UCLA at Colorado
Time: 8 PM CT, Friday Sept 28
Spread: COL -10.5
Odds c/o 5dimes
Colorado is 3-0 after defeating New Hampshire 45-14 last week. The Buffaloes will host UCLA Friday night at 8 PM (CT) as 10.5-point favorites according to college football oddsmakers at 5dimes.
The over/under is set at 60.5 points, reflective of Colorado’s strong offense (41 points per game) but balancing the effects of its stringent defense (No. 28 in the nation).
Colorado really has only faced one big challenge through its first three games, a 33-28 win it managed against the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Steven Montez launched a 40-yard TD pass to Lavish Shenault Jr with just over a minute in the game as the Buffaloes rallied from a one-point deficit (entering the fourth quarter) to emerge as victors over the Huskers. Montez had 351 passing yards in the game on 33 of 50 passing with three TDs and no interceptions. He also rushed 11 times, but he managed a collective negative-7 yards on those attempts.
Colorado got little to nothing going on the ground in that win, managing just 44 yards on 35 attempts (a pathetic 1.3 yards-per-attempt). Leading back Travon McMillan was thwarted and held to just 25 yards on his eight carries. It was deviant from what Colorado has done in its other two wins, as the Buffaloes are not a poor rushing team. It ranks No. 44 in the country with 204.3 yards per game, while its pass game is good for No. 27 and 289.7 yards per game.
McMillan is ordinarily a bit of a beast. He is averaging 8.8 yards-per-carry on the season on his 33 attempts, for 290 total yards and three touchdowns. He has also had a 75-yard TD rush to his credit. Beau Bisharat is also rock solid as the No. 2 back, with 144 yards on 20 attempts (7.2 yards-per-carry). Outside of that duo, however, no one averages more than four yards per attempt, and Montez is particularly bad at just 1.5 yards-per-attempt. The Buffaloes do have a fairly diverse and varied offensive attack, though, and it should be able to run up some points against the UCLA Bruins this week, given UCLA’s defensive struggles (it allows 37.7 points per game, No. 115)…
UCLA is 0-3 after falling to Cincinnati, then-No. 6 Oklahoma and Fresno State. It was not in any of those games, and it has been collectively out-scored by a count of 113 to 52 this season. The Bruins rank out of the top-100 in all major categories, with a passing offense that generates just 189 yards per game and a rush attack good for a mere 130. UCLA surrenders 37.7 points per game while managing just 17.3 itself.
Bruins starting quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson has had troubles with accuracy. He is just 41 of 75 (54.7 percent) for 522 yards with two interceptions to match his two touchdowns. He manages just 6.96 yards per pass attempt, and if not for the strong performance of running back Kazmeir Allen, it would be tough to find even one bright spot thus far for the Bruins. Allen has rushed for 161 yards and a TD, with a 7.7 yards-per-attempt average and a 74-yard TD rush to his credit.
Running back Bolu Olorunfunmi leads the team in TDs (with four) but is scarcely a threat outside of short third-down runs and end zone attacks. UCLA just lacks firepower, and it also lacks defense. This game could be potentially much more lopsided than the 10.5-point spread set forth by NCAA football oddsmakers.
UCLA has, overall, just not shown many signs to indicate it is a quality football team, while Colorado certainly has shown more than enough signs for hope. Overall, the Bruins usually yield much better results, so perhaps oddsmakers are basing some of this credit on the program’s past success.
But by all indications thus far this season, the Buffaloes are much better than the Bruins and beyond that, Colorado is at home for this affair.