Colorado vs. Colorado State (Denver)
Colorado State looked impressive on Saturday, there’s no doubt about it. They opened up their stadium in historic fashion, dropping 58 points on fellow Pac-12 member Oregon State. Receiver Michael Gallup is a beast, and it’ll be a blast watching him one on one versus Isiah Oliver at Mile High Stadium on Friday night. Here’s the key to the game for me, CSU scored 27 points of 5 Beavers turnovers, which led to the game getting out of hand. Rams QB Nick Stevens looked good when he had time, but the couple of times he had pressure in his face seemed a little squeamish in the pocket. The Buffaloes offense will move the ball easily against a CSU defense with serious holes, but their defense has to hold up against a high-octane Rams offense that likes to move fast. If the new look defense can hold their own, I expect Buffaloes QB Steven Montez to put on a show, and lead the Buffaloes to a victory.
Texas State at Colorado
This game will be a blow out like it should be. Expect a lot of the young guys to get serious playing time, and take a look at back up QB Sam Noyer. This game will get ugly, and ugly in a hurry, which will lead to a 2-0 start for the Buffaloes
Northern Colorado at Colorado
This will be another tune up game for Colorado, as honestly their non-conference schedule leaves a lot to be desired. I expect them to be very vanilla, especially with Washington coming in the next week in a Pac-12 title game rematch. A win in this game moves the Buffaloes to 3-0 on the season.
Washington at Colorado
Word out there is if both Washington and Colorado go undefeated in their non-conference schedule, College Gameday may make a trip to Boulder for the first time since 1996. While that would be an awesome thing for Colorado, Boulder, and the University to showcase itself on the national stage, I still don’t see how the Buffaloes can win this game. Jake Browning struggled against the Buffaloes last year, and it didn’t matter. I see Montez making a couple of mistakes, and the Huskies giving the Buffaloes their first loss of the season.
Colorado at UCLA
It’s crazy that Colorado doesn’t leave the state of Colorado until September 30th, almost half way through their season. Last year’s game was rough, with a lot of dirty plays, and bad blood on both sidelines. The difference in this game is Josh Rosen. While I don’t think he’ll contend for the Heisman, he definitely makes a difference, and the first true road game for Colorado comes back to bite them. I think the Buffaloes lose in a close one, and fall to 3-2 on the season.
Arizona at Colorado
Last year in Tucson the Buffaloes were very workmanlike in a victory over the Wildcats. I see Rich Rod’s seat heating up big time by this game, and it won’t help when Phillip Lindsay runs all over Arizona for a big win. Not only does Colorado break a 2 game skid, their defense builds their confidence by taking care of business against an inferior Arizona team.
Colorado at Oregon State
Sitting at 4-2, this is 100% a trap game for the Buffaloes. Nobody likes to go to Corvallis, especially later on in the season. It’s likely to be windy, cold, and weird things always seem to happen there in the second half of the season. The Buffaloes will have to contain Ryan Nall, who is an absolute bulldozer at running back. I think the offense makes a play late, and Colorado improves to 5-2 on the season.
Colorado at Washington State
Back to back trips to the Pacific Northwest? This is a tall order, and not just because it’s Pullman. Leach has WSU scoring points in droves, and Luke Falk is the real deal. In last year’s game, Falk threw some beautiful balls, but was plagued by drops which hurt him immensely. I expect this game to be a shootout, but I just don’t see the Buffaloes scoring enough points on a cold night on the road. The loss would drop Colorado to 5-3.
California at Colorado
If only this game was a year ago. Colorado fans would have loved to see their top 20 defense take on Davis Webb who committed, got scared of competing with Sefo, then headed to Cal instead. Unfortunately, I don’t think that this game will be very competitive. The Bears are in massive rebuild mode, and will probably be the worst team in the Pac-12 this year. I expect the Buffaloes to roll to 6-3 without too much of a problem.
Colorado at Arizona State
Can you believe that Colorado has NEVER won at Sun Devil Stadium? The last couple of times the Buffaloes went there were disasters, with Colorado going 0-3 since they joined the conference and getting outscored 150-50 in the three contests. This is the year. I truly believe the Buffaloes get it done in Tempe this season. Arizona State is suspect defensively, and they have a brutal stretch of Stanford, Washington, Utah, and USC the four weeks before Colorado comes to town. Move the Buffaloes to 7-3.
USC at Colorado
Let me tell you this, this game has been circled on Colorado’s schedule since January. Ever since the Trojans jumped Colorado into the Rose Bowl, and the Buffaloes were penalized for playing the Pac-12 title game, the fans wanted revenge. Early November, could be cold, and I expect an absolute sellout for this game. The fans will be rowdy, and both teams will be ready to play. While I believe Sam Darnold will take a step back this year, I think he makes a play late to beat the Buffaloes in heartbreaking fashion, which makes CU fans say to themselves “it was right there” like in 2015.
Colorado at Utah
After a bye week, Colorado ends the year in Salt Lake City against Utah. The Rumble in the Rockies. A Huge rivalry, or so everyone seems to be pushing. It doesn’t ever matter the record of these two teams, it seems like each year, no matter what, this game is going to come down to the end. This is the Steven Montez’s coming out party. I think he makes a couple of massive plays late, and propels Colorado to a victory to end the season.
An 8-4 year in 2017 after the massive improvement that is “The Rise” shows that the Buffaloes are indeed back, and taking steps in the right direction. Back to back bowl games after ten years of losing seasons should have Colorado fans excited for the future of the program, and prove that they’re not a one year wonder.