Colorado Defeats Rival in OT

Colorado was weighed and tested.  They were NOT found wanting.  The Buffaloes weathered the storm as they defeated their instate rival.  Drama erupted late last week as Coach Jay Norvell told the media that “when I talk to grown-ups, I take my hat and my glasses off.”  That was a drastic mistake.  Norvell gave Coach Deion Sanders bulletin board material for his players.  Prime’s response was classic.  He bought his whole team Prime 21 sunglasses and handed them out during a team meeting.  “I just want to see how y’all look in ‘em”.

Colorado State came to play.  Their defensive line harried Shedeur Sanders all game long.  Most of the game was a defensive struggle.  Though the score was 21 to 14 in favor of CSU at halftime, each team scored a defensive touchdown.  Shilo Sanders kicked the defensive scoring off with a pick six.  Colorado State forced Travis Hunter to fumble, scooped it up and ran 45 yards for a touchdown.

Colorado State played with a bully mentality.  The committed multiple personal foul penalties.  They brutally knocked Travis Hunter out of the game.  Henry Blackburn, a Rams safety, came screaming in and blasted Hunter on the sideline while he was being defensed by another Rams defensive back.  Hunter didn’t see Blackburn coming.  It was a late hit out of bounds, causing Hunter to eventually be rushed to the hospital.

Colorado safety Shilo Sanders, left, runs back an interception for a touchdown as Colorado State wide receiver Tory Horton (14) pursues in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

The third quarter was a defensive struggle featuring zero points scored.  However, as the third quarter was closing, Colorado was finally putting an offensive drive together.  The drive started because Cam’Ron Silmon-Craig intercepted the Rams quarterback on CSU’s 45-yard line.  Sanders proceeded to pick apart the Rams defense, leading the Buffaloes to the Rams one yard line as the 3rd quarter closed.  When they couldn’t punch it in, Prime opted for a field goal.   CSU promptly responded with a seven-play field goal drive of their own.

Prime was a mask of calm on the sideline.  Coach Sanders exhibited great patience.  He was the calm within the storm allowing him to direct his team efficiently and effectively.  He showed his patience by kicking yet another field goal on the Buffaloes next drive bringing his squad within eight points of the Rams lead.  CSU was winning 28-20 with seven minutes to go.

Players tend to mirror their Coaches.  Prime is calm and has belief.  His players were calm and had belief.  The defense had struggled at times throughout the game.  With seven minutes left in the game, the defense knew they needed to give the ball back to the offense with time to operate.  As the Rams converted two third downs in a row, we all began to wonder if this is where the Cinderella story would end.

Adversity refines the right man.  Tough times teach you what you are made of.  When you survive, the adversity you experienced makes you a better person.  It makes you a more confident person.  The Buffaloes’ backs were up against a wall.  Colorado State’s punt could not have been any better as it bounced out of bounds on the Colorado two-yard line.  The Buffaloes had 98 yards to go with only 58 seconds on the clock.  It was score or go home.  Would they rise?

Shedeur Sanders put the team on his back and started delivering strikes.  He hit an 11-yard pass.  He connected with Tar’Varish Dawson Jr. for another 18 yards.  Sanders found Xavier Weaver for another 26 yards.  Then Colorado committed a couple of penalties.  It was 2nd and 14 with 46 seconds to go and Colorado was on CSU’s 45-yard line.  Jimmy Horn Jr. started the play on the left in the slot.  At the snap, Horn took off up the seam and then started to drift towards the sideline.  Sanders spotted him in his progression and unleashed a laser.  Horn caught it in stride and gashed the CSU defense for a touchdown.  Then Sanders connected with Michael Harrison over the middle to tie the game with the two-point conversion.  Coach Jay Norvell and his Rams were stunned heading into overtime.

The Rams decided they would try and intimidate the Buffaloes once again.  Mohamed Kamara had already sacked Sanders multiple times thru out the game.  During the second play of overtime, Kamara came screaming in on Sanders.  As Kamara hit Shedeur’s chin with the crown of his helmet, he lifted Shedeur up and slammed him into the ground right in front of his father.  It was a defining moment in the game.  Shedeur Sanders steadily picked himself off the ground, shook his head a bit, removed his helmet and walked up to his father.  Prime looked into the eyes of his son, nodded his head knowingly and asked if he was alright.  Deion wiped the blood off of his son’s chin with a mixture of care and approval; he cared for his son and approved of his immense toughness.  Sherdeur strapped up, walked back out on the field and led his team to victory.  Kamara was ejected from the game.

Colorado has the skill players to be in every game.  Prime knows how to motivate his squad.  More importantly, Prime and his staff know how to coach up the players they have in order to maximize their talents to get to victory. Colorado has issues on the offensive and defensive line that they must overcome every week.  Their games will continue to be exciting.  I look forward to their game in Eugene next week.

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