Maddie's MVPreview takes a look at how the Colorado Eagles match up in their preseason opener and what the Rams need to change in their Homecoming game against the defending Mountain West champs. 

Going into the weekend, sports are truly feeling like they're entering "full swing" mode. Here's what to look out for and what I think will make the difference for the Eagles and the Rams in their respective matchups this weekend.

Colorado Eagles Preseason Matchup

With the long-awaited return of a full capacity Budweiser Events Center, the Colorado Eagles are skating into the season with their preseason matchup against the San Jose Barracuda. Which, coincidentally, will also be their first regular-season home opener opponent.

The last time the Eagles and the Barracuda faced off was in the division playoffs for the 2020-21 season. The Eagles ended up losing to the Barracuda 5-1, and San Jose ended up ending their season in the semifinals of the Pacific Division playoffs.

The Eagles' defensive line will be their game-changer as they signed and resigned tons of talent and depth in that position. From the look of the team through training camp, they will be a force to be reckoned with.

The Eagles and Barracuda will be facing off Saturday, Oct. 9 at 6:05 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 9 at 2:05 p.m.

Rams Welcome MW Defending Champs San Jose State for Homecoming Weekend

San Jose shocked the Mountain West Conference last season when they beat out Boise State for the conference title. Colorado State has also done their fair bit of shocking this season, but not in quite the same way.

While the Rams have had a mix of tough and reasonable nonconference matchups, their game against San Jose State for Homecoming Weekend will confirm a lot about the team's future depending on the outcome.

After leading Iowa at halftime in their last non-conference game two weekends ago, and ultimately losing Hawkeyes, fans have almost reached their limit.

If the Rams are going to reassure fans and keep their optimistic presence in Canvas Stadium, this weekend is the time to do it. If the Rams fall to San Jose State and depending on how bad that fall is, it feels like it will be the nail in the coffin for CSU fans to write off the team for the season.

I believe the biggest difference for the Rams is going to come from their offensive line.

The defense, albeit just shy of being as strong as we saw last season, has still been a huge factor in keeping the Rams in games. However, it's just not getting done on the offensive side.

It's not difficult to pinpoint that the frustration is coming from the lack of a passing game for Colorado State. While there is a responsibility on the quarterback, and Todd Centeio is filling that role as a leader well, I can't help but look at the line in front of him.

If Centeio's offensive line can give him just a couple extra seconds in the pocket, it's going to make a world of a difference for productivity for Colorado State. Especially now that teams are really amping up the coverage on CSU Tight End Trey McBride.

The Rams kick off against the Spartans at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 9 following a weekend of Homecoming activities and celebration.

CSU Rams Fans Through the Years