US LBM Coaches Survey: Georgia Stands Firmly as Best State in the World
Paul Myerberg discusses the latest LBM US Coaches Survey and how Georgia continues to represent the best in college football.
BOULDER, Colo. — Colorado football coach Deion Sanders has never seen anything like this.
The Buffaloes lost to Stanford on Friday night in double overtime, 46-43. But the way they lost shocked him much more than the final result. After building a 29-0 lead in the first half, they collapsed and allowed Stanford to score on every possession they had after halftime in front of a sold-out crowd at Folsom Field (53,154).
That’s eight goals for Stanford in eight Stanford possessions, starting with five consecutive touchdown drives to open the second half and then a 31-yard field goal to win the game in the second overtime.
He then said: “This is a bit difficult for me, I’m doing my best, and I thank you all for your patience.” “And thank you all for your hearts because this is very difficult for me.”
What else did Deion Sanders say?
He said he was “really upset” and “really upset” by what he saw but also expected it to happen. After scoring on each of their first four possessions to start the game, he felt like his team was becoming complacent. He was right.
Now the Buffaloes (4-3) enter their bye week with five games remaining in the regular season. They need two more wins to become eligible for the postseason and may have a hard time getting there after starting the season with national fanfare at 3-0.
“I’m going to do my best to stay calm and do my best to handle this press conference because you deserve my best,” Sanders told reporters. “And I’ll do my best to give it to you. We started the game really well and finally got things going in the first half as I wanted.
Sanders then asked a question:
“Twenty-nine (to) nothing, I think it was,” he said. “Am I right?”
Deion Sanders questions players’ commitment
The half-time score seemed like ancient history after what happened next. It’s also part of a new trivia question: What is the biggest win in Stanford history and biggest lead in Colorado history?
The answer was what happened Friday on a cold fall night at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. Stanford (2-5) kept fighting, and Colorado kept coming up short. The Buffs finished with 17 penalties for 127 yards, including frequent turnover issues on defense.
Even Sanders’ quarterback Shedeur made a critical mistake at the end, when he threw an interception to end Colorado’s second drive in overtime on third-and-goal from the 2-yard line. Stanford then ran three plays before kicker Joshua Carty kicked the game-winning goal.
“That was just a stupid play,” Sheder Sanders said. “I just threw it away.”
Deion Sanders agreed to an extent. “Something else happened on that play,” he said, but did not elaborate. Without that interception, Colorado could have at least made a field goal. Instead, they got nothing, making it easier for Stanford to win right after.
“He never had to throw the ball,” Deion Sanders said.
Regarding the mistakes, Deion Sanders said: “If you are going to point the finger, point it at me.” But he also sees a bigger problem and told his team in the locker room after the game: a lack of commitment and passion.
“They have to decide if they like this game or whether they like it,” Deion Sanders said. “Because when you like something, you give it unconditionally. You give everything you have for it, but when you want it, that’s just a button you press. You like something… and that’s what they do on social media.” So we have to figure out – do they like it? Or do they like it? And that’s hard for me because I love this. I love it. Without a doubt, I really love this thing 100%, and I just want people to match me. Just match my passion, and you match Just match my heart, match my love, match my consistency, just match my behavior, just match every special thing I give to this game.
Why did his team fail so miserably?
The Buffs’ 29-0 lead seemed to make them think the game was over. That was the score with 2:57 left in the second quarter after receiver Xavier Weaver scored the last of his three first-half touchdowns. Colorado star cornerback Travis Hunter scored another touchdown for the Buffs before halftime and looked like he was on the cusp of a playoff berth after missing the previous three games with a ruptured liver.
But Hunter had his own problems in the second half. His name was Elek Ayomanor, a sophomore out of Stanford who finished with 13 catches for 294 yards and three touchdowns, all after halftime.
“There were some plays he made, some plays he didn’t make,” Deion Sanders said of Hunter. “It happened, the plays he didn’t make were eventually magnified. But the plays he made kept us in the game.”
Great catch and great comeback
The biggest play he didn’t make came on a great shot by Ayomanor in the first overtime. Colorado scored first in the extra period — taking a 43-36 lead after a 4-yard touchdown pass from Shedeur Sanders to receiver Javon Antonio.
Stanford then took over on their own 25-yard line and the game was on the line. Anything short of relegation means defeat.
On the Cardinal’s first snap, Stanford was penalized for a false start, pushing the ball to the 30.
In their next shot, more magic came from Ayomanor, at Hunter’s expense. Stanford quarterback Ashton Daniels picked up the shotgun snap and tossed it to the left side of the field to Ayomanor, who appeared to catch the ball off the back of Hunter’s helmet as he drifted back into the end zone for a 30-yard touchdown, tying the ball. The game was 43-43 after the extra point.
“We didn’t play well, not just Travis,” Sanders said. “I think it all started when we gave up the 97-yard touchdown, which is absolutely ridiculous. That’s when it all started. That’s when all the crap started, all the complacency, all the chaos.”
That play also went from Daniels to Iomanor. It came on Stanford’s second touchdown of the third quarter, which helped cut Colorado’s lead to 29-12.
“He had a really epic performance,” Stanford coach Troy Taylor said of Ayomanor.
Daniels also had a big night, completing 27 of 45 passes for 396 yards and four touchdowns and no interceptions.
“Not built at the moment”
Shedor Sanders didn’t want to discuss what his father said about some players not liking the game.
“I will not point fingers,” he said.
He completed 33 of 48 yards for 400 yards and five touchdowns for Colorado with that one interception. Hunter had 13 catches for 140 yards and two touchdowns. Despite their mistakes, both were once again a bright spot for the amateurs.
The Buffs’ defense was another matter.
“Some of our players are not built for the moment where they have to make a play, have to hold containment, have to create a block or have to get another yard,” Deion Sanders said. “We’re not built right now.”
By contrast, Stanford was built for that, at least on Friday. The Cardinal outgained the Buffs in the second half by 408-208 yards after being outgained by the Buffs in the first half 324-115. Stanford also outscored the Buffs in the second half 36-7, forcing overtime with a 46-yard field goal from Carty as time expired in regulation.
“We’ll take this on the chin because we deserve it,” Deion Sanders said. “Twenty-nine (points). I’ve never been in one before… I don’t remember. Since I was little, I don’t remember going 29-0 and losing a football game.”
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