College Football Pick
This line is either the result of Stanford no longer being elite, or Colorado no longer being the laughing stock of the conference. Although, it could also be a combination of the two. The Cardinal, back at home after getting throttled by Washington State two weeks ago, opened as a -2 point favorite against Colorado.
Maybe the biggest stat in this matchup is that the Buffs have covered in every Game this season, and eight straight going back to last year. It’s been a great start for Colorado, who sits at 3-1 in the Pac-12 and 5-2 overall. If it wasn’t for an injury to starting quarterback Sefo Liufau against Michigan, maybe things could be looking even better.
Things are a bit more down for the Cardinal after back-to-back monster losses against the state of Washington. They got back to winning at Notre Dame last weekend, but it’s hard to put much into a 17-10 win over the Fighting Irish right now.
The situation was obviously much different a year ago when Stanford romped 42-10 in Colorado. Not only did their defense dominate, but Kevin Hogan and Christian McCaffrey had an easy go of things, something that hasn’t happened this year with Ryan Burns at quarterback.
Of course, McCaffrey may not play in this one after being a late-scratch against Notre Dame. At this point, the running back is probably looking toward his future with the season all but lost for the Cardinal.
Either way, Colorado’s defense has shown some resistance this season and it won’t be an easy test for Stanford. As usual, the Cardinal will have trouble reaching 20 points because Burns hasn’t improved much since the opener. Burns has five touchdowns and Four picks on the year and has only thrown for more than 160 yards once. Because of that, defenses know to stack the box against the Cardinal and that’s exactly what the Buffs will do.
To win this Game, it’s going to fall to the Colorado offense because if they can reach 20 points, that may be enough. The good news is that Liufau is back from injury and still hasn’t thrown an interception this season in Four Games. It can’t be forgotten that before getting hurt against Michigan, he had 246 yards and three touchdowns against a really good defense on the road. As long as Liufau stays on the field and Phillip Lindsay continues what he’s done for most of the season in the backfield, the Buffs should reach 20 points.
Their lowest scoring outputs of the season came in that Michigan Game (because Liufau got hurt) and against USC two weeks ago when Liufau played one series. Even then, they lost to the Trojans by only Four points.
Unless Burns figures things out for Stanford or McCaffrey goes off, Colorado may have the edge on both sides of the field. But winning on the road is easier said than done.
As said before, the Buffaloes have covered in eight straight Games, so they have a lot of positive trends. The Cardinal have a lot of positive ones too, but this is arguably not the same team as in year’s past.
Our Pick – Colorado +1.5