In a surprising turn of events, Coach Deion Sanders and the Colorado Buffaloes continue to defy expectations as they dominated Nebraska with a score of 36-14 in Week 2. This win pushed their season record to 2-0 and secured them the No. 18 spot in the AP Poll. It's important to note that Vegas had predicted a win total of 3.5 for Colorado in the preseason, making their early success even more impressive. Looking ahead, the Buffaloes face a new challenge in their in-state rival, Colorado State, where they are favored by three touchdowns. This game stands out as the only Group of Five team on Colorado's schedule, with the rest of their games against Power Five opponents. The question arises, will Colorado be able to dominate inferior competition, or will they perform better against tougher opponents?
Analyzing the situation, it appears that this week's matchup favors Colorado State. The Buffaloes find themselves in a difficult position, having just faced two Power Five opponents and with a high-stakes game against Bo Nix and Oregon looming. This game against Colorado State could be seen as a lull in their schedule, as it is the only time they will be three-touchdown home favorites for the rest of the season. On the other hand, the Rams had a bye week, giving them two full weeks to prepare for this game. However, there are concerns about Colorado State's performance in their Week 1 loss against Washington State. The Rams' new offensive line, consisting of four offseason transfers, did not perform as expected, and their experienced secondary was exploited by Cam Ward for 466 yards at 9.3 yards per attempt. Holes in the Rams' defense were evident, with the Cougars finding ample passing lanes and gaining significant yards after the catch. This raises concerns about how Colorado's potent passing attack will fare against Colorado State's defense, while the Rams' offense may struggle due to a lack of push in the trenches.
Taking a closer look at the two teams, it is worth noting that while Colorado's rush defense has shown weaknesses, their pass defense has been relatively solid. However, there is a belief that Colorado's pass defense may regress in the future. Nebraska's pass attack struggled against Colorado but largely due to quarterback Jeff Sims' limitations. TCU's pass attack also faced difficulties, albeit to a lesser extent, as they lost key players in the offseason. Furthermore, there are concerns about Colorado's overall performance and potential regression. The roster has certain weaknesses, particularly on the offensive line and across the defense, which may impact their ability to maintain their strong start throughout the entire season. Despite this, the public continues to have faith in the Buffaloes, leading to inflated expectations. Additionally, it is worth considering that Colorado State's loss in Week 1 against Washington State may not have been as bad as initially thought. Washington State showcased their strength in a surprising road win against Wisconsin, indicating that they are a more formidable team than anticipated.
Looking at the quarterback situation, Colorado State's head coach, Jay Norvell, made a change and named Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi as the new starting quarterback after Clay Millen's exit. Nicolosi showed promise in limited action, leading three touchdown drives in the fourth quarter. With the extra week of preparation, he will have had ample time to familiarize himself with the team's system and make the necessary adjustments.
Overall, it is important not to overreact to the season's first few weeks. There is an expectation that Colorado State will improve while Colorado takes a step back, suggesting that the current massive spread does not accurately represent the true talent matchup. Considering the situational factors, including Colorado's potential distractions with upcoming high-profile games, there is a possibility that the Buffaloes may appear lackluster or make mistakes in Week 3. Taking all of this into account, Colorado State becomes an attractive betting option, with the Rams being given a 23.5-point advantage (+23.5) in the spread.
In other college football news, Week 3 marks the opening of SEC play. Notable matchups include South Carolina vs. Georgia and LSU vs. Mississippi State. However, the Tennessee vs. Florida game stands out as a matchup that analysts are eager to analyze. The Tennessee Volunteers have showcased a dominant offense in the SEC, even with Joe Milton stepping in to replace Hendon Hooker. Milton's squad impressed with a 49-13 victory over Virginia in Week 1. On the other hand, Graham Mertz and the Florida Gators struggled in their game against Utah and failed to cover the 48-point spread against McNeese State.
The initial analysis suggests that Tennessee would be the smart choice in Week 3, given their strong performance thus far and Florida's struggles. However, a different strategy comes into play. It is often wise to buy low and sell high in situations like these. Digging deeper into the details, there are concerns about Tennessee's ability to replicate the offensive productivity they achieved last year with quarterback Hendon Hooker. With new quarterback Joe Milton, who has shown inconsistencies in his college career, it is questionable whether the Vols can maintain the same level of consistent production. Furthermore, Tennessee lost four starters in the NFL Draft, which may impact the team's overall performance. Milton's passing game has already shown signs of inconsistency, with a Pro Football Focus passing grade of 58.3 against FCS Austin Peay.
Contrary to popular belief, Florida's performance against Utah was not as poor as the final score indicated. Examining the underlying statistics, Florida had more opportunities inside Utah's 40-yard line and posted a higher Success Rate overall, indicating that they were competitive in the game. Despite a costly interception and poor decisions in the red zone, Graham Mertz showcased his capabilities with over 300 passing yards against a strong Utah defense. With the.
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