Colorado State Rams vs. Colorado Buffaloes
Date and Time: Friday, September 1, 2017, 8 p.m. ET
Location: Sports Authority Field, Denver, CO
Opening College Football Odds: Colorado -7, O/U 66.5
Colorado State vs. Colorado TV Coverage: Pac-12 Network
The Rams are going to have a big of a leg up in this one knowing that they played their first game of the season already. They crunched Oregon State 58-27, though it should be noted that the game was actually much closer than that.
CSU needed into the third quarter to really start to pull away from the Beavers, and their last few touchdowns came in the last 10 minutes of the game when things were already decided.
Yet it was still a great first game of the season for the Nick Stevens/Michael Gallup tandem. Stevens threw for 334 yards and three touchdowns in the opener, while Gallup had 11 catches for 134 yards. These two are going to be a nuisance all season long to the opposition, and Colorado won't be an exception to that rule.
The Buffaloes finally had a fantastic season last year under Mike MacIntyre. MacIntyre really needed to take some strides in the right direction to save his job, and winning the Pac-12 South did just the trick.
But now, Colorado has just two starters remaining on defense and needs a new quarterback to take over for one of the best in school history, Sefo Liufau.
Steven Montez is the new starting quarterback in Boulder. He's just a sophomore, but as a freshman, he picked up a lot of big experience in Pac-12 games when Liufau was on the mend. Montez went 2-1 in those games, and he's proven to have a big arm that can make all the throws.
The best news for the Buffs? They've got nine starters back on their offense from last year. Phillip Lindsay is back and will have a legitimate chance to win the Pac-12 rushing title this year. He's coming off of a season in which he had 1,252 yards and 16 trips to the end zone, and if he can match that this year, it will be a huge help for a young, budding quarterback.
Colorado State's defense has a big play problem right now. The Beavers picked up touchdowns of 39, 75 and 25 yards in the "Week 0" of the season, and those touchdowns really threatened the Rams quite a bit.
But take those three plays away from the equation, and Oregon State only averaged 4.34 yards per play.
The CSU defense promises to be a little bit better this year than it was a season ago. If Mike Bobo can get rid of the big plays on the other side of the field, the Rams are going to be a very dangerous team in this game.
Colorado State vs. Colorado Free Picks
The Rams are definitely live underdogs in this game. It's been three years since they've beaten the Buffaloes, including last year's 44-7 romp here in Denver. Don't think that Colorado State hasn't mulled that loss for quite some time now.
That extra game is going to be a huge advantage. We have plenty of confidence in MacIntyre and in his choice to use Montez under center to kick off the season. Yet we still think the Rams are a lot better now than they have been over the course of the last few seasons, and we fancy them to challenge in the MWC this season. We wouldn't be shocked if this one ended in an upset, though our bets at our online sportsbook are going to be with the points in what should be a close game.
College Football ATS Pick: Colorado State +6 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: Colorado State 31, Colorado 29