Colorado at Nebraska
Time: 2:30 PM CT
Spread: NEB -3.5
Colorado won Week 1 over Colorado State 45-13 to start its season 1-0 and now it travels to face Big Ten member Nebraska in Week 2. Colorado is 3.5-point underdogs to Nebraska, and the over/under is set at 64.5 points according to NCAA football oddsmakers at bookmaker 5dimes.
Colorado mostly relied on its rush in Week 1. The Buffaloes rushed for 258 yards on 40 attempts, led by Travon McMillan’s 103 yards on 10 carries (and a touchdown). QB Steven Montez had a great outing throwing 22 of 25 (88 percent) for 335 yards with four TDs and one INT. His Quarterback rating was 98.5 for the week.
Montez is also a rush threat, but he did not carry the ball in Week 1. The best thing Montez has going for him, clearly, is a talented stable of wide receivers to air it out to. The Bufflaloes’ QB threw for nearly 3,000 yards last season with one of the best receiving corps in the Pac-12, but it is mostly new talent talking the starting positions this season with its best talent being Virginia Tech transfer Tony Brown.
Jay MacIntyre is strong in returns and he will be a good option as well. Brown caught just one pass for a loss of six yards in Week 1, and the team was led by Laviska Shenault Jr who caught 211 yards on 11 receptions including an 89-yard catch and a TD. MacIntyre caught just one pass for 10 yards but looks to be a bigger factor moving forward, perhaps even this week.
The biggest questions remain on the OL for Colorado, where it returns just two full-time starters and the unit gave up some 39 sacks last season. That was the eighth-worst mark among FBS teams, and it really limited what an otherwise talented offensive group was able to accomplish. Colorado did finish 5-7, but its 2-7 record in Pac-12 play was a major black spot on a pretty mediocre season, all things considered.
Nebraska’s week 1 matchup against Akron was canceled, so it begins its season here in Week 2. The Cornhuskers posted a 4-8 record and a 3-6 mark in the Big Ten. It was, needless to say, a disappointing season that was surprisingly bad after Scott Frost took over. Frost led UCF to one of the best offenses in the nation, but it lingered at Nebraska, hardly as effective in cold weather against tough, Big Ten offenses.
Where it gets a lot worse, is that Nebraska brings nothing but inexperience to the QB position, with none of its guys having taken any snaps really. The defensive schemes are taking time to develop, and the entire program seems mostly-well, in transition. The roster, overall, has some talent and a little experience, but Nebraska is pinning its hopes on Tristan Gebbla at QB, and it has just four returning starters on its entire offense, with Tanner Farmer at right guard and Stanley Morgan, at WR, along with left tackle Brendan James and left guard Jared Foster.
NU ran for just 107.5 yards per game last season and it was their worst rushing the football since 2005. Frost ideally wants to at least double that figure and JUCO transfer Greg Bell should help a good bit with that. Frost has the offensive ingenuity to get blood from an orange, but no one is sure if he can crack the orange in the frosty Big Ten after having so much success with that in Central Florida.