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In what has become an annual event in Denver, Colorado, the Buffaloes and Rams will square off for the 91st time in their storied history when they meet on Friday night.
The Buffaloes have had Colorado State’s number recently having won each of the last 4 meetings in the series.
Rams head coach Mike Bobo suffered his worst season in Fort Collins a year ago with only 3 wins, and he has yet to win a bowl game (0 – 3) with Colorado State as well.
With both teams needing to rebound from a down season, it puts even more emphasis to start the year with a win at the Rocky Mountain Showdown in 2019.
Colorado comes out as nearly two TD favorites for this contest, and that is not usually the case when these two get together in recent years.
Colorado State looking to return to a bowl after a 3 – 9 season
Colorado State head coach Mike Bobo had gotten the Rams to a bowl game in each of his first three seasons in Fort Collins, but a 3 – 9 campaign a year ago has the team needing a big rebound in 2019.
— Colorado State Football (@CSUFootball) August 26, 2019
Bobo’s fifth year with the team has them starting with the biggest game they’ll play all season long, being that bragging rights in this rivalry have basically belonged to the Buffaloes. Bobo is 0 for 4 in the series thus far, and that obviously doesn’t go over well with Rams fans, to say the least.
With Wyoming and New Mexico facing tough seasons to come, that might be the only reason that the Rams stay out of the Mountain West Divison cellar this year.
Only 5 players return on the offensive side of the ball in 2019, although junior QB Collin Hill has 8 starts under his belt over the last 2 seasons. The major concern for the Rams comes in the backfield because there is no Dalyn Dawkins and/or Izzy Matthews in green and gold anymore.
Junior RB Marcus McElroy only gained 219 yards in 12 games last season, and he will be asked to fill some big shoes. Not only that, but the wideouts for the Rams don’t carry a lot of experience either, so this could be another campaign in which the Rams appear in the lower portion of the offensive stats again.
Last season, Colorado State ranked 107th in scoring offense with only 22.8 PPG, and even with Matthews, the Rams ranked 123rd in rushing.
Only 6 starters return on defense, and that is also a concern for the Rams being that they allowed 36.8 PPG a season ago. The entire front line is back, however, and so is a good chunk of their backfield so maybe they can find some cohesion with another year together.
defensive back Anthony Hawkins is coming off an injury and is looking to re-invent himself this year.
“The No. 1 thing for Anthony Hawkins I’d say is maturity,” Bobo said. “You’d think a guy would be mature after being here, going into his fourth season, but sometimes it takes guys a little bit longer. Not just maturity on the football field, but maturity in his daily life, being more consistent in those areas.
“I think he’s matured, and his head’s in the right place. He knew that he had to earn the trust from his coaches and his teammates, and he’s done that. Everything we’ve seen from him has us confident he’s going to go out and play to his potential.”
Buffs hoping that Mel Tucker can erase back-to-back 5 wins seasons
The Buffaloes have fallen one win shy of bowl eligibility for the last two seasons, and that was enough to decide to bring in Georgia coordinator Mel Tucker to turn things around in Boulder, CO.
— Colorado Buffaloes Football (@CUBuffsFootball) August 26, 2019
Tucker has a proven track record in both NCAA and the NFL as a coach/assistant and it has earned him his first head coaching gig as a result.
Luckily, Tucker has some talent to work with to start his tenure with the Buffs, as senior QB Steven Montez has one last year to possibly become Colorado’s all-time leading passer.
Montez hasn’t missed a start since he took over 3 years ago, although it looked like last year was going to be that special season. That is until the 0 – 7 finish after a 5 – 0 start to 2018 that really left everyone shaking their head to finish so poorly.
The combination of junior receivers, KD Nixon and Laviska Shenault, has everyone expecting a big offensive season in Boulder this year. Auburn transfer Jalen Harris is set to land the starting TE job, and an influx of young talent will be coming out of the backfield.
Colorado holds a 66 – 22 – 2 edge in the all-time series with the Rams dating back to their first meeting in 1893. After starting this rivalry going 13 – 0 – 1 against the Rams, Colorado has taken the last 4 meetings in Denver.
- Buffaloes are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 vs. MWC.
- Buffaloes are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 Friday games.
- Favorite is 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 meetings.
- Rams are 5-14 ATS in their last 19 games overall.
- Rams are 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 vs. Pac-12.
- Rams are 0-7 ATS in their last 7 Friday games.
Updated on Aug 30 at 11:25am EDT
Update prepared by our editoral staff
Public Money / Line Movements
Colorado has gone from -10 up to -13.5 and that is consistent with the fact that the Buffaloes have grabbed 76% of the bets so far.
Injury / Weather Report
Colorado State’s Impact Injury Report
Doubtful: WR Nate Craig-Myers
Out: DB Braylin Scott and WR E.J. Scott
Colorado’s Impact Injury Report
Out: OL Jacob Moretti
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
You will not hear these words out of my mouth very often, but in this case, I have no other choice.
Colorado is going to take their 5th straight win in the series, and I believe they will do it in emphatic fashion.
I do not lay double-digit chalk very often, but when I do I drink Dos Equis!
Not that I have had one recently, but the beer will be flowing in Boulder when the Buffaloes get back on campus.
41 – 21 is the call coming from me here, so the total will point towards the over and the chalk with the Buffs is on the board with it.
Prediction: Colorado -13
Full-Game Total Pick
This total might be a little tricky, as my 41 – 21 call barely gets us over the number. With that close of a call, I would rather see y’all just take the Buffs to cover the line, and not be as strong on this total.
We could surely end up seeing a 38 – 17 game with the Buffaloes still taking care of business, so just hand with the chalk and let this total go in as a lean for me.
Over 57 is the call, but my confidence is nowhere near the side play with only 1 star.
Prediction: Over 57