Photo credit: USA Today
What a difference a year, along with a legendary new head Coach and a few big-name transfers can make. Coming off a lacklustre campaign in which they managed only one win in 2022, the Colorado Buffaloes and their new leader on the sidelines Deion Sanders made good on their “We Coming” proclamation edging out hosts Texas Christian 45-42 in a week one thriller that captivated the college football world on opening weekend.
The Buffs were lead by a pair of high-profile players that arrived through the transfer portal in junior quarterback Shedeur Sanders and two-way phenom Travis Hunter. For Shedeur Sanders -the highly-acclaimed son of the iconic Coach PRIME and presumptive starter under center in Boulder- the season-opener and first road game in a white CU uniform simply could not have unfolded any better.
The younger Sanders was amazingly accurate and incredibly efficient all afternoon, looking every bit a polished passer in completing 38 of his 47 passes, for 510 yards, including 4 touchdowns and zero interceptions. The performance marked the first time in history a Colorado quarterback eclipsed 500 yards passing in a single game. Perhaps even more impressive in setting the mark, Sanders had FOUR different receivers amass 100 yards or more receiving.
What had previously been a pedestrian group of pass catchers was undeniably bolstered by newcomers Xavier Weaver and Jimmy Horn Jr., both of whom arrived by way of transfer from South Florida.
Despite the heroics of the erstwhile Jackson State sideline savant and his field general, the most impactful and ultimately game-changing plays on Saturday were made by Hunter.
The 6’1”, 185-lb. sophomore sensation out Suwannee, Georgia by way of West Palm Beach, Florida looks to be the latest and greatest offspring of Devin Hester, Chris Gamble, and the great soon-to-be dual Hall of Famer Charles Woodson; to say nothing of his multi-talented, one of a kind Hall of Fame coach.
Hunter piled up 119 yards on 11 receptions, just barely failing to hang on to what would have been an extremely high degree of difficulty, highlight reel diving touchdown. However, Hunter did make what was likely the game-winning the play of the game in securing a “did he really just do that?!” interception in the red zone, instinctually sniffing out a short route and going full extension to snag the improbable pick, thereby snuffing out a potentially go-ahead, game-winning score for the #17 ranked Horned Frogs.
It was certainly a wonderfully sweet season-debut for Coach Sanders whose previously unranked team was unbelievably impressive in backing up his bold claims that “We coming,” indeed. Next week it’ll be Matt Ruhle and his ‘Huskers from Nebraska coming into Boulder to see if the Buffaloes can continue to roam over the rest of the competition in the young 2023 season.