Colorado Daily – Washington State Week

November 17th

… CU in a few minutes …

Coach Prime: “As long as we’re progressing, I happy with it”

From the Daily Camera … The only man to ever play in a Super Bowl and a World Series, Deion Sanders knows what winning looks like and also knows it doesn’t happen quickly. He had great success in his playing career, but also was part of an Atlanta Falcons team that went 8-24 in his first two seasons in the NFL.

“We’re going through a patch right now that we’re learning how to (win) and as long as there’s progress, I’m good,” he said. “Every week I see progress. I’m ecstatic about that.”

Sanders admits he thought the Buffs would be better than they are right now.

“No, definitely not,” he said when asked if this is where he imagined the team would be through 10 games. “I imagined we would be much better, but long as we’re progressing I’m happy with it. My expectations are my expectation. You gotta understand that. My expectation is going to always exceed their expectations and your expectations. I’m going to always exceed that.”

Where the Buffs continue to meet expectations is in their work and preparation. Despite struggles to get over the hump in close contests – the Buffs are 3-4 in one-score games – the Buffs continue to battle.

“What you see now is what I’ve been seeing,” safety Cam’Ron Silmon-Craig said of the program development. “It’s nothing new to me.”

Silmon-Craig played for Sanders at Jackson State. While the results aren’t the same at CU, the day-to-day has been.

“He’s coached the same way he coached (at JSU),” Silmon-Craig said. “The players are starting to play the same way that we used to, so it’s the same for me. I mean, we develop in the same way, just a hardhat mentality, coming out and working hard. It took us a minute to catch up to his speed and catch up what he wants to do but we’re there just working hard. That’s the Coach Prime method.”

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Neill Woelk’s Keys to the Washington State game

From … Friday night’s Colorado-Washington State encounter at Martin Stadium (8:30 p.m, FS1) pits two teams whose seasons have followed eerily similar paths.

Start with the records — both teams are 4-6 overall and 1-6 in Pac-12 play.

But there’s far more to the similarities than the records.

Both teams started the season with winning streaks — CU won its first three while WSU opened with four in a row — and put themselves in the nation’s top 25.

But since those high points, both teams have struggled.

The Buffs have lost six of their last seven, including four in a row. The Cougars have lost six in a row.

Even their styles have been similar.

Both teams have excellent quarterbacks, lean heavily on their passing games and have struggled to run the ball. Both teams’ defenses have had trouble stopping the run and have given up some big numbers in their losses.

And, both have endured some narrow losses in recent weeks and believe they are on the cusp of turning their fortunes around this week.

One of them will make good on that belief Friday night.

The Buffs are convinced that improving the “little things” will make a big difference.

“We got to start tackling better, we got to block better,”  said CU’s Deion “Coach Prime” Sanders. “We got to run the football better. We got to make the plays that we need to make the third down plays offensively, the third down plays defensively. Got to take advantage of situational football as well. And we just got to be wise out there on the field and not beat ourselves with foolish penalties.”

The Buffs have indeed been close. While Sanders is virtually allergic to losing, he has made sure to note that his team is making progress. Unlike the 2022 team, Colorado is competitive. Four of CU’s losses have been one-score affairs, and with a few more bounces in their favor, the Buffs could easily have six or seven wins on their ledger.

So, how do the Buffs finally get over the hump and end their skid?

Our weekly Fast Five:

1. Get constant pressure on WSU quarterback Cameron Ward and keep him in the pocket. WSU’s quarterback has thrown for 3,127 yards and 20 touchdowns.

But he’s equally dangerous with his feet, as he’s run for six touchdowns. If it weren’t for yardage lost on sacks, he would be the Cougars’ leading rusher with 358 yards.

The first order of business for the Buffs will be getting pressure on Ward, then not allowing him an escape route downfield.

The Cougars’ pass protection hasn’t been solid. WSU has given up 31 sacks, accounting for 244 yards in losses. If the Buffs can disrupt Ward’s  rhythm in the pocket, they can force some mistakes and create some momentum shifts.

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November 16th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Travis Hunter one of three finalists for Paul Hornung Award

Press release from … Colorado athlete Travis Hunter is one three finalists for the Paul Hornung Award presented by Texas Roadhouse, which is presented annually to the most versatile player in major college football.

