“I Don’t Believe What I Just Saw!”

I’ve never been a huge baseball fan, and I’ve never been a fan of the Los Angeles Dodgers (I’ve been an Atlanta Braves fan since the days of Hank Aaron, but have never been a live-and-die fan of the Braves the way I have been for my beloved Buffs).

So, back in 1988, when the Los Angeles Dodgers played the Oakland A’s in the World Series, I didn’t have a dog in the fight. But, as a sports fan, I was watching when Kirk Gibson hit a dramatic two-run ninth inning home run off of A’s ace Dennis Eckersley to win Game 1, 5-4.

The call by Jack Buck has lived since in sports immortality, with Buck crying out: “I don’t believe I what I just saw”.


Well, Buff fans, I am in my 44th year as a CU Buff fan … and I can’t believe what I just saw.

Colorado just pulled off the nearly unthinkable, beating No. 17 TCU on the road, 45-42.

Colorado … a 20.5-point underdog to No. 17 TCU team which in its most recent game played for the national championship (according to CU historian Dave Plati, the win was the fourth-greatest upset in CU history, as ranked by point-spread) … A CU team which was given a 0.00 chance of winning the Pac-12 by ESPN’s Football Power Index (and only an 8.2% chance of defeating TCU) … A team which one ESPN pundit (Tom Luginbill) said “has the worst roster in college football” … A team which was given an over/under win total of 3.5 by Vegas Insiders …

Yes, that team … which just won its first game over a Top 20 team on the road for the first time since 2002 (to be fair, the Buffs beat No. 24 Arizona State on the road in 2019, but breaking an 0-37 on the road v. Top 20 teams streak has a much more dramatic ring to it).

Yes, that team … with a quarterback in Shedeur Sanders who wasn’t supposed to be able to play at the FBS level. All Sanders did was pass for a school-record 510 yards against a TCU defense with seven starters returning. Sanders completed 38-of-47 passes, with four touchdowns and no interceptions. His 80% completion percentage set another record for CU quarterbacks with over 40 attempts in a game.

“For real? Shedeur Sanders?”, Coach Prime chirped sarcastically at his post-game press conference. “From an HBCU? The one that played at Jackson (State) last year?”

Yes, that team … who has a two-way player in Travis Hunter who will be mentioned in every Week One Heisman Trophy candidate discussion this week. Not only did Hunter have a ESPN Top Ten highlight interception in the red zone on defense, but had 11 receptions for 119 yards on offense. On a day in which the on-field temperatures exceeded 110-degrees, Hunter was on the field for over 120 plays. Folks are stilling thumbing through the record books, but Hunter’s efforts are believed to be the first game in two decades in which an FBS player had over 100 yards receiving and an interception in the same game.

“I really think we got a couple of guys that should be a frontrunner for the Heisman right now,” Sanders said. “That’s how I feel and I want to promote my kids.”

Yes, that team … which had USF castoffs at wide receiver in its starting lineup, a South Florida team which went 1-11 in its own right in 2022. All Xavier Weaver and Jimmy Horn did was go for over 100 yards apiece against the Horned Frogs, with Weaver going for 118 yards on only six catches, with Horn amassing 117 yards and a 26-yard touchdown on 11 receptions. Together with the 135 yards receiving by Dylan Edwards and the 119 by Hunter … this was the first game in CU history in which four different players had over 100 yards receiving in the same game.

Yes, that team … which had a freshman running back introduce himself to the nation. Coach Prime’s first high school commitment at CU, Dylan Edwards had been a Notre Dame commit prior to Coach Prime coming to Boulder, and the four-star recruit didn’t disappoint. Edwards had a fumble late in the first half, giving TCU a short field and the ability to tie the score a few plays later. Rather than benching his true freshman, Coach Prime stayed with his feature back, and was handsomely rewarded. Edwards went for 75 yards and a touchdown on a short pass on the second play of the third quarter, and posted a 46-yard game winning touchdown on fourth down midway through the fourth quarter. In all, Edwards had 24 yards and a touchdown rushing, and a team-leading 135 yards and three touchdowns receiving … on only five catches. The 135 yard receiving total is the most in school history by a running back.

