NCAAF · Wed (10/19) @ 7:30pm ET
|Kidd Brewer Stadium, Boone, North Carolina|
Our Pick: COL Colorado at 30.5 (-120). Get your $1,000 risk-free bet at FanDuel!
The two programs haven’t met since both bolted from the Big 12, so this comes with some nostalgia. The Buffs have the 6-3 edge in the series and have won four of five played in the Centennial State. In their last meeting, in 2009, Colorado won, 35-34.
This will be staged in the home of the NFL’s Denver Broncos, a half-hour drive from Boulder. The bigger venue might allow for more fans from the other side, but this is still a home game. That electricity will help Colorado keep it close and secure the cover.
Texas A&M Aggies Preview
In competitive practice duels, redshirt-freshman Haynes King (6-3, 200) beat third-year sophomore Zach Calzada (6-4, 200) to start at quarterback. That might not have been the right call, since we have Calzada rated a bit higher than King.
In a 41-10 drubbing of Kent State in their home opener, the Aggies barely covered a 28½-point spread. King went 21-for-33, for 292 yards and a pair of touchdowns, but Kent State defenders picked off three of his passes.
This could be a see-saw season scenario at A&M’s most important position. But it did pound out 305 yards on the ground against Kent State, so that should feature in this game at Mile High—two inexperienced pilots with a host of stellar running backs.
Junior speed merchant Isaiah Spiller (6-1, 225) ran 17 times for 113 yards against Kent State, and sophomore Devon Achane (5-9, 185) accumulated 124 yards and two TDs on 12 rushes. Ainas Smith, a former wide receiver, ran three times and averaged 10.5 yards per rush.
Calzada did get into the game, but the outcome could not have been much worse as his lone pass attempt got intercepted and returned 45 yards.
Texas A&M Vs. Colorado Full Sportsbook Odds
Colorado Buffaloes Preview
The Buffs took a while to get going last weekend against one of the state’s sporting legends, Ed McCaffrey, who now coaches Northern Colorado and his quarterbacking son, Michigan transfer Dylan McCaffrey.
But once Colorado established itself on the ground, the game became a chore for the visitors. The Buffaloes had 281 rushing yards, compared to only 17 for the Bears.
The key was Jarek Broussard (5-9, 185), a fourth-year junior who tallied 94 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries. He once rattled off 187 yards against UCLA and 301 versus Arizona, so consider Broussard the Buff’s rudder.
Redshirt freshmen Ashaad Clayton (6-0, 200) and Brendon Lewis (6-2, 225), the quarterback, combined for nearly 100 yards on the ground against Northern.
It was a gentle way to ease Lewis into the cockpit, and he’s fortunate this one is not somewhere in Texas. He only threw the ball 15 times last weekend, completing 10 for 102 yards and a touchdown.
Lewis has a deep and talented pool of receivers, 10 of whom he targeted against Northern. True freshman Montana Lemonious-Craig (6-2, 185) caught Lewis’s lone TD pass against the Bears. Keep an eye on 6-3, 205-pound redshirt-freshman split end Brenden Rice—Jerry’s kid.
Fourth-year coach Jimbo Fisher is 5-0 in neutral-site games representing A&M, and the Aggies very likely get this victory. But it will be tight, maybe even earned in the final seconds. Overtime, anyone?
This one promises to be dominated by clouds of dust from a series of stout runners on both teams chewing chunks of clock, inexperienced quarterbacks and linemen on both sides bound to be extremely exhausted by the end of it.
Snagging more than two touchdowns with the home dog appears to be the wise play.