College Football Week 1 Picks, Part 2: BYU at UConn, Colorado State vs Colorado, UNLV at Arizona

August 28, 2014

By Brad Carroll

 

What's better than starting the college football season off with a host of games to devour on Thursday night? How about having even more games to watch the next night as well? Sounds good to us. The games Friday don't feature ranked teams battling it out, or even some big name programs, but nobody will notice because college football is back, and that's a good thing.

 

We preview and our four college football experts pick against the spread the three biggest games of the day below. Read our previews and picks from Thursday's action, including Texas A&M at South Carolina, here, and make sure to check back as we break down the games from Saturday, Sunday and Monday on gamedayishere.com in the coming hours.

 

BYU at Connecticut, 7 p.m., ESPN

The Spread: BYU -16.5; UConn +16.5

 

Brad's Breakdown: UConn has turned its struggling program over to Bob Diaco, the former Notre Dame defensive coordinator. Diaco has promised big changes with the Huskies, including creating a real home field advantage at Rentschler Field. Diaco and the Huskies get a chance to show just how far they've come from last year's 3-9 record with a nationally televised home game against BYU. The Huskies are unproven on both sides of the ball and have little chance of beating a superior BYU team on paper, but there are some positives. The Huskies should be fired up for the debut of their new coach, plus the Cougars will have to travel to the East Coast, which is more significant than many might think. BYU should have no problem moving the ball on offense, with dual-threat quarterback Taysom Hill leading the way. If he can pass the ball this year as well as he ran it last year, the Cougars could be difficult to beat. UConn won't have any chance if it can't muster an offensive attack under quarterback Casey Cochran. BYU will start with a victory in the season opener, but the Huskies make it a game.

 

     Brad's Pick      |       Craig's Pick      |      Glenn's Pick       |      Matt's Pick

 

Brad's Score: BYU 35, UConn 20

Craig's Score: BYU 35, UConn 10

Glenn's Score: BYU 38, UConn 17

Matt's Score: BYU 42, UConn 17

 

Colorado State vs. Colorado, at Denver, 9 p.m., FS1

The Spread: Colorado State +2.5; Colorado -2.5

 

Brad's Breakdown: This will be the 86th edition of the Rocky Mountain Classic, with Colorado winning last year's contest 41-27. Both teams have to replace key players from a season ago, with the Buffaloes losing wide receiver Paul Richardson (who had 208 receiving yards against Colorado State last year) to the NFL, while the Rams lost four of their starting offensive lineman and running back Kapri Bibbs. Garrett Grayson returns as quarterback for Colorado State, which also has Alabama transfer Dee Hart leading the running game. Colorado has sophomore quaterback Sefo Liufau leading the offense again this year. Both teams should be hyped for what should be a close game throughout. The better team, by a slight margin, is Colorado, and the Buffaloes win by a field goal.

 

     Brad's Pick      |       Craig's Pick      |      Glenn's Pick       |      Matt's Pick

 

Brad's Score: Colorado 27, Colorado State 24

Craig's Score: Colorado 24, Colorado State 20

Glenn's Score: Colorado State 24, Colorado 23 (upset)

Matt's Score: Colorado 35, Colorado State 27

 

UNLV at Arizona, 10:30 p.m., ESPN

The Spread: UNLV +23.5; Arizona -23.5

 

Brad's Breakdown: UNLV was handed a 58-13 loss in its home opener last year by Arizona, so they will be seeking to return the favor as the game site switches. But there is very little chance the Rebels will have the players to turn that plan into reality. Arizona's offense, under coach Rich Rodriguez and new quarterback Anu Solomon, is just too explosive to be held back in this game. The question is, can the Wildcats defense keep UNLV off the scoreboard enough to turn this game into yet another laugher? Arizona had two big wins over the final three games of its schedule last year, beating Oregon (42-16) and Boston College (42-19), to show what it's capable of. But there was the game in between, a loss to Arizona State, where they allowed 58 points, that is a red mark on an otherwise program-building finish. With all that, Arizona should have no problem winning and covering the big spread.

 

     Brad's Pick      |       Craig's Pick      |      Glenn's Pick       |      Matt's Pick

Brad's Score: Arizona 56, UNLV 24

Craig's Score: Arizona 42, UNLV 10

Glenn's Score: Arizona 56, UNLV 21

Matt's Score: Arizona 56, UNLV 21

 

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