The funny thing about success is that once you have it, people expect you to have more of it. Last season, the Colorado Buffaloes were not expected to have any, but they ended up going 4-2 and briefly found themselves ranked inside the top 25. So— coming into the 2021 college football season, fans were hopeful the team could pick up where it left off.
Against an FCS team that did not play last season and was 2-10 the year before, Colorado appeared to do just that. But this week’s opponent, the Texas A&M Aggies, will look nothing like the Northern Colorado Bears.
|Texas A&M vs. Colorado Odds, Saturday, 9/11 @ 8:00 PM ET||Best TAMU Odds||Best Colorado Odds|
|FanDuel||-16.5 (-118)||Spread||+17.0 (-110)||BetRivers|
|BetRivers||Under 51.0 (-112)||Total||Over 50 (-110)||DraftKings|
Texas A&M Aggies
The Aggies came into the 2021 season with high expectations despite needing to replace some key personnel. But with most of a strong defense coming back, an incredibly talented group of running backs, and some talented receivers, the team was not worried. Yes, the offensive line needed to get rebuilt, and they had to find a new quarterback.
But with the talent on the roster, there was little doubt they would find adequate replacements.
If the Kent State game is any indication, they found better than adequate replacements. While the offense did get off to a slow start, it ended the night with over 300 yards rushing, nearly 300 passing, and 34 points (the Aggies also had a pick-6).
Defensively, they looked as stout as they did last year. With nine starters off an excellent defense back and more than enough experienced talent waiting in the wings, the A&M defense is poised to be one of the best in the country this season. But—yes, there is a “but” – Haynes King did throw three interceptions (Zach Calzada added a fourth).
Had the defense not bailed the offense out in the second quarter, the game could have been tied (or worse) at the half. Despite five turnovers on the night, the Aggies still won by 31 points. It is not hard to imagine how lopsided the score could have been had they not turned the ball over so much. At the same time, a better team would have made them pay for those mistakes.
Is Colorado that “better” team?
With an offensive-minded head coach in Karl Dorrell and a former Colorado receiver (Darrin Chiaverini) as the offensive coordinator, fans had hoped for big things from the passing game last season. Instead, fans saw a decent passing game and one of the better rushing attacks in the country. If last week’s game is any indication, the plan will be for more of the same this season. With a solid, experienced offensive line and a talented stable of running backs—why not?
Brendon Lewis proved himself to be adequate last season, but it would help if he could take a few steps forward in his development. With the talent the team has at wide receiver and on the line, he certainly should. However, the passing game was unimpressive last week. But when you can run for 281 yards and four touchdowns you do not need to pass.
As for the defense, the unit was good last season, and with nine returning starters, it should be good this season, too. With a new defensive coordinator and scheme, there could be some hiccups early on. But throughout the season, the Colorado D should become one of the better ones in the Pac-12.
The potential is certainly there for the Buffaloes. But will it be enough to overcome the odds and take down Texas A&M?
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Both teams will try a similar approach– control the line of scrimmage and the clock with their running game. However, where the difference will come is in A&M’s ability to throw the ball. Colorado will have to respect the A&M run game and their potential in the passing game. In doing so, they will leave themselves vulnerable to both unless King has turnover issues again (but he probably will not).
But the Buffs will not make it easy on the Aggies. But this game will probably go like most of the Aggies games have since Jimbo Fisher came on board—the first half will be a relatively close game, but then the Aggies will take over in the second half and put this one away. Colorado will put up a better fight than Kent State, but the result will be similar.
Look for Texas A&M to win via the moneyline and the point spread. As for the over/under, that one could go either way (so bet with caution).