Colorado State Rams (0-0) at Colorado Buffaloes (0-0)
|Date & Time||Friday September 2, 2016, 8:05 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Colorado Buffaloes -10 -- Over/Under: 55.5
The Colorado State Rams will play the Colorado Buffaloes in Denver to open the season.
The Colorado Buffaloes were 4-9 last season and finished the season by losing 8 of their last 9 games. Colorado averaged 24.6 points per game with 156.2 rushing yards and 240.6 passing yards per game in 2015. Sefo Liufau is expected to be the starting quarterback after throwing for 2,418 yards and 9 touchdowns last year. Phillip Lindsay returns after being the leading rusher last for Colorado with 653 yards and 6 touchdowns. Colorado is young and inexperienced at the wide receiver position, but do return their second leading receiver from last year, Shay Fields. The offensive line was a weakness last season, but Colorado is returning three starters on the line. The Colorado defense gave up 27.5 points per game with 198.7 rushing yards and 218.2 passing yards per game. Rick Gamboa led Colorado with 96 tackles last season and is returning at linebacker. Tedric Thompson will lead the Colorado secondary after totaling 80 tackles and 3 interceptions in 2015. Colorado’s defense will be experienced and should have a much better season than they had last year.
The Colorado State Rams were 7-6 last season, but lost to Nevada in their bowl game by a score of 28-23. Colorado State averaged 29.6 points per game with 197.8 rushing yards and 228.1 passing yards per game in 2015. Nick Stevens returns as the Colorado State quarterback after throwing for 2,679 yards and 21 touchdowns last season. Colorado State returns two of their top 3 rushers from last season, Dalyn Dawkins and Izzy Matthews, who combined for 1,400 yards and 7 touchdowns. Colorado State lost their top receiver from last season, Rashard Higgins, and will rely on a group of inexperienced receivers to replace him. Colorado State does return four starters on the offensive line. The Colorado State defense allowed 27.2 points per game with 212.9 rushing yards and 177.6 passing yards per game last season. Kevin Davis returns as the leading tackler from last season, recording 101 tackles from the linebacker position. Deonte Clyburn also returns at linebacker after posting 74 tackles in 2015. The defensive line and secondary have serious question marks that will either make or break the Rams season.
Colorado State is 11-2-1 ATS in their last 14 non-conference games. Colorado State is 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 September games. The under is 4-0 in Colorado State’s last 4 neutral site games. Colorado is 2-5-1 ATS in their last games on grass. The under is 4-0 in Colorado’s last 4 games against the Mountain West. The under is 7-1 in these two teams last 8 meetings.
Both of these teams come into this game with question marks on both sides of the ball, but I like the way that Colorado is looking going into this season. I think the Colorado defense will be much improved and their offense should be better than last season. Colorado State should be solid on offense, but their defense is a concern. I like Colorado to win the game, but I am taking Colorado State to keep it close.