Deion Sanders has no firsthand experience with the Colorado-Nebraska rivalry, but it hasn’t taken the first-year coach long to understand the significance of the series ahead of the Buffaloes home opener against the Cornhuskers Saturday.
“I’ve learned the serious nature of this rivalry, and I’m embracing it 100%,” Sanders said Tuesday. “This is personal. That’s the message of the week. This is personal.”
No. 22 Colorado stunned the sports world its 45-42 win at TCU in Sanders’ Power Five head coaching debut. On its own, the upset was enough to send hype into overdrive in Boulder, Colorado as the Buffs prepare for the first home game of Sanders’ tenure. Add in the fact that it comes against a storied rival, and it explains why the cheapest tickets on the secondary market for Saturday’s primetime contest were selling for roughly $400 on Tuesday afternoon.
“Colorado, we don’t like Nebraska,” Buffs quarterback Shedeur Sanders said. “That’s just what it is. We’ve just got to focus on that, ‘ok cool, we don’t like Nebraska.’ But that’s not really going to change the preparation or anything like that. We prepare like nobody likes us, because we know we’re going to get everybody’s best game. It’s just another thing on top, just a little bit more motivation.”
Colorado and Nebraska played every year they shared a conference from 1947-2010. The Huskers lead the all-time series 49-20-2. The Buffaloes won the last meeting between the longtime rivals 34-31 in 2019. While that win came just four years ago, there are no remnants of those Buffaloes to be found in 2023. Sanders is the program’s third coach since 2019, and Colorado’s roster has been overhauled so dramatically that few of the players have been around long enough to know much about the history of the series with Nebraska.
But they’ve learned enough to know what’s at stake – and what color they shouldn’t wear around campus leading up to Saturday.
“Don’t wear red in the facility,” Shedeur Sanders said. “I’ve got to take the red shirt off my website this week.”