In what already might have been the best game of the college football season, Colorado Buffaloes quarterback Shedeur Sanders and dual-threat weapon Travis Hunter emerged as two of the biggest stars in the nation in a 45-42 win over the TCU Horned Frogs.
It was an electric shootout in the Big 12 matchup, with Sanders controlling the Buffaloes offense. The son of Deion Sanders set a school record with 510 passing yards, completing 37 of 46 passes with four touchdowns.
Along with his ability to complete quick-hitting throws and giving what the defense gave to him, Sanders showed off off his off-script ability at times, avoiding pressure and extending plays before finding open receivers downfield.
Sanders wasn't afraid to test TCU's defense, either. The junior quarterback showed off effortless arm strength when throwing deep, attempting to hit Hunter and Jimmy Horn Jr. multiple times deep down the sideline. While he wasn't able to connect on most of those attempts, the arm strength and ball placement showed that it could be a dangerous option for the offense as the season progresses.
That didn't stop Sanders from continuing to attempt the deep ball, however, eventually finding Xavier Weaver late in the third quarter for a 44-yard gain to keep Colorado in the game while down 28-24. The Buffaloes scored just a couple plays later to retake the lead heading into the fourth quarter.
For Hunter, the former No. 1 recruit in the 2022 recruiting class showed off some incredible cardio by playing what seemed like almost every snap on both offense and defense, logging over 110 snaps at two of the most physically demanding positions on the football field. On offense, he caught 11 passes for 119 yards, but added three tackles and a pass breakup on the other side of the ball.
Perhaps Hunter's biggest moment of the game came in the third quarter. With the Horned Frogs pushing all the way down the field and near the goal line, Hunter read a passing play perfectly to make a beautiful diving interception to preserve Colorado's 24-21 lead.
Travis Hunter just picked off the Rail on Mesh
Pretty unbelievable IQ & Instincts pic.twitter.com/PiZgSxWcus
— Coach Dan Casey (@CoachDanCasey) September 2, 2023
Things obviously weren't perfect for Colorado in their first game with Deion Sanders as head coach. Special teams blunders kept the Horned Frogs in the game, including a blocked field goal in the first half and a massive kickoff return allowed in the fourth quarter. Both the offensive and defensive lines are still working on finding their footing, and the team as a whole had too many mental lapses.
However, with what we saw from both Sanders and Hunter on Saturday, it's evident that the Buffaloes have firmly been put back on the map, and this win over TCU was a statement for Coach Prime in his Colorado debut.
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