Buffs quit in embarrassment as Prime admits CU lacks an identity

Nov 18, 2023, 1:02 AM

Deion Sanders of the Colorado Buffaloes...

Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

No play better explained the humiliation the Colorado Buffaloes’ took on Friday than one in the third quarter.

Buffaloes walk-on third-string quarterback Gavin Kuld was forced into duty. On one play, No. 23 took the snap, looked right, and slung the ball, which was batted right back to him so he caught it and threw it again. Of course, you can not throw two forward passes on the same play in football, except Wazzu let the Buffs do it, declining the penalty. That’s because the Cougars came away with an interception, meaning Wazzu got hands on both of Kuld’s passes on the same play. CU picked up an unnecessary roughness penalty on the play as well. Resulting in the rare QB who threw away two passes, caught one ball and gave it to the other team all in a few seconds.

That one play perfectly encapsulated a Colorado team whose coaching staff wiped their hands of the game as soon as the coach’s son playing star quarterback got hurt. They threw in not one but two signal callers who appeared to get few to no reps at all with the offense, especially one coached by new offensive coordinator failed NFL coach Pat Shurmur. On that play alone, the Buffs showed a lack of understanding of the rules, no discipline and doubled down on their worst mistakes making for one big beat ’em down.

Colorado was underprepared, less-talented and out-coached in Friday’s 56-14 blowout loss in Pullman. It was a night of balls of helmets, 98-yard kick returns, scoop-and-scores, injuries and utter failure for Prime’s crew. The result was a seventh loss over the last eight games for the Buffaloes in Deion Sanders’ first season at the helm. It was Washington State’s first win since Sept. 23, as the Pac-12 straggler may not have a home but will have the last win and bragging rights for a long time on the Buffs.

“That was not the recipe for a win, they executed early and often, and when they got Shedeur (Sanders), it was tough,” coach Sanders said. “He had numbness in his hands and couldn’t grip the ball. The second time he got injured, we had a bad snap, and it hurt his ankle.”

The quarterback left the contest in the second quarter for a second and final time. He did end the night atop the school’s leaderboard for passing yards in a season and is a few scores shy of the single-season passing touchdown mark as well. Without Shedeur, Colorado didn’t stand a chance—without much heart, the Buffaloes took it to embarrassing.

“Very sad at how we played. We practiced hard this week, we prepared like no other, to display a performance like that is not who we are or how we are,” a sick Coach Prime said in a brief interview postgame. “I have been boasting since the beginning of the season that I had not seen us quit or turn it down. There were some plays in the first half that I didn’t see the passion I wanted to see. We got on them at halftime, and they went back out there and balled, I applaud them for fighting in the second half.”

The score was 42-7 at the half, and Colorado did put up a bit more of a fight in the second, though many starters on both sides were pulled just after the break.

“That’s (the game is) not who we are,” Prime said. “Still trying to figure out who we are and our identity—but I still don’t know after all these weeks.”

The performance not only ties the worst loss by margin Deion has suffered as a player or coach but also ensures this will be Prime’s first losing season as a coach. Plus Prime can no longer boast about being in all games but one in his mind, that’s now two.

The Buffs are now highly unlikely to make a bowl game, needing both a win and a whacky scenario with a waiver attached to get a postseason bid. CU’s last game of the year will be seeking a fifth win on the season and a second in Pac-12 play against the No. 22 Utah Utes on the road next Saturday—it’ll be the final game in the conference for each program.

“We try to compare it to what we’re capable of, and we’re falling short of what we are capable of, and that’s what is tough to digest.”


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