Colorado Buffaloes (2-10) at Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (4-9)
|Date & Time||Friday September 4, 2015, 1:00 AM (EDT)|
The Line: Hawaii Rainbow Warriors +8.0 -- Over/Under: 56.5
Colorado Buffalos vs. Hawaii Rainbow
The Colorado Buffalos will make the long to trip to Aloha Stadium to take on the Hawaii Rainbow in both teams season opener.
The Colorado Buffalos will continue to look to make steps in the right direction under third year coach Mike Macintyre after suffering through another long season going 2-10 on the season and 0-9 in Pac-12 play. The Buffalos have really fallen from grace after being a national powerhouse in the early 1990’s however, there is optimism in Boulder as this will really be the first season were coach Macintyre will have the majority of his recruits in the lineup. On the offensive side, leading the way for Colorado will be quarterback Sefo Liufau Jr. and WR Nelson Spruce. Liufau had an up and down year in which the high saw him throwing 7 TD’s against USC and the low seeing him throw for just 143 yds and 2 Int and getting replaced in the 2nd half by backup Jordan Gehrke. Liufau Jr. has an outstanding target in Spruce who has great hands and led the Buffalos with 106 receptions, 1198 yds and 12 TD’s in 2014. On the defensive side of the ball the Buffalos will be much more experienced and have a great LB in Addison Gillam. Colorado might have ended winless in conference play last year but they played tough towards the end of the season (OT losses to UCLA and Cal) and now as Macintyre has a more experienced team made of up his players, Colorado should be able to pick up a few more wins this year although they play in a very tough conference.
The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors ended their season with a 4-9 overall record and 3-5 conference record and will be hoping that Norm Chow can continue to make progress in his 4th year as coach of the Rainbow Warriors. Chow has struggled installing his pro-style offensive with Hawaii and will have to decide between USC transfer Mat Wittek or Ikaika Woolsely who started last year and threw for 2538 yds, 13 TD and 13 INT. Hawaii has a decent offensive line led by Ben Clarke but are really lacking any legitimate weapons at the RB and WR positions. The Hawaii defense took a hit in the offseason as they are only returning six defensive starters led by LB Simon Poti and S Trayvon Henderson. Hawaii allowed 418.2 yds in conference play last year which isn’t completely awful in the MW however, with many of the starters gone this number is expected to raise this season. Norm Chow has yet to bring Hawaii to a bowl game in his three years at Hawaii and with a tough schedule that features games at Ohio St, Wisconsin, and Boise State, it could be another long year for Hawaii football.
The Buffaloes are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games in September and 16-35 ATS in their last 51 road games. The Rainbow Warriors are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 vs. PAC-12 and 8-2 ATS in their last 10 non-conference games.
These are two teams that might look similar with their success over the past few years but are headed in completely other directions. Colorado looks to be one of the more improved teams this year and has decent weapons at the important positions. Hawaii basically has questions marks everywhere on their roster and as they lack playmakers, I don’t see them able to keep up with the Buffaloes at home in this one. I’m going to take the Buffaloes to cover this spread and maybe put something small on the over.