(9/17/22) 3:30 PM Eastern.
Spread: Colorado +27.5 / Minnesota -27.5
Total: Over / Under 47
The Colorado Buffaloes and Minnesota Golden Gophers face off during the afternoon slate on College Football Saturday. The CU Buffs are searching for their first win while the Gophers look to advance to 3-0. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30p.m. eastern time at Huntington Bank Stadium
Colorado Buffaloes (0-2)
The Buffaloes offense looks a lot like last years, an offense that doesn’t score. They’ve scored more than 17 points just 4 times since the start of last season and have a combined 23 points through two games. Starting QB J.T. Shrout completed just 5 of his 21 passes for 51 yards and 1 interception against Air Force last week. He also lost a fumble on the first play of the game. They weren’t terrible running the football, their starting backs combined for 112 yards on 23 carries, but Alex Fontenot also lost a fumble.
Defense has been optional. First year defensive coordinator Chris Wilson is having a tough go of it. Their pass defense hasn’t been bad, but it really hasn’t been tested. They gave up 275 rushing yards to TCU in week 1 and 435 rushing yards to Air Force in week 2. In week 3 they get a Minnesota offense that’s averaging 302 rushing yards a game with one of the best running backs in the country.
Minnesota Golden Gophers (2-0)
The Golden Gophers offense is firing on all cylinders. Offensive Coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca is back for his 2nd stint in Minnesota and 3rd under head coach P.J. Fleck. Before departing for Penn State following the 2019 season, he oversaw one of the greatest offenses in Golden Gopher history. They averaged 432 yards per game and 34.1 points per game. He’s picked up where he left off, averaging 582 yards per game, 302 of those yards on the ground. He has a 5th year Senior in Tanner Morgan at QB that was here during Kirk’s first stint and one of the best running backs in the country in Mohamed Ibrahim. Trey Potts is another talented RB that will see plenty of action as a compliment to Ibrahim. 5th year WR Chris Authman-Bell has been Morgan’s go to guy leading the team with 156 receiving yards.
Minnesota’s defense was dominant a season ago and they brought a good amount of that talent back for 2022. They ranked 2nd in pass defense in the Big 10 last year and 9th in rushing defense nationally. They lost 1 starter in the secondary and with the incoming transfers this unit looks stronger than it did last season. They haven’t faced much competition, but they’ve allowed just 10 points and 285 total yards in their first two games.
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Take Minnesota -27.5. This Colorado team is just awful and you can’t ask for a worse matchup. They’ve surrendered 710 rushing yards through their first two games and now face a Minnesota offense that’s averaging 302 rushing yards a game. Their ground game is led by Mohamed Ibrahim, one of the best running backs in the country, and Trey Potts is an explosive change of pace. They have a ton of experience at QB with 5th year Senior Tanner Morgan too. They face a Buffaloes defense that allowed 38 points in week 1 and 41 points in week 2. When they inevitably fall behind and have to catch-up, they face one of the best secondaries in the Big 10. This was the 2nd best pass defense in the Big 10 last year and they return all but 1 starter. This Minnesota defense was also the 9th best defense in the country against the run last year and have allowed a combined 73 rushing yards in their first two games. Colorado struggles to score as it is, they’ve scored more than 17 points just 4 times since the start of last season and 13 points is their current season high. Not to mention Colorado’s offensive coordinator is Mike Sanford, who was Minnesota’s offensive coordinator last season. The Gopher’s defense knows what to prepare better than anybody. These two met last year and Minnesota shut them out 31-0 in Colorado, even without Ibrahim. Minnesota is 5-0 ATS their L5 games, 4-0 ATS L4 games at home, 5-1 ATS L6 games vs teams with a losing record, and 4-1 ATS L5 games vs the PAC-12. Colorado meanwhile is just 4-10 ATS L14 games on the road vs teams with a winning record and 1-5 ATS L6 non-conference games. Golden Gophers roll.