Colorado State Rams vs Colorado Buffaloes
Friday, September 1, 2017, 8:00 pm Eastern, TV: Pac 12 Network
Sports Authority Field – Denver, Colorado
Opening Line: Colorado -7
Current Line: Colorado -4
Opening Total: 66 1/2
Current Total: 66 1/2
Opening Money Line: Colorado -235 / CSU +195
Current Money Line: Colorado -170 / CSU +150
The Colorado Buffaloes and Colorado State Rams renew their rivalry Friday night in Denver in the annual Rocky Mountain Showdown. Colorado leads the series 64-22-2 including 10-6 in Denver. The Buffaloes have won three of the last four games in the series including 44-7 last year. The series will move from Denver to the campus sites soon.
Colorado State is coached by Mike Bobo. The Rams opened both the new season and a new stadium with a 58-27 win over Oregon State last Saturday. CSU easily covered the three point spread and almost went over the 61 point totla by themselves.
Colorado is coached by Mike MacIntyre. The Buffaloes were relevant for the first time last year since joining the Pac 12. The Buffaloes went 10-4 and 8-1 in the Pac 12. The Buffaloes won the Pac 12 South Division but the season ended on a sour note with blowout losses to Washington in the Pac 12 Championship game and Oklahoma State in the Alamo Bowl. Colorado went 10-4 ATS and the total was 5-9 last year.
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Last week, Oregon State jumped out to a 10-7 lead in the first quarter. The teams traded the lead the second quarter. Colorado State led 14-10, but Oregon State took the lead 13 seconds later 17-10 on a 75 yard touchdown run. Colorado State would score 10 straight points to take a 24-17 lead. The Beavers pulled to within 24-20 with a field goal on the last play of the first half. It was all Rams in the second half. Colorado State scored 13 straight points to take a 37-20 lead early in the fourth. Oregon State would pull to within 37-27 but wouldn’t score again. Colorado State score 21 straight points to close the game and win 58-27.
Colorado State had 525 total yards including 334 passing and 191 rushing yards. Oregon State had 456 total yards including 304 passing yards and 152 rushing yards. The Beavers had 5 turnovers to 2 for the Rams. OSU had 23 first downs to 31 for CSU. The Beavers were 10/16 on third down conversions. The Rams were 8/14 on third downs and converted their only fourth down attempt. Colorado State had 8 penalties for 40 yards and Oregon State had 3 for 21 yards. The Rams held the ball for just under 36 minutes.
Colorado State quarterback Nick Stevens completed 26/39 passes for 334 yards with 3 touchdowns and an interception.
Running back Dalyn Dawkins had 15 carries for 67 yards and a touchdown, plus an 18 yard touchdown catch. Rashaad Boddie had 8 carries for 56 yards. Marvin Kinsey, Jr. and Izzy Matthews each had a rushing touchdown.
Receiver Michael Gallup had 11 catches for 134 yards. Olabisi Johnson had 5 catches for 66 yards. Dietrich Clark and Cameron Butler each had a touchdown catch.
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Colorado outscored teams 33-21 this season. The Buffaloes averaged 446 yards per game on offense including 254 passing and 192 rushing yards. On defense, Colorado allowed 328 yards per game including 183 passing and 146 rushing yards per game. The Buffaloes were +7 in turnovers with 26 takeaways. The Buffaloes averaged 45 penalty yards per game and opponents averaged 49 per game. Colorado was 105/236 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents were 73/225. The Buffaloes forced 36 sacks and allowed 28 last season. Colorado was 51/57 scoring in the red zone with 37 touchdowns, and opponents were 31/41 with 21 touchdowns.
Four year starting quarterback Sefo Liufau has graduated. He threw for 2,366 yards with 11 touchdowns and 6 interceptions, and rushed for 494 yards and 8 touchdowns. Steven Montez started three games last year in place of an injured Liufau. Montez will be the full time starter in 2017. He threw for 1,078 yards with 9 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. He is more of a traditional pocket passer than the dual threat Liufau.
Running back Phillip Lindsay is back. He had 244 carries for 1,252 yards with 16 touchdowns, and 53 catches for 493 yards and a touchdown. Michael Adkins II, Kyle Evans and Beau Bisharat will also get some carries. Evans is probable with a hip injury.
All four top receivers are back for the Buffaloes. Shay Fields had 56 catches for 883 yards and 9 touchdowns. Devin Ross had 69 catches for 787 yards with 5 touchdowns. Bryce Bobo had 44 catches for 548 yards and 2 touchdowns. Coach’s son Jay MacIntyre had 32 catches for 412 yards and a touchdown. Juwann Winfree is back from a torn ACL and has star potential.
Colorado has nine starters back on offense, but they only have two starters back on defense. Colorado State has already played a game this season, but is also playing on a day short of full rest. I think this game will be a lot close than last year, but I still like the Buffaloes to win.