Colorado State at Colorado
|Date & Time||Friday August 30, 2019, 10:00 PM (EDT)|
Broncos Stadium at Mile High
Colorado Buffaloes -13 — O/U: 58.5
The Colorado Buffaloes and the Colorado State Rams meet in another installment of the Rocky Mountain Showdown from Broncos Stadium at Mile High in week 1 non-conference college football action on Friday night.
The Colorado Buffaloes will look to improve on a frustrating 2018 season that saw Colorado finish with a 5-7 overall record after starting the year 5-0 before dropping their final seven games, including a 2-7 mark in Pac-12 conference play to finish dead last in the Pac-12 South division. Steven Montez will be back under center for the Buffs after throwing for 2,849 yards, 19 touchdowns and 9 picks on 64.7% passing last season. Jaren Mangham will probably be the starting running back for Colorado with Travon MacMillan gone from the program while Laviska Shenault will hope to stay healthy after logging 86 grabs for 1,011 yards and 6 touchdowns as well as 5 rushing touchdowns in 9 games last season. KD Nixon and Tony Brown will also be there to compliment what Shenault brings to the table. Defensively, Mustafa Johnson will be tasked with initiating the Colorado pass rush while Davion Taylor and Nate Landman will oversee things in the Colorado linebacking corps. As a team, Colorado averaged 392.6 yards of total offense and 27.1 points per game while allowing 380.6 yards and 27.2 points per game last season.
The Colorado State Rams will look to rebound after another frustrating season, finishing the 2018 season with a 3-9 overall record, including a 2-6 mark in Mountain West conference play, finishing 5th out of 6 in the Mountain West Mountain division. Collin Hill is expected to be the starting pivot in week 1 if he can stay healthy after throwing for 1,387 yards, 7 touchdowns and 7 interceptions last season, but Nebraska transfer Patrick O’Brien will be there in case Hill can’t go or slips up. Marcus McElroy and Marvin Kinsey provide the 1-2 punch in Colorado State’s backfield after combining for 475 yards last season. Warren Jackson will be expected to be the main man in the Rams’ receiving corps while Nate Craig-Myers will be brought in as a transfer from Auburn to be the accompaniment to help with pass-catching duties for Colorado State. Defensively, the Rams lose 4 of their top 6 tacklers, but the Rams bring back Ellison Hubbard and Emanuel Jones while Jamal Hicks will be expected to be the big play stopper at safety in the Rams’ secondary. As a team, Colorado State averaged 410.8 yards of total offense and 22.8 points per game while allowing 452.2 yards and 36.8 points per game last season.
Colorado is 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games overall and 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 games against the Mountain West while the under is 10-1 in their last 11 neutral site games. Colorado State is 0-7-1 ATS in their last 8 neutral site games and 5-14 ATS in their last 19 games overall while the under is 4-0 in their last 4 non-conference games. The favorite is 3-0-1 ATS in the last 4 meetings between these two teams and Colorado State is 0-3-1 ATS in the last 4 meetings between these two teams.
I really wanted to take the points as I think Colorado State could be competitive and driven to snap the four game losing streak to their in-state rival. However, there’s simply too many question marks at QB and RB for me with Colorado State, and there’s a lot of loss on a Rams defense that wasn’t very good to begin with last season. Colorado hasn’t been dominant by any means, but they bring back some top-tier talent with the likes of Montez and Shenault offensively and the Rams just haven’t had an answer for Colorado with the Buffaloes winning the last three meetings by an average of 27.6 points per game. I just think the Buffaloes will be too much once again, so I’ll lay the points with the Buffaloes for another victory in this matchup.