This was finally the big moment of truth for new Colorado football coach Deion Sanders. Right here in the 100-degree heat of Texas after nine months of hype.
And he told you so. He told everybody. “Do you believe now?” Sanders asked reporters after his team beat No. 16 TCU Saturday 45-42. “Huh?”
It’s impossible not to after what happened here Saturday in front of a national television audience and a record crowd of 53,294 at Amon G. Carter Stadium.
It was Sanders’ first game as Colorado’s coach after he brought in 68 scholarship newcomers to replace most of last year’s team, which finished 1-11.
The Buffaloes also were 20½-point underdogs against a team that played in the national title game last season.
“A lot of y’all didn’t believe in us,” said Shedeur Sanders, Deion’s son and Colorado’s quarterback.
“Everybody asking me questions right now, which − it’s crazy because you just got to understand our coach, Coach Prime, my dad. Everywhere he went, he was a winner.”
How did he win this time? ∎ Shedeur Sanders, a transfer from Jackson State, set a school record with 510 passing yards in his first game for Colorado.
He completed 38 of his 47 throws (81%), including four for touchdowns.
∎ Four players for Colorado had at least 100 yards receiving, a school record. Three were transfer players. The other was a freshman, Dylan Edwards, who caught three touchdowns and ran for another.
∎ One of those transfer players, Travis Hunter played nearly 120 snaps as he switched between offense and defense as a receiver and cornerback.
He caught 11 balls for 119 yards and had an interception near the goal line to save a possible touchdown in the third quarter.
∎ Then, after a back-and-forth second half, Colorado’s defense held TCU off on fourth-and-9 at the Colorado 43-yard line with 55 seconds left.
The Buffs ran out the clock after that, instantly turning the college football world on its head as it pondered what to make of what just happened.