Gildan New Mexico Bowl 2017 Preview: Colorado State vs. Marshall

(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /

The 2017 Gildan New Mexico Bowl pits Colorado State and Marshall against each other. Here’s everything you need to know for the matchup.

Colorado State and Marshall close out their seasons in the 2017 Gildan New Mexico Bowl. Both teams struggled down the stretch, but will be looking to cap 2017 with a win.

Colorado State’s season at one point had high hopes for competing in the Mountain West Championship game. Those aspirations all but came to a halt with losses to Wyoming and Boise State.

Down the stretch, the Rams’ defense was faltering and giving away more than the CSU offense could keep up with in big games. The Rams did close out 2017 with a win over San Jose State so they will have momentum headed into the bowl game. The Rams are lead by a trio of offensive talent in quarterback Nick Stevens, running back Dalyn Dawkins and Biletnikoff Award finalist Michael Gallup.

Marshall, much like Colorado State, began their season high but struggled down the stretch. The Thundering Herd lost four of their last five games. Marshall is different from CSU however, in that its defense is the strength of its team.

The Thundering Herd are led by junior linebacker Chase Hancock. He led the Herd with 120 tackles on the season. The defense as a whole ranks as the 25th-best in yards allowed in the country. The offense, on the other hand, has struggled throughout 2017, but against a porous Colorado State defense, the opportunity could be ripe for Marshall to score points aplenty.

Here is all of the information you need to watch the 2017 Gildan New Mexico Bowl:

Date: Saturday, Dec. 16
Time: 4:30 p.m. ET
Location: Albuquerque, N.M.
Venue: Dreamstyle Stadium
Live Stream: WatchESPN 

Keys to Victory

The key to victory for Colorado State is simple; score early and score often. The Rams have all of the offensive weapons they need, and many will be making their final appearance in the Ram uniform, including the talented trio of Stevens, Gallup and Dawkins. It would only be appropriate for these players to go out on top after such a good season individually for each of them. It won’t exactly be easy against such a skilled Marshall defense, but the Rams know they most likely won’t be able to count on their own defense. Offense will win the game for Colorado State.

Marshall and Colorado State are true opposites in what both are good at and bad at. Which is why the key to victory for Marshall is to play sound defense. They aren’t going to completely shut down the Rams’ offense, there’s just too many playmakers, but if they win more battles than they lose, then the Herd can definitely win this game. Hancock will be counted on to disrupt Stevens in the passing game and keep the Rams running game from breaking off big runs.

The Thundering Herd offense should have a shot at scoring plenty of points in this game. I just don’t trust the Rams defense. Quarterback Chase Litton and running back Tyler King will provide the offensive sparks for Marshall.


I honestly think this will be one of the better early bowl games that people aren’t paying as much attention, too, but they should. Colorado State offensive coordinator Will Friend is now at Tennessee but Mike Bobo’s offense should be just fine. I expect Nick Stevens and Michael Gallup to have huge days for the Rams. Gallup is one of the best receivers in the country and should be a high draft pick in 2018.

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The Rams’ defense might inadvertently try to give this game away, but at the end of the day the Rams have too much offensive firepower — and if the game did come down to offense, I trust the Colorado State offense much more than Marshall. Rams will win and move to 3-0 all time in the New Mexico Bowl.

Final Score: Colorado State 45, Marshall 38