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When Colorado travels down I-25 to play Air Force on Saturday it will mark a return of an in-state rivalry game to Colorado Springs, Colorado, for the first time in half a century in a game nationally televised by CBS. The Buffaloes lost big 31-10 in their first game against a TCU squad breaking in a new coach and have not finished with more than five wins once since 2007.
Conversely, Air Force is coming off a period of nearly unparalleled success under coach Troy Calhoun and are hoping to finish with 10 wins for the third time in four seasons. The Falcons crushed Northern Iowa 48-17 in Week 1 behind another tremendous performance from quarterback Haaziq Daniels.
Here’s what you should expect from the in-state rivalry game, which will be broadcast live nationally on CBS.
How to watch Colorado vs. Air Force live
Date: Saturday, Sept. 10 | Time: 3:30 ET
Location: Falcon Stadium — Colorado Springs, Colorado
TV: CBS | Live stream: CBSSports.com, CBS Sports App (Free)
Colorado vs. Air Force: Need to know
Reuniting rivals: Air Force and Colorado are separated by just 89 miles, but this is the first team the schools have played at the Air Force Academy since Oct. 5, 1974. In fact, Falcon Stadium has not played host to any Power Five opponents since Aaron Rodgers’ Cal squad came to town in 2004. While Colorado holds the all-time edge 12-5, the Falcons beat the Buffs 30-23 the last time these two teams faced off in 2019. It was the only battle between these two squads since 1974.
Quarterback controversy: The Buffaloes played both quarterbacks Brendon Lewis and J.T. Shrout in the loss to TCU. While neither played especially well, each displayed a unique addition to the offense. Lewis moved the ball well with his legs and led the team in rushing. Shrout showed off his big arm with 175 yards passing on just 13 completions, including the team’s lone touchdown. Coach Karl Dorrell will have to weigh each skill set as the Buffs try to keep up against a dynamic Air Force offense.
Aerial attack: Fittingly, Air Force features the best passing game of any of the service academies. Senior quarterback Haaziq Daniels threw for nearly 1,200 yards on 11.4 yards per pass attempts in 2021, and he had 109 yards passing and a score in the opener against Northern Iowa. The powerful Air Force attack posted 691 total yards of offense on 10.2 yards per play against the Panthers. There’s plenty of reason to believe Air Force can do the same to Colorado.
Colorado vs. Air Force prediction, picks
There’s little question that Air Force will win this game, but an 18-point line is a massive ask to cover. In eight conference games last season, for example, the Falcons only covered a spread that large twice — against horrid UNLV and New Mexico teams. Air Force’s offense looks even better in 2022, but Colorado will still do enough on its own offensively to keep the final score respectable. Prediction: Colorado +18