NCAA Football

Shedeur Sanders, Colorado have sensational rally to beat Colorado State in overtime

The Buffaloes rallied late to force overtime after trailing by 11 in the fourth quarter


BOULDER, CO – SEPTEMBER 16: Quarterback Shedeur Sanders #2 of the Colorado Buffaloes throws a pass for a first quarter touchdown against the Colorado State Rams at Folsom Field on September 16, 2023 in Boulder, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

Boulder, Colo. has become the epicenter of college football.

The No. 18-ranked Buffaloes hosted rivals unranked Colorado State on Saturday in a game that drew plenty of hype for pre-game affairs throughout the week.

Head coaches Deion Sanders and Jay Norvell took jabs at each other that led to the former responding in an amusing, petty way. And even moments before the game, players from each side talked trash to each other, with Colorado's Shedeur Sanders and Travis Hunter in the thick of it.

And after Coach Prime said Colorado State "messed around and made [the game personal]," the Buffaloes got the last laugh in thrilling style.

It initially looked like things would go Colorado's way in dominant fashion early when Shilo Sanders intercepted redshirt freshman Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi's pass and took it 80 yards to the house.

But for each Colorado punch, Colorado State proved it had an answer.

The next two touchdowns went to Colorado State before Shedeur Sanders connected with Xavier Weaver on a 24-yard pass to send the game to halftime tied 14-14.

Fowler-Nicolosi and the Rams kept going after the break, and it didn't help Colorado that Hunter, its star CB/WR hybrid, was on the receiving end of a late hit early on and later ended up going to a local hospital for further evaluation.

Then early in the fourth quarter with Colorado State up 21-17 after a Colorado field goal, Fowler-Nicolosi somehow found tight end Dallin Holker on a short crossing route on 3rd-and-7, which Holker managed to take the distance.

It marked Holker's second touchdown grab of the night, and what was supposed to be a key scouting day for Colorado's talent ironically flipped the spotlight towards members of the Rams.

On Colorado's last drive after being pinned at its own two-yard line, Sanders led an improbable two-minute drill (1:30 to be exact) that resulted in a Jimmy Horn Jr. 45-yard catch-and-run touchdown with 36 seconds left in regulation. Colorado then converted the two-point conversion to make it 28-28.

In overtime, Sanders and Colorado scored two touchdowns -- both through tight end Michael Harrison -- but Fowler-Nicolosi's 4th-and-goal heave from the 23-yard line was intercepted that sealed the deal.

Sanders ended the night completing 38-for-47 passes for 348 yards, four touchdowns and one pick with Fowler-Nicolosi completing 34-for-47 passes for 367 yards, three touchdowns and three picks.

And with Colorado receiver Hunter out, it was Colorado State wideout Tory Horton who stole the show with 16 catches, 133 yards, one receiving touchdown and a 30-yard passing touchdown. The Rams also had Louis Brown reach 131 yards on 10 catches and Holker with 109 on six receptions, but it was not enough to prevent a furious Colorado comeback.

The Buffaloes also are the fourth team in FBS history to start a season 3-0 after losing 11-plus games in the prior season, so Prime Time is surely making the program prime time.

Colorado State will next have another road game against unranked Middle Tennessee. Colorado's schedule gets tougher, as it will travel to Oregon to face the 3-0 Ducks who currently are ranked No. 13.

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