Last minute headlines for the Rocky Mountain Showdown

Colorado football (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Colorado football (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) /

After a party that started in Boulder before the sun came up and hours of pregame coverage on major television networks, including College Gameday and the Fox Noon Kickoff, the Rocky Mountain Showdown between Colorado State and Colorado football will close out another week of college football.

Here are some last-minute and under-the-radar headlines to consider before the 8:00 p.m. kickoff.

Xavier Weaver is the No. 1 receiving weapon for Colorado football

Xavier Weaver, who transferred from Southern Florida in the offseason, is the only receiver for CU with back-to-back 100-yard games. He currently leads the team with 18 yards per catch and 144 yards per game.

Most of the attention has been directed toward Travis Hunter, Jimmy Horn Jr., and Dylan Edwards. Still, Weaver continued his dominance from Week 1 against TCU into last week’s win over Nebraska. When the offense struggled to produce in the first half against the Cornhuskers, Shedeur Sanders kept going to Weaver, who racked up 170 yards and a touchdown.

Look for No. 10 to continue to lead the stacked receiving core tonight against the Rams.

Kavosiey Smoke has yet to catch fire

Former Kentucky star Kavosiey Smoke has only carried the ball twice this year. He is one of numerous Colorado football players who have yet to get fully activated since the season kicked off.

After collecting his first touch of 2023 last week against Nebraska, Smoke has the potential to see some more snaps against Colorado State and make his case as another option Sean Lewis can utilize.

Starter Dylan Edwards currently leads the team with 79 yards on the ground but Coach Prime stated on the Big Noon Kickoff Show that he desires to get the running game going against CSU tonight.

Even though the CU offense is explosive and is averaging 509 yards of offense per game so far, the running game is contributing only 56.5 yards per game. Smoke had over 1,300 yards and 13 touchdowns in his career at Kentucky and could be a vital option for the Buffs offense, especially as the Pac-12 schedule approaches.

CSU’s change at quarterback

Probably to the Rams’ advantage, CSU hasn’t been covered to the same level CU has this week leading up to the game. Moreover, the recently announced change at quarterback will be an underlying storyline when the game starts.

Head coach Jay Norvell made the decision to replace Week 1 starter Clay Millen for redshirt freshman Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi. Millen was QB1 for the entire 2022 season, but after one week, he’s been benched for Fowler-Nicolosi. The Aledo, Texas native did start one game last year in a last-minute victory over Nevada, but that will not be not equivalent to the type of game he will play tonight.

As 23-point underdogs, the Rams could throw anything and everything at the Buffs. Nonetheless, tonight will be must-see TV for the third week in a row.