Yes, that team … which had only nine returning scholarship players, but apparently made good choices in deciding which ones to keep. Despite the complete overhaul of the roster, the ones who made it through the Coach Prime overhaul contributed to the win. Starting safety Trevor Woods was the lone holdover on the starting defense, but Woods, in addition to contributing nine tackles (seven unassisted), had an interception in the end zone in the first quarter which helped set the tone for the day. Anthony Hankerson, another holdover, contributed 21 yards on nine carries, while walk-on tight end Michael Harrison had two catches, including an eight-yarder for a first down on CU’s first touchdown drive of the game.

Yes, that team … with an offensive line made up of cast offs and starters for schools no one had ever watched play … yet they kept Shedeur Sanders upright. The rushing game didn’t excel, but it didn’t have to. The game plan of quick passes was just what the doctor ordered, and the offensive line performed well … and well above expectations.

Yes, that team … which is going to make a mockery of what the team wearing CU uniforms produced last season. The 2022 Buffs scored 185 points all season … while the 2023 Buffs could have that total in hand by the end of September … The 2022 Buffs had 2075 net passing yards in 12 games – Shedeur Sanders has a quarter of that total in one outing … Then there is this … I know that “Time Spent in the Lead” is a useless statistic, but ponder this … Against TCU, Colorado had the advantage on the scoreboard for over 47 minutes. No big deal? The 2022 Buffs held leads – in 12 games – for a total of 33:20. Yup … the Buff Nation has now enjoyed more time in the lead under Coach Prime than they did in every game of the 2022 season, combined.

The dawn of a new era, indeed.

Buff fans have been tricked into believing before. In 2006, Dan Hawkins was supposed to take a CU team which had won four Big 12 division titles in five seasons, and take CU to new heights. Instead, Hawkins lost to Montana State in his first game … and things went down hill from there.

There have been many other such false hopes over the past 15 years. We hoped that Jon Embree would bring back some of CU’s lost luster … We hoped that Mike MacIntyre could work his rebuilding magic at CU … We hoped that Mel Tucker was a diamond-in-the-rough homerun hire that everyone else had missed … We hoped that Karl Dorrell would turn the 4-2 COVID season record into a future in Boulder.

The past nine months for the Buff Nation have been a roller coaster ride. The euphoria of the hire and the Top 25 Recruiting Class were tempered by the naysayers who claimed that Sanders was a carpet-bagger who was too harsh on the returning players. Coach Prime was bucking the system, and everyone was waiting – and hoping – to take him down a peg. “Why do I have a sneaking suspicion that Sonny Dykes will run up the score on the preening Sanders?” offered one CBS Sports writer.

Coach Prime insisted he knew what he was doing. He told everyone who would listen that the Buffs were comin’.

Buff fans wanted to believe … we really wanted to believe … but we have been tricked before.

The early lead over TCU seemed like a tease. Sure, it was great to force a three-and-out from the opposing team and then score on the first drive of the season. Certainly much better than a fumble on the first play on offense … and then face a double-digit deficit by the end of the first quarter, as CU was prone to do in 2022.

Yes, the halftime lead of 17-14 was great, but there was a sense that it couldn’t last. The heat and the lack of depth would certainly catch up to the Buffs, right? And, after all, wasn’t it a 7-6 game against TCU in last season’s opener … before it became a 38-13 rout?

Sure, it was amazing how Shedeur Sanders was able to keep the Buffs in the game in the second half, with a CU touchdown to answer every TCU score, but you couldn’t be blamed for having a feeling as to how the story would end … TCU would score late, or CU would falter late, and the Buffs and their fans would have to settle for a moral victory.

After all, the Buffs were a three-touchdown underdog – to a ranked team – on the road – on a 100+ degree field … A four-point loss wouldn’t be all that bad, would it?

But then the unthinkable happened. The Buff defense, which had given up five touchdowns in TCU’s previous six possessions (and it would have been six-for-six if not for Travis Hunter’s amazing interception at the CU five-yard line) … stepped up and made a stop in the game’s final minute.

“I think there will be movies made one day about this team and this coaching staff, because I can see what’s about to transpire,” Coach Prime told his team on Thursday night before the game. “I believe that much in you. We’re about to go do something that they wouldn’t fathom.”

