BOULDER, Colo. — Two games into the Coach Prime era and the bar has already been raised at Colorado.
After upsetting national runner-up TCU last week, the No. 22 Buffaloes cruised to a 36-14 win against longtime rival Nebraska in the first regular season home game under coach Deion Sanders.
“We didn’t just want to win, we wanted to dominate,” Sanders said. “The first half, we weren’t dominant, the second half, we got it together and we began to dominate. We wanted to really impose our will.”
All week, Sanders preached to him team how the game against the Cornhuskers would be “personal.” He asked each of them to find a way to make it personal for them and to let that carry into Saturday morning. For Sanders’ son, quarterback Shedeur Sanders, the Huskers made it easy.
“It was extremely personal,” Sanders said. “We go out there to warm up and you got the head coach for the other team (Matt Rhule) trying to stand in the middle of the Buff. It’s OK if a couple of players do it, it’s fine. Just enjoy the scenery, but when you’ve got a whole team trying to disrespect it, I’m not going for that at all, so I went in there and disrupted it.
“The Buff means a lot to me.”
Shedeur Sanders also hadn’t forgotten about offseason comments from Rhule, he interpreted as disrespectful toward his father. Shortly after being hired, Rhule said in an interview that he doesn’t “let cameras in, there won’t be a camera following me around. I want it to always be (about) the players.”
This came shortly after Deion Sanders’ arrival in Boulder, where cameras seemingly following him everywhere he goes.
“The coach said a lot of things about my pops, about the program, but now that he want to act nice — I don’t respect that because you’re hating on another man, you shouldn’t do that,” Shedeur Sanders said. “It was just, all respect was gone for them and their program. I like playing against their DC, I like playing against them, but the respect level, it ain’t there cause you disrespected us first.”
After an elusive scramble and a completion on a two-point conversion attempt that would end up overruled on replay, Sanders celebrated by taking his helmet off in the end zone. The decision drew a 15-yard penalty and his father’s ire.
“I went over and said, ‘You cannot do that. You cannot take your helmet off.’ He said, ‘Dad, it’s personal,'” Sanders said. “I was really upset and he broke up the monotony with, ‘It’s personal.’ They really took it to heart, that whole thing.”
Colorado started the game slowly, but after Nebraska cut the deficit to 13-7 early in the third quarter, it was all Buffs the rest of the way before a sold-out crowd of 53,241 – the largest at Folsom Field in 15 years.
Sanders finished the day 31 of 42 for 393 yards with a pair of touchdowns, including 10 passes to South Florida transfer Xavier Weavers (170 yards, 1 touchdown).
“First of all, a lot of credit to them,” Rhule said. “They are well put together, fast, dynamic and explosive. Sean (Lewis) with the offense does a great job and a lot of credit to Coach Sanders and his team. They played well today.”
ESPN’s College GameDay will be on site next week as the Buffaloes wrap up nonconference play against Colorado State.