According to the Wynn in Las Vegas, the Stanford Cardinal are 29.5 point favorites over the Colorado Buffaloes this upcoming Saturday. The Buffs who are 1 - 4 after yesterday's fourth quarter collapse against Washington State (really a last five minute collapse), will travel to Palo Alto to take on the Cardinal. Stanford is ranked sixth in the country with a 4 - 0 record. No team has been within 27 points of the Cardinal so far this season. Most recently, Stanford beat UCLA 45 - 19. Stanford had a balanced attack against the Bruins throwing for 240 yards and rushing for another 202. Heisman hopeful QB Andrew Luck was incredibly efficient going 24-28 and three scores. So far this season, Luck has averaged 253 yards passing per game with 11 touchdowns to just one interception. He has completed 71% of his passes and is the nation's sixth most efficient quarterback. But Luck is getting a ton of help from the running game as well. Stanford is third in the Pac-12 rushing the ball this year, going for just under 200 yards per game. Cardinal RB Stepfan Taylor averages over 100 yards per game.
The Cardinal not only have a prolific offense which ranks 17th in the country, but they also get it done on the defensive side of the ball. Stanford is fourth in the nation with 3.5 sacks per game and only allow 62.5 yards rushing per contest, fourth best in the country. Even more telling, teams are not scoring against the Cardinal. They only allow a Pac-12 leading 11.5 points per game.
This looks to be a horrible match-up for the Buffs who have not only lost 19 consecutive games on the road (20 if you include the bowl game loss to Alabama in 2007) but also have major issues at the cornerback spot. Yesterday converted running back Brian Lockridge and converted wide receiver Jason Espinoza saw considerable playing time. Yesterday, Washington State threw for 376 yards and three touchdown passes. Stanford is also the least penalized team in the Pac-12 while Colorado is the most penalized team in the nation, averaging 9.6 penalties per game and just under 90 yards. Injuries, a lack of discipline and poor special teams play is a recipe for disaster against a national title contender on the road.