DENVER — The Colorado State Rams and their new coaching staff open their season Saturday with a chance to play spoilers, as they face the No. 8 Michigan Wolverines at 10 a.m. to kick off a full day of college football on Denver7.
The Rams hired Jay Norvell this offseason, bringing him over from conference foe Nevada, where he went 8-4 last season and 33-26 in five seasons there. Norvell is the fourth CSU head coach over the last nine seasons.
Redshirt freshman Clay Millen, who is expected to start for the Rams, is expected to be the first freshman starting quarterback for CSU since 2010. The Rams bring a starting offensive line with nearly 100 games under its belt, though they have never played together as a full unit, and only six starters on both offense and defense are returning.
It’s Colorado State’s first ever visit to Ann Arbor, and a win would be monumental for CSU. They come into the game as 30.5-point underdogs to the Wolverines, who are ranked No. 8 in the AP Poll and No. 6 in the AFCA Coaches Poll.
The Rams are 2-17 since 1993 against top-10 opponents and have not beaten a ranked team since defeating No. 6/7 Colorado in 2002. They are 13-36 since 1993 against ranked opponents.
The Rams and Wolverines have only ever played once before, when Michigan beat CSU 24-14 in the 1994 Holiday Bowl in San Diego.
Michigan finished last season ranked No. 3 in both polls – the highest end-of-season ranking since 1999. They have not lost a non-conference game under Jim Harbaugh.
Denver7 News at 9 a.m. precedes ABC’s coverage of the game. Georgia plays Oregon on Denver7 starting at 1:30 p.m., followed by Notre Dame and Ohio State starting at 5:30 p.m. Denver7 postgame coverage will start after the Fighting Irish-Buckeyes game, with Denver7 News at 10 to follow on Saturday night.
Denver7 on Local3 will also host two other CSU football games this season – on Saturday, Sept. 10 when Middle Tennessee plays in Fort Collins and on Sept. 24 when Sacramento State comes to CSU.