BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — Shedeur Sanders threw a TD pass to Michael Harrison in the second overtime after leading a 98-yard drive to tie the game with 36 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter and No. 18 Colorado rallied to beat Colorado State 43-35 early Sunday in front of a full house packed with celebrities.
Sanders connected with Harrison for an 18-yard score and then found an open Xavier Weaver on the 2-point conversion. The Colorado defense took it from there, with Trevor Woods intercepting Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi’s pass on fourth-and-23 to end the game at nearly 12:30 a.m. local time.
It set off a celebration as fans rushed the field for a second straight week.
In the first OT, Sanders patiently waited in the pocket until Harrison flashed open for a 3-yard score. Fowler-Nicolosi followed by connecting with Tory Horton on an 8-yard score.
With 2:06 remaining in the fourth quarter, Sanders and the Buffaloes (3-0) got the ball back on the 2-yard line and trailing 28-20. He led the Buffaloes on a seven-play drive that culminated with a 45-yard TD pass to Jimmy Horn Jr. with 36 seconds left. Sanders hit Harrison for the two-point conversion.
A 23 1/2-point underdog, the Rams led most of the game. Their unraveling was 17 penalties for 182 yards, including a flag for a block below the waist that nullified a touchdown in the second overtime.
Rams coach Jay Norvell added spice to the Rocky Mountain Showdown earlier in the week by taking a jab at Deion Sanders for not taking off his sunglasses and hat in interviews. After the game, Sanders and Norvell shook hands near midfield amid a sea of fans.
Sanders and the Buffaloes fed off the perceived slight all the way into the game. Shilo Sanders donned sunglasses after his 80-yard interception return for a touchdown in the first quarter.
Shedeur Sanders finished with 348 yards, four TDs and one interception for the Buffaloes, who won their sixth straight over the Rams (0-2). Sanders was missing receiver/cornerback Travis Hunter, who was ruled out in the third quarter with an undisclosed injury and taken to the hospital for further evaluation.
Colorado State put a bye week to good use by finding ways to contain Sanders and the explosive Colorado offense for most of the game. The Rams tried to spoil the party hosted by Deion Sanders, who had big-name celebrities in the house such as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and rapper Lil Wayne.
Fowler-Nicolosi had 367 yards and two TDs.
It was chippy at times, with Rams defensive lineman Mohamed Kamara getting a finger in the face mask from Shedeur Sanders after a play. Kamara was later disqualified in overtime for a targeting call on Sanders.
The emotions heated up early, too, with both teams gathering at midfield about an hour before kickoff and exchanging some words. Hunter left the gathering to run over to the student section and fire up the fans.
Deion Sanders has turned the Buffaloes into the talk of college football since taking over a team that went 1-11 last season.
This weekend, both ESPN’s “College GameDay” and Fox’s “Big Noon Kickoff” were both on campus. Some of the biggest names in sports and entertainment turned up in Boulder, including a mini-concert performed by Lil Wayne in the end zone just before kickoff ( Deion Sanders gifted him a jersey). “The Rock” appeared on the set of GameDay and took off his jacket to reveal he was wearing Shedeur Sanders’ No. 2 jersey.
Colorado State: The Rams have lost 17 straight games to ranked teams on the road.
Colorado: The announced attendance was 53,141 in a game where tickets were going for an average purchase price is $214, according to TickPick. The Buffaloes have sold out five home games this season and are close to selling out a sixth (Arizona on Nov. 11).
Colorado State: Play at Middle Tennessee on Saturday.
Colorado: At No. 13 Oregon on Saturday.