The Paul Hornung Award presented by Texas Roadhouse, now in its 14th season, is owned and operated by the Louisville Sports Commission (LSC). The Award pays tribute to the late football legend and Louisville native Paul Hornung. The winner will then be unveiled on Wednesday, Dec. 6. The winner and his family will be honored at the annual Paul Hornung Award dinner in downtown Louisville in March 2024. Hunter would be the first player to win the award at Colorado.

Hunter, in his first season at Colorado after transferring from Jackson State has been the most prolific two-way player in FBS, averaging 126 snaps per game playing five positions on defense, four skill positions on offense and on nearly all special teams.

Despite missing four games due to injury, Hunter made the weekly Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll five times and once was named Paul Hornung Award National Player-of-the-Week. He currently is third on the team with 45 receptions for 532 yards and three touchdowns, tied for first on the team with three interceptions, and has recorded 26 tackles, four pass deflections and one tackle for loss.

Against TCU, he caught 11 passes for 119 yards and made a key interception; against Stanford, he played 154 snaps caught 13 passes and made five tackles; he played 126 snaps versus Oregon State, caught eight passes and made two tackles and deflected a pass; he played 105 snaps versus UCLA with two interceptions and three receptions; against Arizona, he caught five passes, made six tackles, one for a loss, and had one pass breakup.


November 15th 

… CU in a few minutes … 

Coach Prime talks recruiting: “They aren’t worried about losses. They think they are the missing piece”

From the CU Coaches Show …

Cormani McClain finally seeing the field: “He’s been a lot more focused”

From the Daily Camera … As the Colorado football team goes through growing pains in Deion Sanders’ first season as head coach, there are several areas of frustration and several signs of improvement.

One of the most positive developments is the continued maturation and growth of freshman cornerback Cormani McClain.

The five-star recruit, who was rated as the No. 1 cornerback in the country coming out of high school earlier this year, has gone from the doghouse to the starting lineup in recent weeks.

In Saturday’s 34-31 loss to Arizona, McClain got his second start of the season and played every defensive snap. He posted two tackles.

“He’s been a lot more focused, a lot more understanding of the expectation in what we want from him, that we’ve challenged him tremendously all year long,” Sanders said after Saturday’s game. “He’s stood up to the task over the last probably week and a half.”

Despite being one of the top-rated recruits in the country, McClain didn’t get on the field the first two games of the season. He played only on special teams in Week 3 and saw his first action on defense in Week 4 against Oregon – although he played just four snaps that day.

A few days after the Oregon game, Sanders said he needed to see McClain study more and prepare better, while showing up and being on time for meetings.

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November 14th

… CU in a few minutes … 

*Video: Coach Prime’s Weekly Press Conference*

From DNVR …

Coach Prime on Texas A&M job: “Come on. I’m good. We gotta win. Let’s focus on this week”

From The Athletic … Colorado coach Deion Sanders had no interest in any talk about him leaving Colorado to replace Jimbo Fisher at Texas A&M.

“I want to win a game. You think I sit down and think about that kind of stuff?” Sanders said when asked about ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith’s insistence that the pairing “needed to happen.”

“Come on. I’m good,” Sanders said. “We gotta win. Let’s focus on this week.”

Texas A&M fired Fisher in the middle of his sixth season on Sunday, paying his record $77 million buyout to do so and get a jump start on their search for a new coach.

Sanders was asked what he tells parents who ask if he’ll be at Colorado in the long term, but Sanders said he never hears that question from parents.

“I tell them what I told them when they came. I’m here,” Sanders said, adding that most of his family lives in Boulder or frequently comes to the city and that he gets mail in Boulder. “What I’m really happy about is football people who know football know what we’re really doing here. There’s a lot of people that don’t and think we’re just losing. Nah, nah, nah. You gotta find a win in the midst of a loss. I love that football people understand what time it is without looking at their watches.”

Continue reading story here …


November 13th 

… CU in a few minutes … 

Neill Woelk’s Takeaways from Arizona game: “Perspective remains critical”

From … So close …

When Colorado’s Deion “Coach Prime” Sanders told his Buffaloes that they were “so close … yet so far” after Saturday’s heartbreaking 34-31 loss to Arizona, he could have been describing CU’s entire season.

