If you were to ask the Colorado Buffalos head coach Deion Sanders, his team’s 45-42 victory over the Texas Christian Horned Frogs was not an upset. “Do you believe now?” the man once known as “Prime Time” asked a reporter following the game, “Huh?”
In front of over 53,000 fans at Amon G. Carter Stadium, Sanders and his newly built roster matched last year’s Buffalos’ win record in just their first game of the season, shocking everyone in the college football world, except for themselves.
After finishing a disastrous 1-11, the Buffalos brought in Sanders, a Pro Football Hall of Fame cornerback, who had a handful of years coaching high school and three (abbreviated) seasons at Jackson State under his belt, where he amassed a 27-6 record and a pair of Southwestern Athletic Conference championships.
If Coach Prime continues like this he will cement himself as one of the best coaches in the history of Colorado Buffaloes.
Pre-Game Preparations And Roster Changes
Although Sanders will tell you differently, Jackson State is not at the same level as TCU. So how did a team that struggled for a single victory last year and entered Saturday’s game as a 20.5-point underdog defeat a team that competed in last year’s national championship game?
First off, Sanders completely renovated the Buffalos’ roster, bringing in eighty-six new players, ones he wanted and ones that he knew would play his way. During his introduction press conference, Sanders claimed, “I’m coming, and when I get here, it’s gonna be change. So I want you all to get ready to go ahead and jump in the portal and do whatever you’re gonna get, because the more you jump in, the room you make. We’re bringing kids that are smart, tough, fast, disciplined with character. That’s the ones we’re gonna get. Is that you?”
The overhaul would rank Colorado as the number one school for incoming transfer players. Of all the players on the roster, only ten scholarship players would be returning from the 2022 season.
In a quick breakdown of the new roster, nine players followed Sanders from Jackson State, including quarterback Shedeur Sanders, safety Shilo Sanders (both are Deion’s sons), and receiver Travis Hunter, the top-ranked recruit in 2022. Twenty-four players would transfer over to Colorado from Power Five conference teams, and of all the transfers, forty-six of them would be 4-year college players, ones that have proved their worth.
Will they rank among the best football players in Colorado history soon?
Colorado's upset of TCU pulled 7.26M viewers on FOX — the most-watched Week 1 Big Noon Saturday game ever.
It was the most-watched game of the day on any network. pic.twitter.com/n8xgPKyQXh
— Front Office Sports (@FOS) September 7, 2023
TCU vs Colorado Buffaloes: Game Summary
Before the Buffalo’s took the field in front of a crazed TCU fanbase, Sanders got his players hyped and focused with a passionate pregame speech that set the tone for the day and the season ahead. “It’s not about them, it’s about us. This has nothing to do with the team we are about to face, this is about us. This ain’t got nothing to do with the naysayers, the unbelievers, the haters, or the doubters, this is about us…We ain’t got tomorrow, we’ve got now. We ain’t got next, we’ve got now. We ain’t comin’ no more. We here!”
We've chased things that we shouldn't have but the 1 that we should've is Consistency! With Consistency anything can be accomplished & those things we desire are reachable & attainable. Let's be Consistent as we possibly can with no excuses. #CoachPrime
— COACH PRIME (@DeionSanders) September 7, 2023
Player Stats On Sanders Debut
So how did these new players perform for Sanders on the biggest stage of their career so far?
- In his first game for the Buffalos, Shedeur set a school record with 510 passing yards, completing 38 of 47 attempts (81%), and no interceptions, resulting in four touchdowns. Shedeur masterfully blended accuracy, decision-making, short yardage, long balls, and his own athletic ability throughout the game.
- Hunter, playing both receiver and cornerback, totaled nearly 130 snaps in 100-degree weather. The freshman finished the afternoon with eleven receptions for 119 yards, plus a possible touchdown-saving interception during the third quarter. Some are calling the sophomore the college football version of Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani. Currently on pace for over 1,700 snaps, Coach Sanders noted, “The Heisman is chilling in his crib right now.”
- Three of the Buffalos’ transfer players, along with freshman Dylan Edwards, each had 100+ receiving yards, setting a school record. Edwards would have a highlight-filled day with five catches for 135 yards, and four touchdowns including a 46-yard reception.
— Colorado Buffaloes Football (@CUBuffsFootball) September 7, 2023
Offensively, the Buffalos put TCU on their heels, scoring the first touchdown of the game and controlling the pace from the opening kickoff as the Horned Frogs gave up 565 yards, including 510 in the air. Colorado would also control the clock as they had possession of the ball for nearly ten more minutes than their opponent (34:33 – 25:27).
While it was fair that Colorado was unranked heading into the season, based on their two previous horrific seasons, all of that is in the past. Don’t be surprised to see Coach Prime and the Buffalos crack the AP rankings, or at the very least be among the Honorable Mentions heading into their home-opener game against Nebraska next weekend. Chances are, Sanders has plenty more receipts in his pocket ready to cash in and fans already dream of a bowl presence.