Home Sports Shedeur Sanders Sets School-Record With 510 Passing Yards In His First FBS Career Start

Shedeur Sanders Sets School-Record With 510 Passing Yards In His First FBS Career Start

by Andre
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Deion “Coach Prime” Sanders’ Colorado Buffaloes shocked the college football world Saturday by outlasting No. 17 TCU 45-42 on the Horned Frogs’ home turf in the season opener for both teams.

The victory in Sanders’ CU head coaching debut was the first Colorado victory over a ranked team since a win over Arizona State in 2019.

Coordinator Sean Lewis’ new offense proved to be outstanding, racking up 565 total yards. Quarterback Shedeur Sanders threw for a school-record 510 yards and four touchdowns, freshman running back Dylan Edwards scored four times, and four different Buffs had at least 100 yards receiving (another school record) to highlight a potent Colorado offense.

Defensively, two-way star Travis Hunter — who had 11 catches for 119 yards on offense — produced a touchdown-saving tackle and an interception on the goal line while CU safety Trevor Woods also ended a TCU scoring threat with an interception in the end zone early in the game.

But despite Colorado’s spectacular offensive output, the game came down to the defense needing to produce a game-winning stop — and they delivered.

After the Buffs took a 45-42 lead on a 46-yard Sanders-to-Edwards scoring pass on fourth-and-2 with 4:25 to play — the sixth lead change of the second half — CU’s defense stopped the Frogs on downs to clinch the win.

“We were just preaching one-stop,” Coach Prime said. “Just one dern stop. I always had confidence because I knew as long as we had the ball, Shedeur was gonna get us down there. But we just needed to stop.”

Until that point, the game had hung in the balance. While Colorado took the lead early and extended its edge to 10 points early in the second half, TCU didn’t go away quietly. The Frogs — who finished with 541 yards offense — took their first lead late in the third quarter on a 23-yard scoring pass from Chandler Morris to Dylan Wright.

The two teams then traded the lead four more times before the Buffs put their final score on the board, then came up with the defensive stop to clinch the win.

“I am so proud of these young men,” Coach Prime said. “I’m so proud of everybody because it was a collective effort. It truly was.”

HOW IT HAPPENED: Colorado set the tone early. The Buffs got a three-and-out from their defense on the game’s opening possession, then took over and drove 73 yards in 13 plays for a touchdown.

Shedeur Sanders was excellent on the drive, completing seven passes on the march as Colorado kept the Horned Frogs defense on its heels. CU converted three third downs on the march, the first a 9-yard pass from Sanders to tight end Michael Harrison and the second an Anthony Hankerson 8-yard run.

The third put the Buffs in the end zone when Sanders connected with a wide open running back Edwards, who snuck out of the backfield undetected for a 4-yard touchdown and 7-0 Colorado lead.

“Dylan was phenomenal,” said Sanders, who coached the 5-foot-9, 170-pound freshman in youth football. “I’ve been saying this since he was four years old. And we see that in practice, all the time.”

CU’s defense then came up with its first big play of the game. The Horned Frogs took the kick and drove deep into Colorado territory, threatening to put their first points on the board and grab some momentum. Instead, CU’s Woods read Morris perfectly on a throw to the end zone, stepping in front of a receiver at just the right moment for an interception to end the drive.

The two teams then traded scores after CU had a field goal blocked, with Colorado breaking a 7-7 tie with a 75-yard scoring march. Sanders completed six passes on the drive and Sy’Veon Wilkerson toted the ball in from the 2-yard line for a 14-7 CU lead.

But two possessions later, the Buffs committed one of their few big mistakes of the game when Edwards fumbled in CU territory. Four plays later, TCU found paydirt and with 1:53 left in the half, the Frogs knotted the score at 14-14.

“We have to fix some things,” Sanders said. “We had a fumble, we had some special teams mistakes. A couple of things happened in the first half that we have to fix.”

But Colorado did manage to regain the lead just before the half, driving into position for another field goal try. Jace Feely made his second attempt from 49 yards a good one and the Buffs carried a 17-14 lead into intermission.

The first half, however, was just a preview of the fireworks that ensued after the break. The two teams combined for eight touchdowns and 56 points in the final 30 minutes, each getting big plays at critical moments.

The Buffs struck first again after intermission. After a penalty on first down to open the second half, Sanders tossed a short pass to Edwards in the flat. The speedy freshman then turned on the jets, breaking three tackles and racing 75 yards to the end zone to give Colorado a 24-14 edge.

But the Horned Frogs quickly responded, driving 65 yards in three plays for a score on the ensuing possession. Morris found tight end Jared Wiley for a 21-yard scoring pass and with 13:29 still to play in the third quarter, Colorado’s lead was cut to 24-21.

TCU threatened to take the lead on its next possession after forcing a Colorado punt. But Hunter — who may have thrust himself into the Heisman Trophy conversation Saturday by playing well more than 100 snaps— intercepted Morris at the CU 3-yard line to end the drive.

“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.”

But the Horned Frogs finally took the lead a few minutes later after forcing a CU punt. Morris led a 75-yard touchdown drive and his scoring toss to Wright gave the Frogs their first lead of the game, 28-24, with 2:32 to go in the third quarter.

Colorado, though, refused to blink. Sanders led another 75-yard scoring drive, completing a 44-yard pass to Xavier Weaver to help set up a 7-yard scoring run by Edwards. The freshman’s third touchdown of the day gave CU a 31-28 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

But TCU had an answer again, driving 79 yards in 14 plays. Morris capped the drive with his legs, churning 19 yards to the end zone as the Frogs regained the lead again, 35-31, with 10:49 to play.

Once gained, Colorado appeared unfazed. The Buffs drove 75 yards for their fifth touchdown of the day, with Sanders tossing a key 43-yard completion to Hunter on third-and-16 to keep the drive alive, then capping the march with a 26-yard scoring pass to Jimmy Horn Jr.

The drive gave Colorado a 38-35 edge with 7:36 to play — and the Buffs barely had time to celebrate. Major Everhart returned the ensuing kick 86 yards and two plays later, TCU’s Trey Sanders notched his third score of the day and the Frogs regained the lead, 42-38, with 7:00 on the clock.

That might have been enough to sink many teams.

These Buffs, however, appear to be a different breed. Colorado answered with an 82-yard scoring drive, capped by a 46-yard touchdown thrown from Sanders to Edwards. The CU freshman gathered in a short throw and raced to the end zone for his fourth touchdown of the day and a 45-42 Buffs lead.

CU’s defense then came up with a big fourth-down stop on TCU’s ensuing possession to wrap up the win.

TURNING POINT: While this one wasn’t decided until the final few minutes, there were nevertheless some crucial moments throughout the game that kept the Buffs in control. Two critical plays came from CU’s defense — Woods’ interception in the end zone and Hunter’s interception at the goal line. Both plays kept TCU from grabbing momentum and gave the Buffs confidence.

KEY STATISTIC: A bell-ringing 565 yards total offense, with 510 coming through the air from Shedeur Sanders. His 38-for-47 day (81 percent completion rate) and four touchdowns made it arguably the best single-game performance ever by a CU signal caller.

WHAT IT MEANS: The Buffs are now squarely on everyone’s radar. Those who thought Coach Prime’s rebuilding plan would not work have been proven wrong and it won’t be a surprise to see Colorado get at least a few votes in next week’s top 25 polls.

NEXT UP: The Buffs host Nebraska next Saturday in their 10 a.m. nationally televised home opener (Fox). The game marks the kickoff of the 100th season at Folsom Field.


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