The impossible has come true. The Buffs are for real – at least for a week – and proved it before a national television audience, defeating the 17th-ranked team in the nation, 45-42.

I honestly don’t believe what I just saw … but I am certainly excited to see what’s next!


16 Replies to ““I Don’t Believe What I Just Saw!””

  1. Iwas quietly confident but still not sure as all of us have had those kind of thoughts dashed so much during the last couple decades. One hoped that what we heard about some of the new players were true and just maybe we really did now have talent that compared to when CU could honestly compete with our opponents. Well I think the proof was in yesterdays pudding. We’ll fix the D and I think that it will perform more consistently.

    I loved watching the corn get beat byMINN but kinda wish they were coming in here this SAT undeated, SO WE COULD KICK THEIR REAR ENDS AND RUIN P THIER DISDISRESPECT THAT THEY probably still have for us. Careful what I wish for though. just beaten like a drum and ruin their trip out to what will be a ROCKIN & ROLLIN FOLSOM STADIUM.

  2. did anyone notice that the TCU safety who whiffed on D Edwards on his last TD was Mark Perry. Don’t want to stomp on any one particular kid but felt a little satisfaction on that.

  3. Thank you Stuart for all that you do on this site! With that said, WOW, what a game! I was yelling at the tv for ever perceived blown call ( there were a few holds by TCU) but what a fun game, it was great to watch. Plus, I went to a BBQ last evening and I was proud to wear my CU gear in Buckeye country Cleveland, OH. I wear my CU gear regardless, but it felt great. Now, on to the Corn

  4. I’m enjoying reading all the “ok, Deion could be one and done” talk about him leaving Boulder after some success. After one year. Which most thought would be a disaster, or slow rebuild at best. Granted, I don’t think tcu is uw, uo, ut, or usc, but?

    F that.

    As he said, he ain’t goin anywhere, and he’s about to get comfortable.

    First off, why ever leave Boulder? Sure. For the next challenge and more money. I get that.

    But, Dude wants to bring baseball back, first. That means softball too. That is a lot of jack, jack. Gonna be a minute to make that happen.

    He also wants to make the town more diverse. That could be a minute too.

    It seems equally possible he may never leave Boulder.

    Go Deion.

    Go Buffs!

  5. I think you caught it Stuart……. A team built in one off season, by a coach from FCS, led by an FCS qb and two way player, with a freshman running back…. Lots of questions…..we answered all of those questions. Not just one or two of them but almost all of them. Depth remains a problem. The decline on defense in the second half and the special teams breakdowns are symbolic of depth issues. Defensive run defense may have issues or it might be a depth issue. I think we may have a middle linebacker issue. Ham was solid but not great. Bentley fell short of my expectations. I am hopeful they can improve. I am worried we never even saw Kennedy though….
    Well i have seen them play. The defense will get better. I am pretty confident in that. Sanders in Lewis’s offense is going to be super fun to watch.
    As good as Hunter is on both sides I think he needs to play less snaps on offense…. I know Sanders wanted to win this game so maybe he overplayed Hunter a bit. But I am not sure the body can actually survive that pace. Sanders has been right in everything so far though so I will trust him.

    Amazing…. It was not a mirage. The player analysis was proven right. We have more talent than we have seen in decades. And the coaches know how to put that talent in a position to win.

  6. Personally I’m not as shocked as everything is telling me I should be. I had a quiet confidence about this game since the spring additions. It just is great to feel vindicated and to see the shock on the idiots faces around the country. Travis Hunter is already one of the best talents to ever wear our colors. Can’t wait to see what else we can pull off. The best part is we found a way to win and Nebraska found a way to lose this past weekend. Let’s do it again next week!

  7. Already this morning the low information media is doubling down on Prime. National not local. How dare he make fun of writers who didn’t “believe” or who had dissed him and his kid for being from HBCU and not ready for prime time? The haters were waiting in the weeds for a curb stomp yesterday , now add them to the Cult of the Corn hoping to bash the Buffs.Can’t wait to see the next episode in this show.

  8. This win is reminiscent in a lot of ways to 20-10. All the old timers know what that means. If you don’t put it in the Google machine. However, beating TCU it is not as visceral as that 20-10 game, but it signals the arrival (return to dominance?) of a long dormant program. SKO BUFFS!!!

