Even in defeat, Deion Sanders is unbeaten. Following Colorado’s epic 29-0 collapse against a Stanford team that had one win coming into Friday, the Buffs coach questioned whether his team was “in love” with football or just “in like” with it. Following the 46-43 double OT loss, Sanders made an impassioned plea for his group to match his devotion to the game, yet what was his focus Thursday?
I’ll tell you what it wasn’t, it wasn’t football. The day before hosting one of the Pac-12’s cellar dwellers — and a week after almost losing to the other squad at the bottom of the standings — Coach Prime was complaining about the late start time.
“Who makes these 8 o’clock games? Dumbest thing ever. Stupidest thing ever invented in life. Who wants to stay up until 8 o’clock for a darn game?” Sanders said. “What about the East Coast — do they even care about ratings? Is anyone watching it? What are we supposed to do with the kids all day until 8 o’clock? What are we supposed to do in the hotel?”
While I’m well aware that complaining about a guy nicknamed Prime Time lamenting about not having a prime time slot is like complaining about the Cookie Monster getting pissed that there are no cookies, it still doesn’t negate the fact that Sanders was more preoccupied with the unconventional start time than preparing the Buffs. Also, how dare he besmirch Pac-12 After Dark in maybe its last year.
“Thank god we’re not going to be in this conference,” Sanders said on his radio show, referring to CU’s upcoming return to the Big 12.
Real classy, coach. Colorado’s decision might’ve prompted the dissolution of a 108-year-old conference, but sure, take a cheap shot.
Speaking of dissolving (and cheap shots), how about that 29-0 halftime lead?
Scenes from a meltdown
Credit to the Cardinal for not packing it in and not accepting a 1-5 start. Stanford QB-wide receiver combo of Ashton Daniels and Elik Ayomanor went on an absolute heater in the second half and first overtime.
The receiver tallied 13 grabs for 294 yards and three touchdowns — all after the break. He torched Travis Hunter on many of those routes, with scores from 97, 60, and 30 yards out. It culminated in the first overtime when he trapped the ball behind Hunter’s head, and dragged the CU corner into the endzone by his helmet.
After missing the past few games with a lacerated internal organ, Hunter returned to the field, and had himself a night on offense. He also had 13 catches, finishing with 140 yards, and two scores, but was absolutely gassed late in the game. Both Sanders — Shedeur and Deion — were very dependent on the two-way star’s talent Friday, and it’s fair to say maybe a little too dependent.
Colorado’s second-half drive chart was a picture-perfect way to blow a lead. Two of the first four possessions of the second half ended on downs in CU territory despite the fourth down starting on the Cardinal’s side of the field. (The other two were punts.)
Sanders was sacked for 12 yards on the first fourth-down try, giving Daniels a short field for the team’s opening score, and the next fourth-down try was a complete debacle. With 2:06 left in the third, and Stanford trailing 29-19, the CU QB was called for intentional grounding 21 yards behind the line of scrimmage, ceding the ball to Stanford at the CU 33. (They scored eight plays later.)
That grounding call was one of the 17 penalties CU racked up for 127 yards, and miscues, as much as an overreliance on the passing game, kept Stanford alive. Colorado’s running backs only had 21 carries combined on a night when the Buffs should’ve leaned on them to salt away an easy W. Instead, Shedeur — who had 37 yards on 13 runs, with a long of 38 yards — threw the ball 47 times. His last attempt, on third and goal from the two, ended in Cardinal hands.
I hope for Coach Prime’s sake that as few people watched his team’s impossible choke job as he thought.
Sean Beckwith added a tagline so the kickers to his pieces aren’t buried below five different mobile ads