Can CSU answer the bell in their own version of a “statement game?”

Last week, the University of Colorado had the chance to make a statement, both on and off the field. With a perennial power coming to town, the Buffaloes were hoping to get a much-needed win over a Pac-12 foe, while their fan base wanted to show that support in Boulder was on the rise.

CU wasn’t able to answer the bell on the field, ultimately falling 41-24 to Oregon, but they did step up in terms of ticket sales. On a cold, wet night at Folsom Field, 46,222 black-and-gold supporters made their way through the turnstiles, CU’s largest home crowd since 2013.

This week, Colorado State faces a similar situation. The 2-3 Rams are playing host to a team that has been the class of the conference for years and has received national attention by playing in big games, providing a chance for CSU to right their season on the field. It’s also a great opportunity for their much-maligned fan base to show that they’ll support the team.

Last year, Hughes Stadium only saw an average of 26,575 fans for the Rams home games; that’s pretty lackluster support for a team that ultimately won 10 games and earned a bowl invite. This season, Colorado State is fairing slightly better at the box office, drawing an average of 28,536 fans to their two home games, thanks mostly to a sellout crowd (32,500) for the team’s matchup with Minnesota.

It can be argued, however, that the turnstiles moved that week because Gophers fans showed up in droves; maroon and gold was seen everywhere in and around Fort Collins. That makes this Saturday a much truer test.

Sure, the Rams are struggling, sitting below .500 after last week’s loss at Utah State. But Boise State is a marquee program; they’re a top-25 team and a player on the national scene. The 5:00 kickoff should draw a full house.

If it doesn’t, the lack of attendance will speak volumes about the state of the program. Two years ago, CSU only drew 21,133 when the Broncos came to town; that’s a paltry number for a big-time matchup. They need to blow past that figure this time around.