Now 4-6 with a four-game losing streak in hand, the Buffs have played seven one-score games this season and another that wasn’t decided until well into the fourth quarter. Those one-score games include wins over TCU, Colorado State and Arizona State; and losses to USC, Stanford, Oregon State and Arizona.

Three of those defeats were to ranked teams and while the loss to UCLA — another ranked squad — was ultimately a 12-point difference, that game was still anyone’s ballgame until late in the fourth quarter.

Certainly, with a different bounce here or there in a handful of games, Colorado could easily be 6-4 or 7-3. (The opposite side of that coin, of course, is that a couple more bad bounces could have added another loss or two to Colorado’s ledger.)

But the key point here is that the Buffs have been competitive all season long. Only once have they been “out” of a game by halftime.

In the aftermath of Saturday’s loss — a game in which the Buffs never trailed until the final play of the contest — Coach Prime reiterated a point he has been making over the last couple of weeks.

“We just simply don’t know how to win yet,” he said, “It’s not for lack of effort, not for lack of coaching with the staff or the support staff … Everybody around is doing a phenomenal job. We just can’t get over that hump.”

Still, the Buffs’ progress in the span of a year is significant. The program is in much better shape than it was last season after 10 games and it is already becoming quite clear that Sanders and his staff are ready to address Colorado’s deficiencies as soon as possible.

“There’s tremendous progress,” Sanders said. “We have consistency in several positions that are phenomenal and I truly feel that there’s progress. We have inconsistencies in some positions that we can fix. We know the problem, we identified it, and we’re going to fix it. That’s progress because we know what the problem is and we have the aptitude to fix it.”

But those are matters for the offseason. The Buffs still have two games remaining — on the road at Washington State and Utah — and the opportunity to make themselves bowl eligible.

What did we learn from Saturday’s game?

1. Offense took a step in the right direction. After back-to-back weeks of not hitting the 20-point barrier, the Buffs’ offense regained some of its early season production.

 Shedeur Sanders threw for 262 yards and a pair of scores, Xavier Weaver and Travis Hunter each caught five passes and CU yielded “only” three quarterback sacks (tying for the fewest in a game this year).

There were some hiccups. After putting up 24 points and 250 yards in the first half, Colorado managed just seven points and 102 yards in five possessions after the break. Had the Buffs managed one more score on any of those possessions, they would have been in a much better position to win down the stretch.

Still, it was an improvement — but also the latest example of an issue that has plagued Colorado for much of the season.

Continue reading story here


November 12th 

… CU in a few minutes … 

Coach Prime: “I don’t know when we’re gonna get there but, baby, we’re gonna get there”

From the Daily Camera … Deion Sanders expected his team to be better this year. So did the fans.

In a way, that’s progress. No less frustrating, however, as Colorado wrapped up the home portion of the schedule with a 34-31 loss to No. 23 Arizona on Saturday afternoon at Folsom Field.

“Just had a wonderful conversation with the team, as well as the seniors who will never get to play here again,” Sanders said. “I apologized on behalf of just myself, staff and support staff that we didn’t send them out right, in which we wanted to do. They deserve it.

“I’m apologizing to the fan base. They’ve been supporting the heck out of us and they’ve been showing up and showing out. Another sellout crowd that ended in disappointment.”

For much of the day, the Buffs were the better team.

At times, the defense came up with big stops, forcing six Arizona punts. After two straight weeks of struggling on offense, the Buffs came out hot, scoring 24 points in the first half. Shedeur Sanders threw for 262 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score as the Buffs had their best point total in three games.

“That should be enough to win the football game,” Coach Prime said. “That was the challenge that I gave them at the beginning of the week. I said, ‘Guys, we need to score at least 31 points.’ … I feel like we would win if we scored 31 points, and we came up short.”

That is, in part, because in the second half, they managed just seven points and 102 yards.

And miscues piled up again.

CU finished with 11 penalties for 83 yards. The defense was gashed for runs of 49, 54, 21 and 24 yards by Arizona’s Jonah Coleman. Coleman finished with 179 yards and no touchdowns, but those four runs helped set up three touchdowns for the Wildcats.

