The shine has come off of the Colorado Buffaloes football program in recent weeks. A blowout loss in Eugene, OR to the Oregon Ducks was the reality check that many critics had been looking for, bringing the Buffs back to Earth. The loss to the USC Trojans was a bit tighter but could have easily gotten out of hand.
The game against the Arizona State Sundevils was meant to be a get-right game. Even though the Buffs walked away with their fourth win of the year, it was anything but ideal. Let’s break things down and go from there.
Find out how to bet on Colorado football here.
A Win is a Win
At the end of the day, a win is a win for the Buffs. Coming into the conference season, some of the more realistic projections had the Buffs winning just a handful of games in head coach Deion Sanders’ – AKA Coach Prime – first season.
That said, the game against the Arizona State Sun Devils did not go as planned. The game was meant to be a get-right game for the team as a whole, a chance for the offense to dominate again and bring confidence back up to 2023 Colorado standards.
Things were rough again from an offensive line perspective, something that has been an Achilles heel for the Buffs this season. Trailing 17-14 at half, it seemed like there were more questions than answers. Arizona State tied the game at 24 in the final minute after a touchdown pass from Trenton Bourguet. The Buffs drove down the field quickly and kicker Alejandro Mata nailed the game-winning 43-yard field goal.
It wasn’t the most impressive win, but good teams find a way to win ugly. This was undoubtedly an ugly win, and the hope is that the Buffs can take this as a teachable moment that can be used later on.
Can you name another defensive lineman that delivered this kind of hit on a Kickoff return? Colorado Football DL Bishop Thomas is different 🤯
— NoSkoZone (@noskozone) October 9, 2023
Criticism From Coach Prime
While a win is still a win, and Colorado earning one more is more than many expected prior to the season, Coach Prime is not excited about it. He has the kind of attitude that requires perfection from his players in order to take the program to the next level.
“Played like hot garbage,” he said. “I’m trying to figure this out. Sick of it. I really am. I’m sick of us coming out here and putting forth the effort we put forth in the first half.”
The team got on track on its second drive, tying the game at 7 after a 75-yard drive. Even still, after being asked a question about the second drive, Coach Prime wasn’t willing to let go of the drive that came before it.
“What about the first drive?” he asked. “What about the first two plays? How do you start a game like that, with a quarterback like this? I’m sorry for my impatience, I don’t have patience for too much in life. You ask my kids.”
— COACH PRIME (@DeionSanders) October 8, 2023
Shedeur Sanders Facing a Gauntlet
It is clear that Colorado quarterback and son of the head coach Shedeur Sanders is a special player on the collegiate level. No doubt he is one of the best players in the Buffs roster. He has posted impressive numbers so far, completing nearly 73% of his passes for 2,020 yards and 16 touchdowns with just two interceptions.
That said, he has also taken a beating behind a very questionable offensive line. Coming into the Arizona State game, Colorado had allowed the second-most sacks in the nation (26) behind Old Dominion (27). It was never more evident than in the Oregon game, when he had zero chance of finding any outlets.
“He’s upset with hit after hit after hit,” Coach Prime said. “You think he’s happy being the most sacked guy in college football, and he’s still doing what he’s doing? He’s sick of it.”
Things didn’t get any better in the game against the Sun Devils, seeing Sanders sacked five more times. It is a major problem that can be masked against inferior opponents but will become a major problem point against big-time competition. We have seen it in the Oregon and USC games, and that likely won’t be the last time we see those issues.
This is a totally disgusting cheap shot by ASU’s Cam Skattebo vs Colorado
The hate/jealousy for the Buffs because of Coach Prime is ridiculous… wow!
I get that playing Colorado is their Super Bowl, but no excuse for this…
— College Football Blue Bloods (@bluebloodsbias) October 9, 2023
Keep the Future in Mind
The Buffs are in a great position, all things considered. They are 4-2 and should be heavily favored against a very bad Stanford team on Friday the 13th. After that, the schedule becomes a never-ending Friday the 13th.
It starts with a trip to play #18 UCLA. The Buffs are back at home for games against #15 Oregon State and Arizona in back-to-back weeks. To finish the year, the Buffs will travel again, facing #19 Washington State and #16 Utah in hostile territory.
For now, the advice is to take the ugly wins. There may not be many more victories to be proud of with the coming slate.