Colorado Buffaloes vs Colorado St Rams
Saturday, September 1, 2012, 4:00 pm Eastern, TV: FX
Sports Authority Field at Mile High – Denver, Colorado
Opening Line: Colorado -5
Current Line: Colorado -6 1/2
Opening Total: 50
Current Total: 47
Opening Money Line: Colorado -230 / Colorado St +190
Current Money Line: Colorado -250 / Colorado St +210
Colorado and Colorado St meet in their annual Rocky Mountain Showdown to open the season in Denver. This is the 84th meeting between the rivals, and Colorado leads the series 61-20-2. The Buffaloes have won 4 of the last 5 in the series including 28-14 last year.
That win against CSU was one of only three for Colorado under then first year coach Jon Embree. The Buffaloes also beat Arizona and Utah. The win against new conference rival Utah kept the Utes out of the Pac 12 Championship game and snapped a 23 game road losing streak for Colorado. The Buffaloes finished 3-10. Aside from narrow losses to Cal and Washington St, every other loss was by 17 or more points, including a 45-2 thrashing by Oregon. Colorado was 4-9 ATS last year and the total was 6-7 last year.
Last season, Colorado St started off 3-1 under head coach Steve Fairchild. Aside from the loss to Colorado, the Rams had wins over New Mexico, Northern Colorado, and Utah St in the first 4 games. Then CSU lost their last 8 games to finish 3-9. Four of those losses were by 7 points or less. The 35-34 overtime win over bowl eligible Utah St was probably the highlight of the season. Fairchild was fired at the end of the season after 3 straight 3-9 seasons. Colorado St hired Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain as the new head coach.The Rams were 4-8 ATS and the total was 6-6 last year.
Colorado St is a young team with only 14 seniors on the roster. Sophomore Garrett Grayson will be the quarterback after he took over the job late last season. He threw for 542 yards with 2 touchdowns and rushed for 193 yards and a score in three games as a freshman. Running back Chris Nwoke had 200 carries, 1,130 yards and 9 touchdowns. He is probable with an ankle injury for the Colorado game.
Colorado St was #85 in total defense and #91 in scoring defense last season allowing 413 yards and 31 points a game. The defense will be led by DE/LB Shaquil Barrett, MLB James Skelton, and CB Momo Thomas.
Colorado only has 8 seniors on their roster. They will be led by quarterback Jordan Webb, a transfer from Kansas. Tony Jones will be the running back Colorado ranked in the bottom 15 nationally in rushing yards, scoring and points allowed.
Colorado’s defense will be led by DT Will Pericak, OLB Jon Major, and FS Ray Polk. They look to improve on a unit that was among the worst in the Pac 12 if not the country.
The Rams are 4-10 ATS overall, 2-6 against Pac 12 teams, 3-9 on grass, 2-7 in non-conference and in September games, and 1-4 in neutral site games. The Buffaloes are 5-1 ATS versus Mountain West teams, 3-7-1 in non-conference games, 2-8 overall, and 1-6 on grass. The last 4 games have gone under the total in this series, and the favorite has covered 4 of the last 5.
These two teams are very similar. They both struggled on both sides of the ball last year, as you would imagine for two teams that combined for 6 wins. The line moved from Colorado -5 to -6.5. This seems like a field goal game either way. I give the Rams a good shot to pull off the upset.
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