Shedeur Sanders, Colorado dig deep to top Colorado State in heated double overtime victory

Colorado needed to dig deep to come away with a victory against in-state rival Colorado State and the Buffaloes’ grittiness prevailed behind an epic performance from Shedeur Sanders.

Sanders brought the team back from an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter and then had two touchdown passes in the two overtimes to give Colorado the 43-35 victory over the Rams in Boulder.

Colorado needed to storm back late to at the very least force overtime.


Shedeur Sanders throws a TD pass

Shedeur Sanders #2 of the Colorado Buffaloes throws a pass for a first quarter touchdown against the Colorado State Rams at Folsom Field on September 16, 2023 in Boulder, Colorado. (Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

Down eight points, Sanders led the No. 18 Buffaloes on a 98-yard touchdown drive. He found wide receiver Jimmy Horn Jr. in space and he made a move around a Colorado State defender and dove into the end zone for a touchdown. Sanders then found Michael Harrison for the 2-point conversion.

He added two more touchdown passes in overtime and the defense stopped Colorado State on their final drive of the game.

“To be great you have to be resilient,” Colorado coach Deion Sanders said, explaining the win.

Shilo Sanders got the party started for the Buffaloes. He returned a Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi pass 80 yards for a touchdown to get Colorado on the board early.

Shilo Sanders returns interception for a TD

Colorado safety Shilo Sanders returns an interception for a touchdown in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Colorado State, Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Dallin Holker would get his first touchdown on a pass from wide receiver Tory Horton. Then, Ron Hardge III returned a Colorado fumble 45 yards for a touchdown. The Rams, stunningly, had a 14-7 lead in the first quarter.

Things were already pretty heated between the two teams but it got more dicey.

Shedeur Sanders targeted Travis Hunter with a long pass down the sideline but it was over his head. Rams defensive back Henry Blackburn came over and delivered a brutal late hit on the Heisman Trophy contender. Hunter went down in pain and Blackburn was penalized. Sanders finished the drive with a touchdown pass to tie the game. Hunter would leave the game in third quarter to be evaluated at a hospital.

Fowler-Nicolosi’s touchdown pass to Louis Brown put the Rams up 21-14 before the half.


Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi

Colorado State Rams players are led onto the field by quarterback Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi #16 before a game against the Colorado Buffaloes at Folsom Field on September 16, 2023 in Boulder, Colorado. (Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

Colorado cut the lead to four points with a field goal early in the fourth quarter but the Rams showed some resilience.

On 3rd-and-7, Fowler-Nicolosi found Holker cutting across the field. The ball, somehow, got through the hands of the Buffaloes’ defender and was caught by Holker, who then scampered for a 35-yard touchdown. It was his second touchdown of the night and pushed him over 100 yards receiving.

Colorado State went up 28-17 with 11:22 remaining in the game. A 41-yard field goal cut the Buffaloes’ deficit down to eight points with 7:33 to go in the game.

Shedeur Sanders finished 38-of-47 for 348 passing yards with four touchdown passes and an interception. Xavier Weaver had nine catches for 98 yards and a touchdown. Harrison had seven catches for 76 yards and two scores. Horn had seven catches for 66 yards.

Fowler-Nicolosi was 34-of-45 for 367 yards and three touchdowns.

Henry Blackburn picks off a pass

Colorado State defensive back Henry Blackburn (11) celebrates intercepting a pass with defensive lineman Tony Pierce Jr. during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Colorado, Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Three Rams receivers had over 100 yards receiving – Tory Horton (133), Brown (131) and Holker (109). Each of those players had at least one touchdown. Horton had 16 catches, Brown had 10 and Holker had six.


Colorado moved to 3-0. Colorado State fell to 0-2.

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