Deion Sanders, coach prime, Colorado

Coach Prime’s Week: A Buffalo Stance and a New OC

Colorado has struggled mightily to run the ball all season long. The team's leading rusher, freshman Dylan Edwards only has 262 yards on 58 carries

Deion Sanders, the head football coach at the University of Colorado Buffaloes, took a different approach to motivate his team: a wildlife video of buffaloes.

According to Sports Illustrated, Sanders encouraged his players to embody the spirit of buffaloes rather than cattle, drawing a distinction between the two by emphasizing the buffalo’s remarkable ability to run toward a storm, not away from it. This analogy was aimed at instilling a sense of resilience and determination in his team.

It was a sure sign of coach searching for anything to motivate his team, including making a mid-season switch to a new offensive coordinator.

Colorado has struggled mightily to run the ball all season long; the team’s leading rusher, freshman Dylan Edwards, only has 262 yards on 58 carries. Shedeur Sanders, meanwhile, has thrown the ball 346 times for 2,600 yards and 22 touchdowns. This indicates either one of two things usually. Either the team is often playing catch-up, or it is a team that is so ineffective at running the football that it has abandoned the run game altogether.

Typically, this might work if you have better athletes than your opponents, but at the Power Five level, everybody has good to great athletes. It’s not going to work for long, if it works at all. 

Compounding these issues are the problems defensively; the team has given up 279 points on the year, the third-worst total in college football. Colorado’s inability to get pressure on opposing quarterbacks has only magnified the issues present on its back end, with the general exception of Travis Hunter. As a result, Colorado has had problems in the second halves of games, either closing a gap once it gets beyond two or three scores or holding opposing teams at bay using their running game. 

Sanders called a private meeting with the offensive line on Nov. 1, which he said was productive.

“I have the utmost thought process that those guys are going to step it up tremendously,” he said. You’re going to see a more cohesive, more aggressive, more physical and well-prepared group than ever before this weekend. I really do believe that.”

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