Colorado St. vs


at Denver, CO
Fri, Sep 2
5:00 PM Pacific
Rotation: 150
Odds: Colorado -8.5, Total: 59

Game Analysis

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Colorado (-8 ½)  36   Colorado State  27

These teams have alternated victories in this competitive series since 2011 and the team with the revenge motive is 17-6-1 ATS all time in this series, including 15-3 ATS if the revenging team is not favored by 3 points or more. Colorado State has revenge this season for last year’s 27-24 overtime loss to the Buffs but the revenge trend is not enough to get me on the Rams tonight.

I’m a fan of Colorado’s 4th year head coach Mike MacIntyre after seeing how he transformed San Jose State in his three seasons there and this might be the year when the Buffaloes improve after 3 years of playing at pretty much the same level. There is no excuse for not improving this season, as 9 starters return on both sides of the ball for Colorado. Fourth year starting quarterback Sefo Liufau is healthy after an injury plagued 2015 season in which his performance level declined. Liufau is reported to be 100% healthy and fitting in well with the new offense, which will add some Texas Tech like spread concepts and play with a faster tempo. I expect the pass attack to be more efficient while the rush attack also improves behind the best offensive line of the MacIntyre era. Colorado still rates as a below average offense entering the season but that unit has upside potential in a new system.

I expect really good production from the Buffs in this game against a Rams’ defense that was 0.8 yards per play worse than average in 2015 (6.2 yppl allowed to teams that would combine to average 5.4 yppl against an average defensive team) and returns just 3 starters. The lack of returning starters may not be such a bad thing given last year’s production but I will rate the CSU defense a bit worse than last year’s unit.

The Rams’ offense was pretty good last season, averaging 5.9 yppl (against teams that would allow 5.9 yppl to an average attack) but the graduation of former 1st team All-American WR Rashard Higgins will likely result is considerably worse passing numbers despite having quarterback Nick Stevens back. Stevens averaged 10.1 yards every time he threw a pass directed at Higgins (in games against FBS teams) and just 7.3 yards when he targeted the other wide receivers. Stevens got a taste of what life is like without Higgins when he was without his star receiver in week 2 last season and averaged only 4.2 yards per pass play. I don’t things are going to be that bad but my algorithm projects a rating of 0.5 yards per pass play worse than average for Stevens this season (+0.3 yppp last year). It’s not like Colorado State has a pipe line of All-American caliber receivers, so Higgins will certainly be missed. The rushing attack is a bit below average too and overall the Rams’ offense rates at 0.4 yppl worse than average.

Colorado’s defense has the advantage over that less dangerous unit, as the Buffaloes return 9 starters to a defense that was average on a national scale last season (5.9 yppl allowed to teams that would combine to average 5.9 yppl against an average team) and rate at 0.2 yppl better than average heading into this season with potential to be even better.

My ratings favor Colorado by 12 points, so the line looks low, but I respect the history of the revenging team in this series and I’ll pass.

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • Colorado St.
  • Colorado


  • Run Plays 38.8 40.4
  • Run Yards 182.4 174.6
  • YPRP 5.1 4.9


  • Pass Comp 16.0 17.8
  • Pass Att 30.4 26.8
  • Comp % 52.6% 66.4%
  • Pass Yards 209.4 242.2
  • Sacks 2.0 2.8
  • Sack Yards 16.8 21.8
  • Sack % 6.2% 9.5%
  • Pass Plays 32.4 29.6
  • Net Pass Yards 192.6 220.4
  • YPPP 5.9 7.4


  • Total Plays 71.2 70.0
  • Total Yards 391.8 416.8
  • YPPL 5.5 6.0


  • Int 0.8 0.6
  • Int % 2.6% 2.2%
  • Fumbles 1.0 0.4
  • Turnovers 1.8 1.0
  • Points 23.6 29.6
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