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Colorado State Rams vs. Wyoming Cowboys Preview and Prediction

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The Colorado State Rams and Wyoming Cowboys will meet up in Laramie this weekend in a key battle in the Mountain West Conference's Mountain Division.

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The Rams are coming off a tough loss at home to Air Force where they had trouble stopping the run. Wyoming, on the other hand, looked impressive in a blowout win over division bottom-dweller New Mexico. In that game, Cowboys quarterback Josh Allen looked impressive, tossing four touchdowns and no interceptions.

Colorado State at Wyoming

Kickoff: Saturday, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. ET

TV Channel: CBS Sports Network

Spread: Colorado State -3

Three Things to Watch

1. Colorado State's receivers vs. Wyoming's defensive backs

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This skill position battle will feature some of the very best players the Mountain West has to offer. Rams receiver Michael Gallup (above, right) is simply one of the best in the country at his position. He and his teammates will be running routes in a secondary patrolled by a couple of future NFL players from Wyoming. The Cowboys are allowing only 160.4 yards a game through the air and are tied for second nationally in interceptions with 14. Be that as it may, this thing looks like it has the makings of a shootout. The winner of this battle will likely have the upper hand.

2. Can Josh Allen keep rolling?

When Allen is on his game, Wyoming is a completely different team. He was able to put it all together against an inferior New Mexico squad his last time out, but has struggled to live up to his preseason hype so far in the 2017 campaign. Every possession will count in the matchup. Allen is going to have to take care of the ball much better than he has for most of this season. As good as Wyoming's defense is, the Rams are still going to get their points. It could be Allen's efficiency and ability to finish drives that decides this one.

3. Old school vs. new school

Both of these teams are accurate reflections of their coaches. Colorado State is an up-tempo team that is fun to watch offensively, just the way their head coach Mike Bobo likes it. Wyoming does what it needs to on offense while playing gritty, opportunistic defense — a hallmark of Craig Bohl's teams over the years. This is going to be a sneaky-fun game to watch. There's a lot on the line, and the clash of styles should provide some fireworks.

Final Analysis

The later in a season that a game takes place, the more I like the team with the better defense to win what is otherwise a toss-up. It's going to be a bit on the cold side at kickoff, and it will likely be rainy. Wyoming's style of play is more conducive to that environment, while Colorado State's offensive scheme is the kind that leads to turnovers in the elements. Aside from that, Craig Bohl's teams are always prepared for big-time matchups and usually perform well under fire. Combine all of that with the game being on Wyoming's home turf, and I like the Cowboys' chances in this one.

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Prediction: Wyoming 30, Colorado State 24

— Written by J.P. Scott, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. He also covers the Big Ten for Black Heart Gold Pants, Iowa's SB Nation blog. His work has appeared on SI.com, FoxSports.com, Yahoo! and Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.