    1. I was there too, never will forget !
      I stood in front of the TV yesterday with my hands up and mouth wide open as the seconds ticked down after the D made its stand.
      Far out !!

  9. WOW!!! That was awesome to behold. Now on to the ‘holers. Gonna be a great week Denver, it’s both Nebraska AND Raider week!! LFG!!

    P.S. – Stuart thanks for providing a weekly catharsis over the last many bleak years for us diehard Buffs fans, it is now time to celebrate and enjoy the ride with Prime.

  10. Yo Stuart,
    Yesterday was shocking indeed. I waited breathlessly for the day to arrive but I withheld judgement on the great experiment.

    Coach Prime told us what was coming, but nothing like this had ever been attempted before so we had nothing to compare it to.

    The idiot talking heads, especially the ones who dislike our coach, insisted it could not work. But mostly they were scared that Coach Prime would prove that ANY idiot coul call themselves an expert analyst. The don’t know squat. Most of the folks reading your site know more about college football than the so called self proclaimed experts.

    I love how Coach Prime told one of them to “leave it to the grownups”! It is going to be an interesting and amazing year. Our Buffs are now led by Elite coaches and the quality of the players will continue to improve, because they really are experts at evaluating talent.

    I can’t say how the rest of the season will play out but it’s going to be a lot of fun and a helluva ride.

    Thank you Coach Prime 😎

  11. Great article, and I think all Buff Nation is numb today gathering their thoughts on what just happened after celebrating a great PRIMEBUFF feat!

  12. I felt like I believed this could happen all along, I’ve posted that these players had to feel special and hand picked by this staff for the mission of winning and they bought in. But, I didn’t believe enough to make the trip to Las Vegas to make the bets. Yeah, I like to think that I didn’t make the bets because I didn’t want to jink the team, and I never bet in general, but do I have that much power in the universe?

    I think not.

    But in the end what matters happened, Prime has led the Buff fans out of the desert and back to green pastures.

    I couldn’t wait for yesterday’s game and I can’t wait for the corn to come to Boulder, it’s going to be rocking! Based on the two teams first game and their opponents I think the Buffs can take this one too. 3-0 going into PAC12 play!

  13. The reason you cant believe what you just saw is because you let your self be sucked in and believed the constant drumbeat of failure peddled by people in the media who aren’t qualified or motivated to do anything but regurgitate the past.
    The underlying facts were there for anyone to also to see.
    People who knew Prime and told of his determination and work ethic.
    Although a short record but an instant success at JSU for Prime and and Shedeur.
    Prime’s focus on speed
    The motivation in his transfers who knew this was their second chance to prove themselves in tandem with what I think Prime could see inside them.
    The massive talent drain at TCU that was constantly understated by the idiots in the media.
    Those chowder heads (being polite) had their effect on me as well along with the Buff’s miserable
    decades long losing.
    But one thing I think Prime has is the ability to see gamers and motivate them above a lot of other coaches even at the D1 level. Witness Max Duggan coming off the bench and refusing to lose all the way to the NC game.
    The delicious irony is we have the coach’s kid who can really play. Last night during the Idaho st. WSU game they took some time between plays to honor HWSRN’s kid. Laughed turned of the TV and went to sleep.
    Gotta remember though this is just one game albeit a great one. Wounded animal and all their cult fans are coming in next.

  14. I can understand all of those feelings. After all, the last twenty years or so have been horrendous. However, regardless of the outcome yesterday, and regardless of the next few games, I truly believe that Coach Prime, his staff, and his players, have what it takes to get CU to the top of the mountain.

    He has that characteristic that only a few people have. He is just a winner. McCartney was the same way. He told everyone that CU was going to beat Nebraska and then he went and did it. It took some time, but he got there. He had that single minded drive to win. Prime says he’s going to win a championship. It might not be this year, but you know that when he says he’s going to do it that it’s coming.

    Another similarity is how Prime and McCartney care so much about young men and developing them into mature and positive members of the community. They are also unabashedly Christian. Many people will dislike them simply because of that, but it undergirds their strength of character and cannot be dismissed.

    I really believe that this group will finally return the Buffs to the top of the college football world. The next few years should be a lot of fun. We have all endured a tough couple of decades, but this time, I think the change is for real.

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