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Blowing a 29-point lead at home will cause Colorado fans to turn on Coach Prime

It’s one thing for a plucky, brash underdog like Colorado has been so far in 2023 to lose a game to then-undefeated USC at Folsom Field on Sept 30.

Head coach Deion Sanders’s Buffaloes looked severely outclassed for most of the first half–Colorado trailed by a score of 34-7 late in the second quarter–but rallied over the final two quarters to make the final score, 48-41.

It’s quite another story to blow a 29-0 halftime lead at home to a 1-4 Stanford squad.

That was the reality for Sanders and his players last Friday night at Folsom Field after the Cardinal stormed all the way back in the second half to win, 46-43, in double overtime.

The second half saw the familiar college football scene of young folks in the stands–Colorado fans–standing with their hand on their heads in stunned disbelief as the Buffaloes’ defense reverted back to its traditional form by allowing 36 points over the final two periods of regulation.

And if a sense of dread hadn’t set in by the start of the first overtime, those same folks had to sense the inevitable coming when quarterback Shedeur Sanders, Prime’s son, threw a horrible interception in the end zone on the first possession of the second overtime.

Because Colorado walked away with zero points, Stanford needed only a field goal to secure the improbable comeback road win. The Cardinal got that field goal when kicker Joshua Karty was successful from 31 yards out to make the final score, 46-43.

Yikes.

Fun is fun, and being an underdog with an “us against the world” mentality can galvanize players, students, fans and alumni, alike. That’s especially the case when your head coach is Sanders, a Primetime personality with an old-school coaching style. But players, students, fans and alumni will only buy into that kind of thing when your team wins as the underdog.

But the Buffaloes went into Friday’s game vs. Stanford as nearly two-touchdown favorites. It doesn’t matter how bad you were last year (Colorado finished 1-11 in 2022). It doesn’t matter how exciting things have been so far this year. It doesn’t matter what sport you’re talking about and at what level. When you’re supposed to win, you damn sure better win. And if you have a 29-point lead at home at halftime, you damn sure better not blow it.

Go and read the social media comments linked to any article or video about Colorado’s second-half collapse.

Double yikes!

Let’s just say the rose is off the bloom when it comes to Sanders and his plucky, brash underdog squad.

Fortunately, the Buffaloes still have time to salvage their season and become bowl-eligible. Can you imagine Neon Deion in the week leading up to a Colorado bowl game? Talk about a great recruiting tool.

Having said that, three of Colorado’s five remaining opponents are currently ranked. Also, three of the Buffaloes’ final five games are on the road–including this Saturday night vs. 25th-ranked UCLA at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.

As great as the Coach Prime story has been up until now, can it survive a Colorado collapse over the second half of the 2023 campaign?

Maybe. Maybe not, but Sanders should probably win a few more games just to be sure.

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