BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — His mother gave the pregame speech. His son, a defensive back, started the scoring with a 80-yard pick-six. His quarterback son won it with a 98-yard drive for the ages and an overtime game that won’t soon be forgotten.
It was a busy day for Deion Sanders. With a group of famous friends in town too to take it all in.
Shedeur Sanders threw a TD pass to Michael Harrison in the second overtime after leading the drive to tie the game with 36 seconds left in the fourth quarter and No. 18 Colorado rallied to beat Colorado State 43- 35 early Sunday in front of a packed house. filled with famous names.
Sanders connected with Harrison for a score of 18 yards then found an open Xavier Weaver on the 2-point conversion. Colorado’s defense took over from there, with Trevor Woods’ interception. Pass from Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi on fourth and 23 to end the game around 12:30 a.m. local time.
That sparked a celebration as fans rushed the field for a second straight week. It was Colorado’s biggest fourth-quarter comeback since 2005.
“We showed we don’t have any surrender or giving up in us,” Buffaloes coach Deion Sanders said. “They never doubted themselves.”
In the first overtime, Shedeur Sanders waited patiently in the pocket until Harrison got open for a 3-yard score. Fowler-Nicolosi followed by connecting with Tory Horton on an 8-yard score.
With 2:06 left in the fourth quarter, Sanders and the Buffaloes (3-0) got the ball back at the 2-yard line and trailed 28-20. He led a seven-play drive that culminated with a 45-yard pass to Jimmy Horn Jr. with 36 seconds remaining. Sanders hit Harrison for the 2-point conversion.
“Well, we do it all the time in practice, so it’s not really a surprise to us,” Sanders said of the 98-yard drive. “We love these moments of high pressure”
“That’s who he is,” Deion Sanders said.
Underdog by 23 1/2 points, the Rams led for much of the game. Their outcome was 17 penalties for 182 yards, including a flag for a block below the waist that negated a touchdown in the second overtime.
Rams coach Jay Norvell added spice to the Rocky Mountain Showdown earlier in the week by lashing out at Deion Sanders for not removing his sunglasses and hat during interviews. After the game, Sanders and Norvell shook hands near midfield amid a sea of fans.
“This rivalry has been going on a lot longer and before I got here,” said Norvell, who is in his second season at Colorado State. “This will continue after I leave.”
As for their bickering, that’s water under the bridge for Sanders.
“I wish him the best,” he said.
Sanders and the Buffaloes fed off the perceived levity throughout the game. Shilo Sanders donned sunglasses after his 80-yard interception return for a touchdown in the first quarter as his proud father happily ran down the sideline.
“Those ticket prices were worth it today,” Shilo Sanders said.
Shedeur Sanders finished with 348 yards, four touchdowns and an interception for the Buffaloes, who won their sixth straight game against the Rams (0-2). Sanders was missing receiver/corner Travis Hunter, who was ruled out in the third quarter with an undisclosed injury and taken to the hospital for further evaluation. He could be out for a few weeks.
Colorado State took advantage of a bye week by finding ways to contain Sanders and Colorado’s explosive offense for stretches of the game. The Rams tried to crash the party hosted by Deion Sanders, which included high-profile celebrities in town such as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and rapper Lil Wayne.
Fowler-Nicolosi totaled 367 yards and three touchdowns. Receiver Tory Horton caught a TD pass and threw another on a trap play to tight end Dallin Holker.
“Every loss hurts, but this one hurts a little more, the same way we lost it,” Fowler-Nicolosi said. “It’s brutal.”
It was choppy at times, with Rams defensive lineman Mohamed Kamara receiving a finger in the facemask from Shedeur Sanders after a play. Kamara was later disqualified in overtime for a targeted call on Sanders.
Emotions also heated up early on, with both teams meeting at midfield about an hour before kickoff and exchanging a few words. Hunter left the rally to run to the student section and ignite the fans.
Deion Sanders has been the talk of the Buffaloes in college football since taking over a team that went 1-11 last season.
This weekend, ESPN’s “College GameDay” and Fox’s “Big Noon Kickoff” were both on campus. Some of the biggest names in sports and entertainment showed up in Boulder, including “The Rock” appearing on the set of GameDay and took off his jacket to reveal he was wearing Shedeur Sanders’ jersey number 2. The Buffaloes brought the field to a mini-concert performed by Lil Wayne in the end zone just before kickoff ( Deion Sanders gave him a swimsuit).
“They have Lil Wayne here, Coach Prime doing his thing. They have a whole animal running around,” Shilo Sanders said of the pregame festivities that also included the live buffalo mascot, Ralphie, running the field. “I would have been so scared if I was the other team.”
Colorado State: The Rams have lost 17 straight games against ranked teams on the road, according to Pac-12 research.
Colorado: The announced attendance was 53,141 for a game where tickets were sold at an average purchase price of $214, according to TickPick. The Buffaloes have sold out five home games this season and are on pace to sell out a sixth (Arizona on Nov. 11).
It’s hard to say how voters will judge this. It was an epic comeback. But the Buffaloes were the big favorites.
Colorado State: Play Middle Tennessee on Saturday.
Colorado: At No. 13 Oregon on Saturday.
AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll