The Deion Sanders era in Colorado started with a huge shock.
The Buffaloes got a late fourth-down stop with 55 seconds left to clinch a 45-42 victory over No. 17 TCU in Fort Worth on Saturday. QB Shedeur Sanders — the son of the Pro Football Hall of Famer — set the Colorado single-game record for passing yards, while two-way star Travis Hunter had 11 catches as a wide receiver and an interception as a defensive back.
“I’m so thankful right now… man, I love these kids,” Deion Sanders told Fox after the game. “It is a great joy for me to get this opportunity.”
Shedeur became the first player in Colorado history to throw for more than 500 yards, as he passed 38 of 47 for 510 yards and threw four touchdowns. Many of those yards came after the catch, but that doesn’t detract from how well he threw the ball in his first game with the Buffaloes.
Hunter played over 100 snaps in his first game as a Colorado player. He started at both receiver and defensive back and led the team with 11 catches for 119 yards, while Jimmy Horn Jr. Had 11 catches for 117 yards.
Hunter’s interception was also huge. He made a great read off a pitch from TCU’s Chandler Morris into the red zone when he made a diving catch. While Colorado went three-and-out and returned the ball directly to TCU on Hunter’s pick, it was Morris’ second time throwing an interception near the goal line.
Both Hunter and Shedeur Sanders came with Deion Sanders when the former NFL defensive back was hired by Colorado from Jackson State. One of the first players to commit to Colorado after it hired Sanders was four-star running back Dylan Edwards. And he also played a huge game. Edwards had five catches for 135 yards and three touchdowns, while also rushing six times for 24 yards and a touchdown.
Edwards was committed to Notre Dame before signing with Colorado in December. A native of Kansas, Edwards was the No. 1 player in the state and the No. 3 all-around in the class of 2023, according to Rivals.
Colorado has top talent
There was no denying that Colorado added talent during the off-season. Sanders was hired to flesh out a moribund program and he did so as dozens of new players arrived through the transfer portal and others were not retained.
But depth was – and still can be – a key question at the start of the season. Colorado’s top talent won the day against the Horned Frogs, but it may be impossible to ask Hunter – the No. 1 candidate in the class of 2022 – to play more than 100 snaps per game on both offense and defense . However, that’s a problem to worry about later in the season. This was a Colorado team that entered Saturday as an underdog with three touchdowns against a team that made the national title game a year ago.