The return of the Rocky Mountain Showdown headlines on Saturday in Week 3 as No. 18 Colorado plays host to in-state rival Colorado State. Saturday's matchup marks the first meeting between the two neighbors since 2019 despite the two schools being within an hour's drive of each other. This game also marks the first on-campus battle between the two since 2009. The Buffs and Rams played 10 straight neutral site games at Denver's Empower Field at Mile High from 2010-19. 

Colorado has a five-game win streak against Colorado State dating back to 2015. The Buffaloes won each game in that span by at least 14 points with a combined scoring margin of 158-54. Colorado also dominates the all-time series with a 67-22-2 record. Colorado State actually won the last time it played Colorado in Boulder, though the Rams are 2-10 since. 

The Buffaloes are heavily favored to add to that tally in Saturday's contest. First-year coach Deion Sanders has his CU squad off to a blazing-fast start with wins against TCU and Nebraska in the first two weeks. Excluding the all-Pac-12 schedule during the COVID-19 campaign in 2020, this is Colorado's first time in 30 years that it's opened the season with two Power Five wins.

Colorado State opened its 2023 season with a 50-24 loss to Washington State. The Rams had a bye in Week 2, to they'll close the season with 11 straight games. 

Follow along with live updates as Colorado battles Colorado State. 

How to watch Colorado vs. Colorado State live

Date: Saturday, Sept. 16 | Time: 10 p.m. ET
Location: Folsom Field -- Boulder, Colorado
TV: ESPN | Live stream: fubo (Try for free)

Colorado vs. Colorado State: Need to know

Shedeur Sanders could be in for another huge day: Sanders is thriving at Colorado. During his team's 2-0 start, he became the first Buffs quarterback since Koy Detmer to throw for at least 350 yards and three touchdowns in consecutive games. Sanders has a really good chance at making it three weeks in a row. In Colorado State's season opener against Washington State, the Rams allowed Cougars QB Cameron Ward to throw for 451 yards and three touchdowns. 

CSU struggles against ranked teams: Colorado State has not beaten a ranked team since 2002 when it -- ironically -- picked up a win against No. 6 Colorado in the second game of the season. In the 21 years since, the Rams are 0-24 against top-25 opponents. Colorado State is 13-37 all-time against ranked opponents since 1993. That record gets a lot better when considering foes ranked outside the top 10 as the Rams are 4-3 in such contests. 

Tune-up before conference play: Colorado's schedule thus far has been far from a cakewalk, so this Colorado State game, in which the Buffaloes should cruise without too much exertion, comes at a great time. Next week, Colorado travels to Eugene, Oregon, to take on No. 13 Oregon before hosting No. 5 USC the week after that. That two-week stretch is the most important of Colorado's season and Sanders' squad should be able to fine-tune some more issues against the Rams. 

Colorado vs. Colorado State prediction, picks

Odds via SportsLine consensus

Colorado has hit the ground running under Deion Sanders. The Buffaloes have had a more impressive start than almost any team in the entire nation, opening with a ranked win against TCU before dismantling Nebraska. More importantly, for a picks segment at least, Colorado is 2-0 against the spread and the Buffaloes should cover again Saturday. Colorado State's secondary got picked apart in its season opener, giving me good reason to believe that Shedeur Sanders and his potent cadre of offensive weapons should have no problem getting whatever they want offensively. Pick: Colorado -23.5

Which college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 3, and which underdogs will win outright? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread -- all from a proven computer model that has returned more than $2,500 in profit over the past seven-plus seasons -- and find out.