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College Football Free Pick: Hawaii vs Colorado State

August 24, 2018

The 2018 college football regular season kicks offs with a small slate of four games on Saturday August 25, followed by a full schedule of games beginning Thursday August 30.

On Saturday, one of the games features the Colorado State Rams hosting the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors. Last season the Rams were 7-6 after losing to Marshall 31-28 in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl.

The current line has Colorado State favored at -14 with the point total on 57.5.

Colorado State has won each of the four head to head games since 2012 with Hawaii, including a pair of home games. Last season the Rams beat the Rainbow Warriors 51-21.

The Rams offense has just three starters returning from last season. Colin Hill the former starting quarterback will miss the first week of the season due to an injury, which will give Washington Huskies transfer K.J. Carta-Samuels the starting job under center. Izzy Matthews, who rushed for 95 yards and two touchdowns last season against Hawaii, will start in the backfield Saturday for the Rams.

Colorado State received good news earlier this week with the return of head coach Mike Bobo, who has been hospitalized earlier in August after experiencing numbness in both feet.

After a disappointing 3-9 season in 2017, several changes were made at Hawaii. Starting quarterback Dru Brown and Dylan Collie the team’s leading receiver both transferred. The new quarterbacks will be Cole McDonald and Chevan Cordeiro who were named co-starters.

Hawaii must also replace the graduated Diocemy Saint Juste who last season set a new Hawaii rushing record with 1,510 yards but has graduated.

Hawaii will feature a new offense, the run-and-shoot this season in an attempt to score early and often. Hawaii averaged just 22.8 points per game last season and scored 23 points or fewer in each of its nine losses.

Colorado State has won the last seven games against Hawaii by an average margin of 25.1 points. Hawaii has failed to cover the spread in 6 of its last 9 games and is 0-12 ATS over its last 12 Mountain West Conference matchups.

Prediction: With Hawaii returning the run-and-shoot to its offense it may take a game or two for the offense to grasp the full scheme which may cause them to have a harder time sustaining drives. Colorado State lost several key pieces to its offense and could find it difficult to score early in the season. That could lead to the two defenses in this game having the advantage. The current line of 57.5 might just be too high. Colorado State should win outright, but take the UNDER.