Paolo UghettiESPN5 minutes of reading
Eugene, OR — that changed after a 3-0 start Colorado entered the college football world’s lightning rod, head coach Deion Sanders entered a small white tent in the back of Audzen Stadium on Saturday to address his first real humbling as Colorado’s head coach: a 42-6 loss to Oregon in a game that left Coach Prime with no other top 20 team. , still sporting his sunglasses inside.
“We played like hot garbage,” Sanders said. “Good old fashioned butt kicking. No excuses.”
As Sanders’ straightforward message gave voice to Colorado’s struggles, the results spoke for themselves. Through 60 minutes, the Buffs were outplayed in every facet of the game, allowing 518 total yards of offense — 284 passing, 234 rushing — while they fell short of 200 total yards.
From kickoff, Sanders’ team fell apart on the road, racking up penalties and fouls on both sides of the ball, which combined with Oregon’s stellar play across the board, created a recipe for disaster. Soon, the Oregon student section’s “Overrated” chant began before the game.
Even injured two-way star Travis Hunter couldn’t have saved the Buffaloes, a result that felt inevitable from the moment quarterback Bo Knicks and Oregon started the game. No objection or objection. The theme continued throughout the half, with the Knicks and the offense picking up first downs with ease and scoring 35 points, while the Ducks’ defense made Shadiur Sanders’ day a nightmare.
Schedure, who received some Heisman hype through the first three games of the season, was sacked four times in the first half, not having enough time to find an open man or losing too many yards in the backfield, making scrambles chaotic.
“I can’t keep making excuses like that,” Schedure said postgame. “They’re not magic or real. If you don’t execute, you’re going to lose.”
“Once they got to our quarterback, it was a wrap,” Deion said of his son. “It’s not like we’re running the ball successfully.”
While Deion was quick to acknowledge the decision, he commented that there was a talent gap between the Buffs and Ducks. If so, how are they 3-1 after a winning season? As for the idea that Colorado needs to lose to learn a lesson or be humbled in some form, he joked that his team wasn’t arrogant, just confident.
“We expect to do well,” Deion said. “We didn’t do it today, though [the loss] It’s not something that’s necessary.”
Deion seems more aware of his surroundings than anyone else. The attention Colorado has drawn is rooted in his personality and his coaching, but according to Deion, it’s also the way opposing teams view the Buffs. Teams are determined to beat him, not his team, he said. It seems to have led to everything from fans mocking Shedour about his Rolex watches, as they did late in Saturday’s game; For Oregon icon Puddles, the coach dressed up like Prime during the pregame before smashing the clock to “prime time”; Talking about how sports are played on grass and not in “Hollywood,” Lanning addresses opposing coaches with comments similar to those he made during his preview speech.
“Contrary to what someone said, I don’t say things for the sake of saying them with a click.” Dion said. “Our faith offends their insecurities. That’s it. I signed up for that.”
The Buffaloes exude confidence even before kickoff. Deion emerges from the tunnel, surrounded by security and double-digit cameras, going through his pregame walk-through detailing his every step and move. It was remarkable to witness him walking slowly around the perimeter of the stadium, greeted by cheers and cheers alike. Although he’s quick to point out that he’s no longer playing, it’s not hard to see some teams and coaches acting like him.
“Let them hear a couple more,” Deion said when Colorado’s sports information director called to end Saturday’s postgame news conference. “I have nowhere else to go.”
In turn, the Buffs have taken on a similarly optimistic persona. But as no one but Deion knows, all the glitz and glamor will come with losses. That’s why, after Saturday’s loss, Sanders made it clear that a program in Year 1 of what is supposed to be a rebuilding season has not only a lot of work to do, but also plenty of time.
“Put your butt up and let’s go,” Sanders said in his postgame message to the team. “We don’t have time to throw a pity party. Nobody’s walking around the locker room with napkins and tissues. We’ve got some work to do. I can see the future and it’s great.”