Six more start times released for CSU football, including Thanksgiving at Air Force

Oct 28, 2017; Fort Collins, CO, USA; Colorado State Rams running back Izzy Matthews (24) steps through the tackle of Air Force Falcons defensive back Kyle Floyd (29) in the third quarter at Sonny Lubick Field at Colorado State Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Read this story at CSURams.com

The Mountain West Conference has announced additional kickoff times and television designations for the 2018 season, including six more assignments for the Colorado State football team. With today’s news, CSU now has television assignments for eight of its 12 games in 2018. Additionally, six of CSU’s eight MW games now have TV allocations.

CSU’s season will open at home against MW foe Hawaii on Saturday, Aug. 25, at 5:30 p.m. MT. The game will be televised nationally on CBS Sports Network.

The Rams will play four mid-week games in 2018, their most since also playing four in 2002. CSU will play Colorado in Denver on Friday, Aug. 31, at Boise State on Friday, Oct. 19, Wyoming at home on Friday, Oct. 26 and at Air Force on Thanksgiving day on Thursday, Nov. 22.

So far, CSU has six games slated to be nationally televised by CBS Sports Network and two that will be broadcast by ESPN’s family of networks, including a primetime matchup at Boise State on Friday, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m.

ANNOUNCED 2018 CSU FOOTBALL TV GAMES:

Saturday, Aug. 25 – vs. Hawaii, 5:30 p.m. MT, on CBS Sports Network

Friday, Aug. 31 – vs. Colorado, 7:30 p.m. MT, on CBS Sports Network

Saturday, Sept. 8 – vs. Arkansas, 5:30 p.m. MT, on CBS Sports Network

Saturday, Oct. 6 – at San Jose State, 7:30 p.m. MT, on CBS Sports Network

Friday, Oct. 19 – at Boise State, 7 p.m. MT, on ESPN2

Friday, Oct. 26 – vs. Wyoming, 8 p.m., on CBS Sports Network

Saturday, Nov. 10 – at Nevada, TBA, on ESPN Networks

Thursday, Nov. 22 – at Air Force, 1:30 p.m. MT on CBS Sports Network

TICKETS: New season ticket commitments for 2018 are now being accepted by contacting the Rams Sales Team at 800-491-RAMS (7267) or visiting www.CSURams.com/tickets.

Three-game mini-plan packages will go on sale June 25 and single-game tickets will go on sale July 25. Exclusive pre-sales for both will be offered for CSU faculty, staff alumni and donors. On-sale dates for Rocky Mountain Showdown tickets will be announced later this spring.

Student tickets for the first home game may begin to be claimed on Aug. 7, and will be made available to claim for subsequent games on the Monday following each home game. The student ticket claim process will again be offered through the special student ticket portal.

HOME GAME PROMOTIONS: Colorado State will again celebrate the pageantry and traditions of home football weekends in the spectacular setting of its picturesque Fort Collins campus in 2018, as the Rams play their second season in the on-campus stadium.

Attendance records were set in the stadium’s inaugural season of 2017, and fans are eager to return to commemorate traditions such as Homecoming and Family Weekend, scheduled for the Oct. 13 game vs. New Mexico.

Each home game will celebrate a particular theme in 2018:

Sept. 8 vs. Arkansas—Military Appreciation Day and Stripe the Stadium

Sept. 22 vs. Illinois State—Ag Day with 4H and Orange Out

Oct. 13 vs. New Mexico—Homecoming and Family Weekend

Oct. 26 vs. Wyoming—Tackle Cancer

Nov. 17—Utah State:  Take a Kid to the Game and Extra Yard for Teachers

A LOOK AT CSU’S 2018 FOOTBALL SCHEDULE:

Saturday, Aug. 25, 5:30 p.m. – Hawai’i – CBS Sports Network 
CSU is 15-9 all-time against Hawai’i, including a 51-21 victory on the island last season. This date will mark the earliest the Rams have ever started conference play, and the second time they’ve played a league foe in August (Nevada, Aug. 31, 1997).

