Colorado Buffaloes vs. UCLA Bruins
Date and Time: Saturday, September 30, 2017, 10:30 p.m. ET
Location: Rose Bowl Stadium, Pasadena, CA
Opening College Football Odds: UCLA -7
Colorado vs. UCLA TV Coverage: ESPN2
Josh Rosen keeps doing Josh Rosen things, yet the Bruins still aren’t getting anywhere for his troubles.
Rosen already has 1,763 passing yards in just four games, 230 more than anyone else in America. Should he keep up at this pace – and of course, he almost certainly won’t – Rosen would finish the year with over 5,500 passing yards before heading to the NFL, where he will almost certainly be a first-round pick and the future of a franchise.
Yet this UCLA team is 2-2 thanks to the fact that its defense is nothing short of a sieve. The Bruins are allowing 524.8 yards per game, including 307.5 rushing yards per game. The latter mark ranks No. 130 in the nation. We haven’t even gotten to the business part of this schedule yet when UCLA has to play at Washington, at Utah and at USC in a three-game stretch from October 28 through November 18.
Colorado was knocked off for the first time this year by Washington last week. The Buffaloes held their own for a half, but after their solid start, they were ultimately put down by a far superior team, just as they were in the Pac-12 Championship Game last year.
The Buffs have some talent, but they need to keep feeding the football to Phillip Lindsay if they’re going to win more games than not. Lindsay had a great first drive against Washington, but after that, he was stalled out and finished with 19 rushes for 68 yards and a score.
We really want to like Steven Montez. He’s got some tremendous tools as an athlete, and the way he sees the field suggests that he might be playing on Sundays one day in the future.
That said, Montez is still just a sophomore, and he’s having some problems in crucial spots. He threw a horrible pick six against Washington last week as a part of his three-interception game. Montez did go 21-of-27 for 171 yards, but the fact that three of his six incompletions went the other way is a real concern.
Montez isn’t going to have to be a hero in this game, but he is going to have to manage things and not make mistakes. Too many boo-boos, and Rosen is going to have this defense for supper that night. But if Montez can just keep his head appropriately and feed the ball to Lindsay as often as he has to on those read-options, he’ll be alright. The Bruins aren’t suddenly going to figure out how to stop the run with as weak as their front seven is overnight.
Colorado vs. UCLA Free Picks
Either the college football sportsbooks know something that we don’t know, or they haven’t been watching the same UCLA team we have all season long. The Bruins couldn’t stop Hawaii from running for 281 yards and 6.7 yards per carry, for crying out loud!
If this is the defense that is going to trot out there each and every week this season – and there’s no reason to think that anything is going to change – the Bruins will have one of the best quarterbacks in America on their side and won’t get to play in a bowl game.
Does this sound familiar, Notre Dame?
Colorado as an underdog is outright disrespect and blasphemy, and it should win this game with ease in the Rose Bowl so long as Montez doesn’t break down mentally like he did last week.
College Football ATS Pick: Colorado +7 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: Colorado 40, UCLA 28