Protect the quarterback and let the man dissect the defense.

Tomorrow, Colorado State (1-2) faces Florida (1-1) in “The Swamp” and if the Rams’ offensive line plays at a high level, it should allow K.J. Carta-Samuels to excel like he has all season long.

To wit, Carta-Samuels’ 1,102 passing yards this year are currently second-most in the nation. And when the new o-line, flush with fresh faces, blocks well, the Rams QB uses his smarts to find weak points in the opposing defense.

According to Pro Football Focus, Carta-Samuels’ passer rating is nearly 50 points higher when he has a clean pocket compared to when he’s pressured:

Before the season, the graduate transfer QB told Mile High Sports he knew the offense a “nine out of 10,” and that’s showing every week. He not only knows Mike Bobo’s offense well, he also understands when to check down and take what the defense gives him.

“I’ve put in the time, so to have anything else be the product, I would just be shell-shocked,” he said after he helped lead the Rams to a massive, 34-27 comeback victory over Arkansas last week.

“I feel so blessed to have it paying off and feel the rewards from it,” he continued.

Carta-Samuels has struggled in first halves of games only to come back and dominate in second halves. Last week against Arkansas, he went 22-27 in the second half, connecting numerous times with phenom Preston Williams and others, like Cam Butler.

“That’s not always the case,” Carta-Samuels said of hard work paying off. “Especially in the first half (laughs). But it comes full-circle and you ride that roller coaster back up and you start playing well again.”

This year, five of his eight TDs have come in the second half for a Rams ya man which has started slowly every week. Starting fast against Florida would only improve CSU’s chances of an upset.

Colorado State and Florida kick off at 2 p.m. MST on the SEC Network on Saturday.