Prime Time in Boulder, Colorado
TCU and Colorado opened the CFB season for the second straight year on Saturday, but the 20.5-point favorite Horned Frogs paled in comparison to the revamped, Deionified Buffalo.
The new-look Buffs stampeded into Fort Worth like they were overwhelming favorites. QB Sheduer Sanders led the Buffs all day long, throwing 38/47 for a program record 510 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions in his Colorado debut.
In an interview with Fox’s Jenny Taft after the game, Sanders said, “Nobody believed in us, man, and it just showed me a lot about how people [are]. They let names and Power Five and stuff get to their heads… I think this [was] the highest passing yards I’ve had in my life. I was just at an HBCU, you know what I mean? They didn’t believe in us.”
Sanders turned down offers from Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Oregon, Florida State, and more two years ago to play at Jackson State University. His father, Deion Sanders, coached JSU for three years with a 27-6 record. JSU won back-to-back SAC championships under Coach Prime, but Deion’s most significant achievement was the light he shined on HBCU’s and the impact he left on his players.
When Coach Prime signed with Colorado, he met with the players from last year’s roster to address expectations and imminent changes. The Buffs were a sorry 1-11 last season, while Coach Prime’s JSU Tigers were 12-1. “Deion Sanders” and “lose” don’t belong in the same sentence. In fact, they are oxymorons. That being the case, Coach Prime had to deliver some bittersweet news to his current, soon-to-be former players that day.
“We got a few positions already taken care of, because I’m bringing my luggage with me… and it's Louis.”
Only 10 scholarship players from last year's roster returned for the 2023 season. Coach Prime added 68 scholarship players of his own.
One of those players, or Louis bags as Coach Prime alluded to in his introductory address, is CB/WR Travis Hunter. Hunter was the #1 prospect coming out of high school two years ago. Hunter, a five-star recruit, was the highest projected player to ever commit to an HBCU in 2022. He de-committed from Florida State to play for Sanders at Jackson State, and he followed Sanders again to Colorado.
That’s the Coach Prime effect.
On Saturday, Hunter caught 11 balls for 119 yards at receiver. On the other side of the ball, #12 allowed just 1 reception, made 3 tackles, and caught an acrobatic red zone interception to save a touchdown.
Hunter played a grand total of 151 snaps in the game, including a few on Special Teams, as he emulated a performance eerily reminiscent of the great Deion Sanders. In fact, in the same interview with Jenny Taft after the game, Coach Prime said, “I don’t know how many snaps [Hunter] played, but we’re going to put a hot tub on the plane for him.”
Some are calling Hunter the CFB’s Shohei Ohtani, although it seems more appropriate to call Ohtani the Deion Sanders of the MLB and Hunter the modern age Prime Time.
In addition to Hunter’s breakout, stat sheet-stuffer performance, the Buffs needed three additional, equally extraordinary performances from RB Dylan Edwards, WR Jimmy Horn Jr., and WR Xavier Weaver. For the first time in program history, Colorado had four players with 100 receiving yards in one game.
Dylan Edwards: 5 rec, 135 yards, 3TD; 6 car, 24 yards, 1TD
Jimmy Horn Jr.: 11 rec, 117 yards, 1TD
Xavier Weaver: 6 rec, 118 yards
That’s the Coach Prime effect.
Colorado bested TCU in an old-fashioned Texas shootout by the score 48-45.
In his post-game media session, Coach Prime made headlines when he answered a question about his son’s historic performance with sarcasm. After many reporters questioned his decision to start Shedeur throughout the preseason, Coach Prime declared that he kept receipts.
“For real? Shedeur Sanders from an HBCU? The one that played at Jackson last year? The one that you asked me why would I give him the starting job?”
Coach Prime has been questioned at every stop, and he continues to defy the odds. "We Comin" is the saying that Coach Prime and the Buffs have trumpeted all preseason, but that ended on Saturday. Colorado football is here to stay. The Coach Prime effect is real, and it just put all of college football on notice.