Gold: Deion and Shedeur save the drama until the closing curtain in double-OT comeback win over Colorado State
Few people in sports history have the flair for the dramatic as one Deion Sanders.
They don’t call him Prime Time because he makes you change the channel. For 35 years, from the football turf to the baseball diamond, the television booth to the sideline, you could call him a thousand names, but never boring.
Leave it to Coach Prime to save the best for last, to rescue one of the most boring gameday Saturdays in recent memory, to put the finishing touches on the latest episode of #Pac12AfterDark.
Colorado’s thrilling 43-35 double-overtime win over in-state rival Colorado State on Saturday night wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t easy, but it showed another side to this Buffaloes team that is nothing like last year’s and, really, nothing like we’ve ever seen before.
“Resilience,” Sanders said after the game. “To be great, you’re going to have to be resilient. You’re going to have to overcome adversity, and that was a tremendous amount of adversity. And we overcame it.”
On the road to belief, there’s bound to be some moments of doubt, and Coach Prime admitted as such after the game.
“Truthfully, at one point in the game, I said, ‘We can’t let this dude win. Ain’t no way we letting this dude win,'” Sanders said. “This press conference is going to be unbearable if we left this dude win.”
“This dude,” of course, is Colorado State head coach Jay Norvell, who drew Prime’s ire by insinuating the Colorado coach lacked manners in press conferences by leaving his hat and sunglasses on. It was some of the most ridiculous bulletin board material of all time, but it galvanized the Buffaloes.
Until opening kickoff.
After both sides got heated before the game, it was Colorado State that carried it into competition, building a 21-14 lead as the Rams stifled the Buffaloes’ high-powered offense. Colorado didn’t even have its 4th play in CSU territory until midway through the 3rd quarter. It also didn’t have do-everything star Travis Hunter, who was knocked out of the game and ultimately sent to the hospital after a brutal late hit to the chest.
We're less than an hour away from Colorado State/Colorado & both teams got into it at midfield. Travis Hunter & Shedeur Sanders got into shouting matches as well pic.twitter.com/gbsIJjpzmy
— Lee Harvey (@MusikFan4Life) September 17, 2023
What it did have was Shedeur Sanders.
After throwing for just 64 yards in the 1st half, the Colorado quarterback finished with 348 yards and 4 scores and stepped up when it mattered most. Sanders led the Buffaloes on 3 consecutive scoring drives to end regulation, including a 98-yard last-minute touchdown drive that sent the game into overtime.
Before drive, Coach Prime — Shedeur’s father — pulled him aside.
“Do what you do,” Sanders said he told his son. “I’ve been seeing him do this since he was a kid.”
And he did, summoning the energy of his some-time passing tutor, Tom Brady.
“We do it in practice all the time, so there’s nothing really shock or surprise to it,” Shedeur Sanders said. “It’s more like, OK, we like those high-pressure moments. That’s what we live in. I wish the whole game was just straight that, honestly. That’s when I say we excel. In my own mind, I was thinking ‘Brady Mode.’
“He does it all the time, I’ve got to be able to do it.”
I know one person who believed.
“I knew when we got the ball on the 2-yard line, as long as this ball is in Shedeur’s hands, we’re going to get this ball down the field,” Deion Sanders said. “I knew that without a shadow of a doubt.”
Well, maybe two.
SHEDEUR YOU’RE A PROBLEM!!!! ⭐️
— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 17, 2023
Here’s the thing about faith: What good is it unless it’s tested?
Granted, no one expected it to be tested quite like that on Saturday, not against the lowly Rams, not after winning a fireworks show with TCU in Week 1, followed by a sound thrashing of Nebraska.
Colorado State was supposed to be a patsy after those 2 squads, but the Rams did not back down. Thing is, neither did Colorado.
“We started off playing like hot garbage but we got it right and we got the victory in the end,” Sanders said. “That’s all that matters.”
You don’t always expect someone with Prime’s bravado to “a-win-is-a-win” us.
But you also shouldn’t expect it to be so easy.
“We showed that we would fight, what we had no surrender or give up in us,” Sanders said. “That’s a lot for a team that is fairly new. I’m truly proud of our men as well as our coaching staff and support staff.”