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Deion “Coach Prime” Sanders and the Colorado Buffaloes shocked the nation last weekend with their 45-42 upset win over then #17 TCU. Even with all the national media attention, Coach Prime and the Buffs are locked in on the Nebraska Cornhuskers and are displaying the importance of Hate Week at Colorado.
At Tuesday’s press conference, Coach Prime spoke about Colorado’s rivalry with Nebraska and emphasized that “this is personal.”
“I’ve learned the severity, the serious nature of this rivalry and I’m embracing it 100%,” said Coach Prime.
Colorado’s head coach then went on to share what he saw from Nebraska and head coach Matt Rhule in their 13-10 Week 1 loss to the Minnesota Gophers.
“I really admire their coach tremendously, he’s done a phenomenal job with that team and try and get them in the right direction,” said Coach Prime. “They play hard, they play tough, they’re physical. Trust me they’re not gonna lay down by any means. They know the athleticism that we feature and what we come to the table with.”
Shedeur Sanders and Colorado’s talented athletes at the skill positions were the driving force that delivered CU’s first-ranked road win since the Buffs beat Kansas State 16-6 in 2001.
After their standout performances in Fort Worth last Saturday, Coach Prime held Travis Hunter and Dylan Edwards out of practice on Tuesday for an extra rest day. Both players returned to the field for Wednesday’s practice.
Hunter and Edwards both had over 100 yards receiving last Saturday as did Jimmy Horn Jr. and Xavier Weaver; that quartet made Colorado history as it was the first time in school history that four players recorded 100 receiving yards or more in a single game. After Wednesday’s practice, Horn and Weaver spoke to the media and explained how they’ve embraced Hate Week after joining Colorado via USF in the off-season.
“I gotta do some research so I can add a little extra hate in my heart,” said Horn. “Them boys in the red and white, when they come down here, they gotta get the business.”
“I gotta do my homework a little bit on the rivalry but I just know we don’t like red,” said Weaver.
The color red has been banned from the Champions Center in Boulder since the late off-season, but now that Hate Week is finally here, the historical impact and importance of the Colorado/Nebraska has been preached by Coach Prime’s staff incessantly.
The Buffs shredded TCU’s secondary after the Horned Frogs boldly tried to combat CU’s weapons with man coverage. Wide receiver’s coach Brett Bartolone doesn’t see Colorado’s hated rival making the same mistake.
“It’s personal for us this week,” said Coach Bartolone. “We’re expecting a little more off coverage this week, a little more zone coverage, so we’ve got to be where the quarterback expects us to be.”
Javon Antonio played in Saturday’s upset win over TCU but did not haul in a reception and was seen wearing a gold non-contact jersey at practice on Tuesday. However, Antonio has continued to practice and is expected to play on Saturday.
“We don’t anticipate anything this week yet, the plan is to have [Antonio] ready to play,” said coach Bartolone. “He’s dealing with a little shoulder and he’ll be alright.”
Coach Prime also provided status updates on Cormani McClain, Alton McCaskill and Myles Slusher on Tuesday.
“Cormani has to be ready, he has to get ready to play,” said Coach Prime.
Colorado’s top recruit in the 2023 class arrived in Boulder in late June and has been steadily proving himself on the practice field. McClain continues to work with Colorado’s second-team defense meaning he is working directly against CU’s first-team offense and wide receivers.
“McCaskill, he’s close,” said Coach Prime. “He was mad today because he took it upon himself to take his gold [non-contact] jersey off himself and we didn’t tell him to. I wasn’t going to play him [Saturday]. That wasn’t going to happen. But the kid wants to play right now and we’ve got to make sure he’s ready.”
In their upset win over the Horned Frogs, Colorado’s running backs only totaled 90 yards rushing averaging 3.2 yards per carry. Expect Colorado’s run game to instantly improve the second McCaskill gets the green light from Coach Prime.
While it only seems like a matter of time before we see McClain or McCaskill, it will be a while before Buff Nation sees Myles Slusher back out on the field.
“Slush is banged up, I don’t think he’s going to play this week,” said Coach Prime. “I want to do what’s best for him right now instead of what’s best for us right now. I’d rather him go if he has to get a minor surgery, let’s go get it right now so he can be ready for the run. Because we’re gonna make a run.”
Naysayers and doubters around the nation may be wondering how Coach Prime’s Buffs will sustain momentum after their win over TCU last weekend. However, believers would argue that a rivalry of this magnitude is exactly what this team needs to maintain their focus of going 1-0 again this weekend.