Continue reading story here

Rooney: Buffs aren’t good enough to overcome their own litany of mistakes

From the Daily Camera … In his postgame media session, Sanders once again reiterated how the Buffs still are a team learning how to win. The 3-0 start reset expectations far too generously for CU. Yes, the program is in a much better place than a year ago. And yes, the Buffs have amped up the overall talent level on the roster and have certainly given fans far more viable reasons to be encouraged about the future.

CU simply isn’t there yet.

Although watching the CU offense return to a semblance of its early-season form was an encouraging late-season sign, the Buffs aren’t yet good enough to overcome their own litany of mistakes, of which there were plenty against the Wildcats.

The most penalized team in the Pac-12 did its thing again on Saturday, with the Buffs collecting 11 penalties for 83 yards. Roughing the passer calls on consecutive Arizona drives in the first half played a part in eventual touchdowns for the Wildcats, including one on linebacker Deeve Harris when the Buffs recorded a third-down stop that would have forced a field goal attempt. Instead, UA found the end zone on the next play. On CU’s final drive, which ended with a missed 44-yard field goal from Alejandro Mata, a false start on Kareem Harden on third-and-6 pushed the Buffs back two plays ahead of Mata’s attempt. Without that flag, maybe the Buffs convert and keep marching.

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11 Replies to “Colorado Daily – Washington State Week”

    1. CP may have to leave now while he still has some shine in the market. At this rate, he’ll be as marketable as Coach Dorrell by the end of next season.

      1. To be fair, Boulder has been the place football coaches have gone to ruin their careers for about twenty years now.

        I believe Deion will be different, and break that streak.

        Go Buffs

  1. I didnt see the AZ game but first series for the Buffs? same ol crap
    Edwards straight into the line
    Pass out to the flat
    Shedeur gets sacked
    The camera is further back and I saw the routes Shedeur had a guy open on a drag across the middle but it had to get to him fast…so a sack.
    WSU first series? Breeze in for a TD
    Buffs second series
    Wilkerson into the line
    hey first down pass over the middle
    hey first down pass
    sack, fumble scoop and score WSU TD
    going to bed
    maybe I will be surprised in the morning

  2. He is gone after next year. The 2025 recruit leaving says he doesn’t think he’s staying.
    I wish he would just be open cause these are kids lives as well.
    We need a coach that is going to stay and build. Sick of going through all these coaches.
    We aren’t good enough or wealthy enough to keep up like this.
    I get it’s a business, but goes to show Colorado is not a sexy place to be.
    He will be gone after next year. His daughter redshirted as well to save eligibility.
    Hope for the best next year and get ready for it to all start all over looking for a new coach.

    1. Not sure that is really the case with recruiting. With the new transfer rules a recruit could simply follow their coach to whatever new destination they chose (at least once anyway) wothout sitting out a year, and not too many coaches go to two new schools over a period of 5 years.

  3. Something to remember about the Buffs going to the Big-12 next year. Brett Yormark is truly pleased about about Coach Prime being in the league. It means big TV ratings for Buffs games (and the Big-12), and this will help with the leagues image and when the next TV contract will be negotiated.
    I’m not sure how he could financially help Prime to not leave the Big-12, but I have a feeling the money could be found.

  4. Interesting all the talk about Deion leaving for Texas A&M, here are a couple of the issues.

    1. Texas A&M (boosters) want a coach that will win them a national championship. Coach Prime has yet to prove he can get them there. That is the number one priority for A&M, not money or publicity.
    2. CU has reaped a huge benefit of publicity and money from Coach Prime. Texas A&M has severely diminishing returns there. They already sell out and have an almost $200 million budget. Texas A&M would gain something with Prime but not nearly what CU has gained.
    3. They already have/bought the #1 recruiting class and still aren’t getting it done with Jimbo. That leaves them far more likely to go after the Oregon coach (Lanning) or someone else who has proven he can win.
    4. In the end can’t see Prime leaving for somewhere else before the end of next season. That being said this will go on every time an opening comes up and will hurt recruiting, still, wildly worth it.

  5. Didn’t we hear the same thing from Midnight Mel? I’m in no way saying CP is leaving but if another school dangles 10 mil in front of you there has to be some thought put into it. I hope he stays but we’ve been down this road before.
    BEAT WSU🦬🖤💛🖤🦬

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