In a revival of one of college football’s storied rivalries, the No. 22 Colorado Buffaloes delivered a resounding 36-14 victory over the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Saturday. The showdown marked the highly anticipated debut of Hall of Famer Deion Sanders as the head coach at Folsom Field. Many celebrities and former NFL players visited Boulder, Co.
Photo Cred: Corn Nation
The first quarter of the game was characterized by a lackluster performance from both teams, marred by a series of errors and penalties, leaving the score at zero. Nebraska’s formidable defense posed a significant challenge for Colorado, controlling much of the first half and making life difficult for the Buffaloes’ offense. It contrasted with their strong showing the previous week. But the offense would figure it out.
“Great win, started slow,” Sanders reflected postgame. “Played like hot garbage in the first half.”
Nebraska initiated the game with a promising drive that faltered when quarterback Jeff Sims fumbled a snap, a recurring issue that would haunt them throughout the afternoon. The overarching theme of the first half was Nebraska’s inability to capitalize on Colorado’s sluggish offensive start. Despite the Huskers’ defense forcing four consecutive punts within the initial 25 minutes of the game, Sims’ fumble and a missed field goal prevented Nebraska from registering any points.
Colorado seized control of the game at the close of the first half. Following a second fumbled snap by Sims and a successful Jace Feely field goal, junior safety Cam’Ron Silmon-Craig intercepted a pass along the right sideline, highlighting an acrobatic jump to snatch the ball and marking the third turnover by Sims in the first half. Shadeur Sanders immediately capitalized on this momentum shift, connecting with Tar’Varish Dawson for a 30-yard touchdown on the ensuing play.
Photo Cred: Lincoln Star
Nebraska mounted a response at the start of the second half, forcing a turnover on downs and finally breaking their scoring drought with a 57-yard touchdown run by Sims. However, the Buffaloes remained unfazed, securing points on each of their next four offensive possessions, putting the game out of reach. Colorado’s performance was an impressive follow-up to their standout showing in week one, now boasting a 2-0 record. While they struggled to gain ground on the rush, accumulating only 58 yards on 33 attempts, Sanders shone brightly, orchestrating the offense with precision, and displaying his versatility.
The Buffaloes’ star quarterback completed 31 of 42 passes for 393 yards and two touchdowns. Sanders also added a 6-yard rushing touchdown late in the game, along with his signature “Prime shuffle” celebration. On the receiving end, two South Florida transfers emerged as Sanders’ primary targets. Jimmy Horn Jr. hauled in eight receptions for 64 yards, consistently converting crucial third downs, while Xavier Weaver exploded with an impressive performance, amassing ten receptions for 170 yards and a touchdown.
Defensively, the Buffaloes showed vulnerability against the run, allowing Nebraska to gain 222 rushing yards. However, their secondary once again proved its mettle by stifling Nebraska’s passing game and denying open opportunities for the Huskers. Additionally, Colorado generated more pressure on the quarterback than in their previous outing, resulting in two sacks.
Photo Cred: Buff Zone
For Nebraska, Sims struggled throughout the game, completing 9 of 15 passes for 106 yards and committing four turnovers (three fumbles and one interception) before sustaining an injury late in the second half. The Huskers displayed a diverse rushing attack, with three players—Sims, Gabe Ervin Jr., and Rahmir Johnson—all exceeding 60 rushing yards. The Buffaloes will conclude their non-conference schedule next Saturday night with another intense rivalry matchup as in-state rival Colorado State visits Boulder. Kick-off is set for 8 p.m. MST.