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Deion Sanders will make it personal against Jay Norvell’s Colorado State

Previewing the Rocky Mountain Showdown

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 09 Nebraska at Colorado Photo by Nick Tre. Smith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Buffs are back at it at Folsom Field for the second weekend in row this Saturday for the long-awaited Rocky Mountain Showdown with Colorado State. The Buffs and Rams haven’t faced off since 2019, and the state of these two football programs couldn’t be further apart.

CU is currently the center of the college football world while CSU is struggling to even make a blip on anyone’s radar. College Gameday is coming to Boulder for the first time since 1996 for this week’s matchup and the sole reason is Coach Prime and the surging Buffaloes.

For the third week in a row, this game is personal for Colorado. On Tuesday, Coach Prime expressed great respect for CSU head coach Jay Norvell. Prime even said he called Norvell when he was hired by CU to get some advice on how to maximize quarterback Shedeur Sanders’ efficiency in the air raid offense.

This mutual respect was totally flipped on its head on Thursday after Norvell took a cheap shot at Coach Prime and his style. The Colorado head coach likes to wear hats and sunglasses inside during press conferences, which Norvell seems to take offense to.

“When I talk to grown-ups, I take my hat and my glasses off. That’s what my mother taught me.” said Norvell when asked about Coach Prime during his weekly radio show.

You’d think that opponents would have learned not to push Coach Prime’s buttons by now, but evidently not. The Buffaloes now have all the ammunition they need this week to keep themselves motivated and fired up leading up to the Rocky Mountain Showdown, and CSU should be getting scared.

The Buffs are currently 24-point favorites against the Ram. It’s is a nice change of scenery from last year when the Buffs were 20+ point underdogs nearly every game. CSU is easily the Buffs’ weakest opponent in their tough schedule, so this week should be a cakewalk.

In week one, the Rams let a relatively mediocre Washington State team hang fifty points on their heads. All things considered, the Buffs should be a better team than the Cougars. Colorado should send the little brotherly Rams home with a decisive loss.

The Buffaloes actually match up incredibly well with Colorado State too. The Rams employ an air raid style attack on offense. They rely heavily on the pass, and don’t run the ball very often or effectively. This is perfect for the Buffs, who’s biggest defensive strength is within the secondary. Corners Travis Hunter and Omarion Cooper have their work cut out for them against the Rams, and should take care of business with relative ease.

Another bonus for the Buffs is that Colorado State is going to be starting backup QB Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi for the first time this week. Defensive coordinator Charles Kelly and the gang should be able to dial up some schemes to throw off the inexperienced Fowler-Nicolosi, which gives the Buffs a massive advantage.

The Buffs offense stacks up well against the Rams defensive too, so expect a big week from Shedeur and company. The Rams’ biggest defensive strength is within the trenches. Colorado State usually does a good job against stopping the run, which Colorado doesn’t do a whole lot of. Through the first two weeks, the Buffs offense has been very pass-centric, which is going to give the Rams a lot of issues.

To put it nicely, the Rams secondary struggled in week one against Washington State, letting the Cougars torch them for 466 yards passing. On paper, Shedeur should have a field day against this middling unit. We’ll have to see if this actually materializes on Saturday though.

The last time the Rocky Mountain Showdown was at Folsom Field was in 2009, and the Rams actually left with a 23-17 win over CU. CSU fans rushed the field after the game and stomped all over the CU logo at midfield, which has left a bad taste in many Colorado fans’ mouths ever since. Colorado should wipe the floor with the Rams.

Fans can tune into the game on ESPN at 8 p.m. MT on Sept. 16. Both ESPN’s College Gameday and Fox’s Big Noon Kickoff will be broadcast on CU’s campus this week too, going to show just how much attention Colorado is getting from the national media.

For those looking to attend, College Gameday’s set will be located on the business field near CU Event Center. Big Noon Kickoff will be held from Farrand Field for the second straight week. The town of Boulder is buzzing for this week’s game, and it can’t come soon enough.