Shedeur Sanders threw a touchdown pass to Michael Harrison in double overtime after leading the way to tie the game with 36 seconds left in the fourth quarter and Colorado rallied to beat Colorado State 43-35 early Sunday morning versus to a full house full of famous names.
Colorado State coach Jay Norvell added spice to the Rocky Mountain Showdown earlier in the week by attacking his counterpart, Deion Sanders, for not removing his sunglasses and hat during interviews. After the game, Sanders and Norvell shook hands near midfield amid a sea of fans.
“This rivalry has gone on much longer and before I got here,” Norvell said. “This will continue after I leave.”
As for their dispute, it’s a thing of the past for Sanders, the NFL Hall of Famer who has brought enormous publicity to Colorado since taking over as head coach this year.
“I’m happy for the brother. I really am,” Sanders said. “I’m happy that they fought, that they played a good game. I’m happy he’s the head coach. I’m happy for any brother that’s doing it and having success, man. I really am. I don’t know where all this comes from. I had to respond because my mom taught me that.”
However, Sanders admitted that Norvell’s comments had fueled his desire to beat Colorado State.
“The truth is that there is a point to the game. I said we can’t let this guy win,” Sanders said. “There’s no way we’re letting this guy win. “This press conference will be unbearable if we let this guy win.”
Sanders and the Buffaloes fed off the perceived snub throughout the game. Sanders’ son, Shilo, donned sunglasses after his 80-yard interception return for a touchdown in the first quarter as his proud father ran down the sideline.
Another of Sanders’ sons, Shedeur, is Colorado’s starting quarterback. He hooked up with Harrison for an 18 yard score and then found Xavier Weaver open on the two-point conversion. Colorado’s defense took the lead from there, with Trevor Woods intercepting Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi Pass on fourth and 23 to end the game at almost 12:30 a.m. local time.
It sparked a celebration as fans packed the field for the second week in a row. It was Colorado’s biggest fourth-quarter comeback since 2005.
“We showed that we have no surrender or surrender in us,” Deion Sanders said. “They never doubted themselves.”
In the first overtime, Shedeur Sanders waited patiently in the pocket until Harrison broke open for a three-yard score. Fowler-Nicolosi continued to connect with Tory Horton on an eight-yard score.
This came after a dramatic end to regulation. With 2:06 left in the fourth quarter, Shedeur Sanders and the Buffaloes (3-0) got the ball back at the two-yard line, trailing 28-20. He led a seven-play drive that culminated with a 45-yard touchdown pass to Jimmy Horn Jr. with 36 seconds left. Sanders hit Harrison for the two-point conversion.
“Well, we do it in practice all the time, so it’s not really a surprise to us,” Shedeur Sanders said of the 98-yard gain. “We like these moments of high pressure”
His father never doubted him.
“This is who he is,” Deion Sanders said.
Colorado State was a big underdog, but led for much of the game. His outcome was 17 penalties for 182 yards, including a flag for a below-the-waist block that nullified a touchdown in the second overtime.
Shedeur Sanders finished with 348 yards, four touchdowns and one interception for the Buffaloes, who won their sixth straight game over the Rams (0-2). Colorado was missing wide receiver/cornerback Travis Hunter, who was ruled out in the third quarter with an undisclosed injury and taken to the hospital for further evaluation. He could be out for a few weeks.
Deion Sanders has made the Buffaloes the talk of college football since taking over a team that went 1-11 last season.
This weekend, both ESPN’s College GameDay and Fox’s Big Noon Kickoff were on campus. Some of the biggest names in sports and entertainment showed up in Boulder, including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who appeared on the GameDay set and took off his jacket to reveal a Shedeur Sanders No. 2 T-shirt. The Buffaloes took the field at a mini concert performed by Lil Wayne in the end zone just before kickoff.
“They have Lil Wayne here and Coach Prime doing his thing. They have a whole animal running around,” Shilo Sanders said of the pregame festivities that also included the live buffalo mascot, Ralphie, running around the field. “I would have been really scared if it was the other team.”