Friday, Aug. 31, 7:30 p.m. – vs. Colorado (Denver) – CBS Sports Network
For the second season in a row and third time in the last four years, the Rocky Mountain Showdown will not be the Rams’ season-opening contest. Attendance for the annual rivalry game has increased each of the past five seasons, including the largest crowd since 2003 last fall.

Saturday, Sept. 8, 5:30 p.m. – Arkansas – CBS Sports Network 
CSU is 0-3 all-time against Arkansas, with the most recent meeting coming in 1990 in Fayetteville. The Razorbacks have never played the Rams in Fort Collins. CSU has hosted an SEC team only once before – a 1981 showdown against No. 19 Mississippi State.

Saturday, Sept. 15 – at Florida
This will be the first meeting between CSU and Florida. The Gators will be playing in their first season under head coach Dan Mullen.

Saturday, Sept. 22 – Illinois State
This will be the first meeting between CSU and Illinois State of the Missouri Valley Football Conference. The Redbirds have had success against FBS foes, including a 9-7 win over Big Ten foe Northwestern in 2016.

Saturday, Sept. 29 – [Bye]

Saturday, Oct. 6, 7:30 p.m. – at San Jose State – CBS Sports Network
CSU is 5-4 all-time against San José State, with the Rams winning 42-14 over the Spartans to close the 2017 regular season.

Saturday, Oct. 13 – New Mexico
The Rams have beaten New Mexico eight consecutive times and hold a 41-25 advantage in the series. CSU held off a late Lobos rally to win 27-24 in Albuquerque last year.

Friday, Oct. 19, 7 p.m. – at Boise State – ESPN2
CSU is seeking its first win against Boise State in its eighth matchup all-time against the Broncos.

Friday, Oct. 26, 8 p.m. – Wyoming – CBS Sports Network
The Rams have played Wyoming more than any other team, holding a 57-46-5 advantage in the series.

Saturday, Nov. 3 – [Bye]

Saturday, Nov. 10 – at Nevada – ESPN Networks
CSU is 11-3 all-time against Nevada, including a 44-42 win in Fort Collins last season.

Saturday, Nov. 17 – Utah State
The Rams defeated Utah State 27-14 last season in Logan to improve to 39-33-2 all-time in the series.

Thursday, Nov. 22, 1:30 p.m. – at Air Force – CBS Sports Network
Air Force has won the last two meetings between the programs and holds a 34-21-1 lead in the all-time series.

Saturday, Dec. 1 – MW Championship Game

***

Several standouts return from an offense that ranked 11th in the FBS, including running back Izzy Matthews, who is tied for fifth in program history in career rush TDs (26). Wide receiver Olabisi Johnson finished last year with 41 catches for 595 yards, including a team-high six receptions for 119 yards in the New Mexico Bowl against Marshall. It was his second consecutive strong bowl game, following his school-record 265 receiving yards in the 2016 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Sophomore Collin Hill returns at quarterback after redshirting in 2017. He started four games as a true freshman in 2016 and performed well before suffering a season-ending knee injury. Hill completed 58 percent of his passes (75-129) for 1,096 yards and eight touchdowns, with just two interceptions, prior to his injury.

The defense will be spearheaded by the return of the team’s two top tacklers from 2017, linebacker Josh Watson and safety Jordan Fogal. Watson led the team with 109 tackles and was an honorable mention All-Mountain West selection. Fogal, who was playing in his first season at CSU after transferring from Utah, ranked second on the team with 71 tackles. Other significant contributors returning to the Rams defense will include linebacker Max McDonald (fourth in tackles), cornerback Anthony Hawkins (team-leading three interceptions) and linebacker Emmanuel Jones (returning leader in tackles for loss).

The returning defensive talent will be led by new coordinator John Jancek, who brings 10 years of experience as a defensive coordinator at the FBS level, most recently a three-year stint at Tennessee. Four other new assistant coaches join Jancek on that side of the ball, including special teams coordinator and linebackers coach Chase Gibson. Dave Johnson was also added to the staff to be the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach. The six new full-time assistant coaches boast over 100 years of combined experience on Division I coaching staffs.

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