The University of Colorado Boulder Buffaloes upset the #17 ranked TCU Horned Frogs 45-42 in Fort Worth on Saturday in their first game of the 2023 season. The instant classic saw both teams trade touchdowns all afternoon, but a late fourth down stop by the Buffs defense gave Deion ‘Coach Prime’ Sanders his first win with his new Colorado roster.
“Wonderful game, wonderful beginning,” said Coach Sanders after the game. “I am so proud of these young men. I’m so proud of everybody because it was a collective effort.”
With an offense led by quarterback Shedeur Sanders and offensive coordinator Sean Lewis, the Buffs set a school record with 565 total yards, 510 of which were thrown by Sanders for four touchdowns in his first game wearing a Colorado jersey. Four Buffaloes had over 100 yards receiving, which was also a school record.
“We had some guys that singled themselves out with their playing ability,” Sanders said. “A couple guys that should be frontrunners for the Heisman [trophy] right now.”
Freshman running back Dylan Edwards led the backfield for CU Boulder as he scored four total touchdowns and 177 all purpose yards. Transfer receiver Jimmy Horn Jr. had 11 catches, including a touchdown for 119 yards, while senior transfer Xavier Weaver also had a very productive game with 11 catches for 118 yards.
“I knew I could make plays out there and be prepared well, so when I got the ball, I was just doing my thing,” Edwards said postgame.
Sophomore transfer from Jackson State Travis Hunter proved his contention for the Heisman Award as he played more than 120 total plays in the game on offense and defense. Hunter, who was the nation’s top recruit coming out of high school, collected 11 catches for 119 yards, along with three tackles and a key interception at the three yard line, stopping a TCU touchdown.
“We knew what we had to do, and we came out here and executed to the best of our ability,” said Hunter.
When asked about the jump from the Football Championship Subdivision to a major college program, he said, “Ain’t no difference. Football is football no matter who you’re playing. You have to go out and dominate whoever is in your way.”
On defense, the Buffs forced TCU to make big plays down the stretch, but were able to stop the Horned Frogs on fourth down with less than a minute to go in the game. Led by graduate transfer Shilo Sanders and junior transfer Marvin Ham Jr. with 10 tackles each, as well as junior Trevor Woods with seven tackles and an interception in the end zone, Colorado held on for the win.
Throughout the game, the lead swapped back and forth, with both teams trading long drives and big plays. With the help of their offense, Colorado found a way to be ahead at the end of each of the first three quarters, and with four and a half minutes to go down four points, Shedeur Sanders threw a pass to Dylan Edwards, who ran 46 yards to score the last touchdown of the game. It capped off the best offensive game in Colorado history and started off the ‘Coach Prime Era’ with a win.
Going into the game against last years’ runner-up in the College Football Playoff, there were many eyes on CU Boulder football this season after Sanders’ arrival in December of last year. But with the win, Coach Prime and his new and improved Buffs roster showed that they want to contend with the top teams in the country.
“We kept the recipes, we know who didn’t believe in us,” said Sanders. “Now they believe. Now Boulder believes.”
After their stunning 1-0 start to the season, the Colorado Buffaloes return to action next week as they host the Nebraska Cornhuskers in Boulder. The game will be at Folsom Field on Saturday, Sept. 9, at 10 a.m. MST.
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Eli Gregorski at firstname.lastname@example.org.