not toppled. As the betting line shows, this is no ordinary FCS procedure. The Hornets have won two consecutive Big Sky Conference championships and are No. 6 in the AFCA FCS Coaches Poll. A dual-QB system featuring pocket passer Jack Dennyway and dual threat Asher O’Hara challenged the scrimmage CSU defense. With a 2-2 record in their final four games against FCS, the Rams can’t take it lightly.
Orange out. For the 12th time since the tradition began in 2010, CSU will celebrate Ag Day with an orange event at Canvas Stadium. The Rams are 8-3 in such games but have lost three straight since the 2018 season. That includes last year’s loss to Vanderbilt, where Daz’s Rams squandered a two-touchdown lead.
CSU O-line vs. Sac State pass rush. Clay Millen was fired an FBS-high 23 times in three games, and center Jacob Gardner’s return to left tackle against Washington State did little to address the Rams’ protection issues (Miren was fired by fired seven times). This remains the main storyline of the CSU season until the Rams find a way to consistently protect their QB.
CSU LB vs. Sac State RB Cameron Skatebo. The Hornets have a versatile pair of guards Scarborough and Marcus Fulcher, who had 14 catches for 105 yards in last week’s win over northern Iowa. The Rams have to keep an eye on them at all times — especially Scarborough, who averages 12.03 yards per touch (12.5 yards per possession).
Sean Keeler, Sports Columnist: Sacramento State 30, Colorado State 27
The Hornets average just two sacks and five tackles per game, so Clemlin should have more time (that is, no time) to pitch than usual. Sac State enters FoCo in FCS with passing yards allowed per game (388), which on paper could be perfect for a CSU offense that needs a pick-me-up. But the elephant in the room didn’t leave: Can this Ram D cowboy get up and stop someone at a critical moment?
Matt Schubert, Associate Sports Editor: CSU 31, Sacramento State University 28
A domestic dog in the FCS program? Yes, this is Week 4 as we enter the Jay Norvell era. Here’s a guess that the Rams have noticed, and are ready to come out of the tunnel and spit fire at an opponent that needs at least A-minus effort to beat.