Florida football vs. Colorado State: Prediction, pick, line, odds, watch live stream online

By Adam Silverstein
September 15, 2018
Florida football vs. Colorado State: Prediction, pick, line, odds, watch live stream online

Image Credit: Graphic by Michael Nash

A reality check hit the Florida Gators hard last week, and with that in mind, one must wonder how the program will respond when the Colorado State Rams come to town for Florida’s last home game until Oct. 6. Will the Gators be able to step up to the plate against a high-powered offense, or will they once again crumble against an opponent they would beat most years? Here’s what you need to know and how you can watch Florida-CSU.

Viewing information

Date: Saturday, Sept. 5 | Time: 4 p.m. ET
Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium — Gainesville, Florida [Capacity: 88,548]

TV: SEC Network (Taylor Zarzour, Matt Stinchcomb, Kris Budden)
Live stream: WatchESPN | SiriusXM: 98/190 | Radio: WRUF, TuneIn

Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

Tale of the tape

Florida Gators Colorado State Rams
Head coach Dan Mullen Mike Bobo
Record 1-1 1-2
Conference SEC Mountain West

Prediction and analysis

Spread: Florida -21 | O/U: 59

Florida routed an FCS opponent to open the season only to struggle mightily against a Kentucky program last week that boasted a similar level of talent but a more experienced team. Colorado State has also been a model of inconsistency through its first three games, but it did manage to shock Arkansas last Saturday by scoring 25 unanswered points to come from behind and win 34-27. In other words, CSU has more SEC wins this season than UF does in the same number of meetings.

That offensive onslaught against the Hogs, which saw the Rams pass for 389 yards and nearly match their hosts in total yardage, should concern a Gators team that was unable to stop the Wildcats a week ago. Granted, Kentucky earned its way against Florida primarily on the ground, but UF’s secondary showed some obvious holes last week and is missing a lock down cornerback. This unit has not been tested for four quarters, and it may be another area of disaster for the team. That said, the Gators are looking to bring back two starting defensive front seven players, which should help after the team missed 20 tackles for 168 yards last week.

It is for that reason, and Colorado State’s proven ability to put up points in bunches, that taking Florida as a three-touchdown favorite is simply not a wise bet. The Gators could be up 24 late and see the Rams storm back to make it a two-score game, they could be unable to match Saturday’s opponents score-for-score, or the game may be close throughout. No matter the scenario, even if UF bounces back in a major way, I don’t see it winning in a rout of more than three touchdowns. CSU has topped 58 points in all three of its games thus far, allowing 43 to a more high-powered Hawaii offense, 45 to Colorado and 27 to Arkansas. Florida only posted 16 against Kentucky. If the Gators are going to win, and I think they ultimately will, something in the range of 31-24 seems likely, which would put this slightly under.

2018 records: ATS picks 0-1 | O/U picks 1-0

Injuries and absences

Probable (2): LB David Reese (ankle), DB C.J. McWilliams (ankle)
Out (2): WR Jacob Copeland (knee), DB Shawn Davis (undisclosed) | Out for season (2): CB Marco Wilson (torn ACL), DB Quincy Lenton (torn Achilles)

It is expected that defensive end Cece Jefferson will return from a two-game suspension, though that has not been officially announced at this time.

Game notes

» Florida will face Colorado State for the first time on the gridiron. The Gators have won 17 straight games against opponents they have never played before and are 45-6-2 all-time in such situations when playing in Gainesville. UF is also 7-0 all-time against current MWC teams, while CSU is 3-12 against SEC programs.
» The Gators have scored in 374 consecutive games, an NCAA record.
» UF is one of two FBS teams nationally since 2008 (Alabama) to have not lost a single game to a team that ended a season with a losing record.
» Florida is 149-29 in The Swamp since 1990, boasting the best home winning percentage (.837) in the nation. The Gators are 122-14 against unranked squads in that span with a loss last week to Kentucky.
» UF is also 20-7 against unranked opponents since 2015 and 185-23 since 1990.

Odds and ends

» Florida will wear orange jerseys, white pants and orange helmets.

» UF is paying Colorado State $2 million to play this game, which was scheduled as part of a package of incentives that the Gators gave the Rams to let former head coach Jim McElwain out of his CSU contract.

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