In the Border War, the longest running rivalry west of the Mississippi, Colorado State and Wyoming are two teams that hate one another.

In fact, the two schools can’t even agree on when the rivalry started because the first-ever game, in 1899, resulted in a controversial ending.

Now in the modern era, Wyoming has won six of the last seven contests between the two schools, and the Rams are hungry to bring the Bronze Boot back home to Fort Collins.

Colorado State enters tonight’s game 3-5, reeling after back-to-back losses to UNLV and Air Force, and they’re the 6-point underdog against the Cowboys. Meanwhile, Wyoming’s 5-3 record is better than CSU’s, but they’ve also lost their last two games (Air Force, Boise State).

And the stats show the Rams will have a real shot at upsetting the home Cowboys tonight in Laramie.

CSU’s passing attack should shine in Border War

What Colorado State needs tonight is another shining game by Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi and the passing game. The last two weeks, BF-N has taken great care of the ball when throwing it, with zero interceptions. However, after playing a solid first half, the Rams passing game went cold in the snow against Air Force last week.

That was party due to superstar receiver Tory Horton getting injured.

While CSU has not updated Horton’s status this week, my guess is he will play in the Border War. If he does, that’s a major boost for Fowler-Nicolosi as well as other receivers like Dallin Holker, Justus Ross-Simmons, Louis Brown, and Dylan Goffney.

Horton is a legitimate game-changer, whether he’s catching pass after pass on crossing routes or just drawing the attention of the defense away from his teammates.

Even if he can’t go, CSU still has plenty of playmakers in the passing game.

And Wyoming gives up 209.4 passing yards per game, along with 14 touchdowns. If Colorado State is going to win, they’ll need to use their strength and exploit the Cowboys with some chunk plays, too.

Rams getting Cowboys when Wyoming’s offense is down

Last week, the Cowboys lost 32-7 to the same Boise State team the Rams came back and beat a few weeks ago.

In the loss, Wyoming was held to four 3-and-outs, threw an interception, and was forced to punt the ball nine times. In fact, they went 1-11 on third downs against Boise State.

The Broncos rush defense basically shut down the Cowboys run game, allowing a mere 27 yards in the game. That, coupled with the fact that Boise State was ahead all game long, forced Wyoming into a pass-heavy attack.

Boise State seemed to lay out a game plan for the Rams last week, and if Colorado State can follow it, they could steal this one today.

The Cowboys rely on the run game, and Colorado State needs to be stout there to have a shot. They did a great job slowing down the rushing attacks of UNLV (138 yards) and Air Force in the first half last week (82) but then got ground into oblivion on the ground in the second half by the Falcons.

Which Rams run defense shows up today will help determine the outcome.

Colorado State and Wyoming face off in the 115th Border War tonight with a 6 p.m. MT kickoff. The game can be seen on CBS Sports Network. ESPN’s Analytics give the Rams only a 23.4% chance of winning.

It’s supposed to be in the upper 40s at kickoff, but wind could be a factor, as it usually is in Laramie. If it’s very windy, that will hamper the Rams passing game.