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Prime All Night: Colorado’s fans might still be on the field
Are you not entertained, Lil Wayne and Dwayne Johnson?
Around 2:30 a.m. ET, Colorado beat Colorado State, 43-35, in a double-overtime heater worthy of the preceding week’s wrestling promos and the home sideline full of celebrities. A Master P sighting?? Check.
The rejuvenated rivalry game had everything: pregame scuffling, Colorado State defenders mocking Deion Sanders’ high-stepping (and his touchdown dance), Shedeur Sanders leading a 98-yard drive to force OT, CSU opting against attempting an all-or-nothing two-point conversion, and … Colorado fans storming the field? After beating a 24-point underdog? Hey, amid all the hype, it’s easy to forget Buffs fans have spent the previous two decades watching their team lose.
Love Deion’s show or hate it, it’ll somehow get even bigger. A trip to undefeated Oregon is up next.
Main concern, beyond just football: Travis Hunter, arguably the Buffs’ best weapon and best defender, was taken to a local hospital after a late hit.
Elsewhere, college football’s Saturday was about top-10 teams looking a little suspicious. Hopefully, you wagered against some favorites.
- No. 1 Georgia led perpetual nuisance South Carolina just 17-14 with nine minutes to go, before tacking on another TD. UGA’s offense is still so sleepy.
- No. 3 Florida State beat a flailing Boston College 31-29, and maybe couldn’t have done it without BC’s school-record 18 penalties.
- No. 10 Alabama looked shockingly average against USF, trying out two new quarterbacks (who went a combined 10-of-23) and giving up five sacks. The 17-3 final score looks plenty unimpressive, but it’s actually incredibly kind to Bama’s performance.
And several contenders who ended up with comfy final scores did so as perilously as possible. For instance, Wyoming–Texas was 10-10 in the fourth until the Longhorns erupted.
Three other items from the scoreboard:
Florida looked totally remodeled against No. 11 Tennessee, winning 29-16. The Vols still haven’t won in Gainesville since 2003.
Missouri stunned No. 15 Kansas State with the best game-winning field goal I’ve ever seen, from 61 (and then some) yards away by local star “The Thicker Kicker.”
Did Iowa score 25? Yes! That 41-point outburst in the win over Western Michigan puts OC Brian Ferentz ahead of pace toward his 325-point goal.
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Insider Info: We might be underestimating the Rams
Sure, the Rams won a Super Bowl two years ago. But last year was bad. Matthew Stafford looked old and beat up. Sean McVay almost walked away. Not many were high on what’s still a talented team coming into the season.
Then they went out and dominated the Seahawks — a preseason darling, even in these pages — on the road. It’s one game, but man, we looked wrong. Today they get to solidify the new hype or crater: a 4:25 p.m. ET date with the 49ers looms.
No one knows the Rams more than our Jourdan Rodrigue, who was gracious enough to answer my silly questions:
I know it’s not smart to overreact in Week 1. But it’s also more fun. The Rams are winning the Super Bowl, right?
Jourdan: The theme of the Rams’ 2023 season is weird, chaotic, unpredictable, fun. I said this ahead of Sunday’s win at Seattle: If these guys are going to be a bad football team, they sure don’t know it. There’s a lot of learning and growing going on, and that will sometimes get pretty ugly. What the season chews up and spits out in terms of their win-loss record might be harder to predict than in the early days of their partial roster-decimation.
How long until Puka Nacua becomes a household name?
Jourdan: I think he’s pretty well-known in the Nacua household! But in all seriousness, the Rams love this guy because he’s tough, has a large frame and catch radius and while he definitely has some things to work on (two drops last week, even in a 10-catch and 119-yard game) the coaches and the quarterback have been impressed with how Nacua throws himself into improvement.
In your podcast, The Playcallers — which everyone can (and should) listen to here — you really showed an unvarnished view of Sean McVay. Does he seem like a different guy this year?
Jourdan: Well, he knew he had to be. He could not stay in the same mental space and develop a roster full of young and inexperienced players. Deciding not to walk away from coaching also meant deciding to work on himself and the personal and professional fundamentals he had lost in his all-out sprint to win a Super Bowl. I’ll say this, even though it’s 49ers week — always stressful, considering the matchup history and his history with fellow “Playcallers” main character Kyle Shanahan — he’s having a lot more fun this year.
I’m gonna need a score prediction for today’s game.
Jourdan: History says it’ll go to the 49ers, who own a 9-4 record against the Rams since 2017, when Kyle and Sean both got their head coaching jobs (though that divisional round game the Rams won en route to the Super Bowl in 2021 likely still stings a bit). I’ll say 30-24, because I do think this Rams offense has a few tricks up its sleeve.
News to Know
Ohtani done for season
The writing was on the wall when Shohei Ohtani’s locker was mysteriously packed up Friday night, but the team made it official Saturday: He’s done for the season because of his oblique injury. GM Perry Minasian said he anticipates Ohtani getting a surgical procedure for his torn UCL soon, but that he doesn’t know what procedure it will be. It’s all very “Angels,” right? Alas, the main question now is if Ohtani has played his last game with the team. Let’s hope so, Marc Carig writes.
Inter Miami falls without Messi
With its superstar taking a day off, Inter Miami lost 5-2 in a highly anticipated matchup with Atlanta United last night. Lionel Messi did not travel with the team but is not injured, coach Tata Martino said, leaving rest and turf avoidance as two likely reasons for his absence. Miami’s 12-match unbeaten streak came to an end, but the team is still in the hunt for playoff contention.
Latest on Michael Oher, Tuohys
Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy, the couple who took in former Ole Miss and NFL offensive lineman Michael Oher when he was in high school, rejected allegations of tricking Oher into a conservatorship and getting rich off of his story. In a court filing, the Tuohys vehemently denied exploiting Oher for their own gain and forging his signature on film negotiations. The Tuohys’ attorneys estimated the four members of the Tuohy family and Oher each received $100,000.
- The U.S. men’s basketball team is again ranked No. 1 in the world by FIBA, even though it lost three of its last four games at the World Cup and finished a disappointing fourth place. Yay?
- Dream guard Rhyne Howard set a WNBA record by scoring 36 points in her playoff debut, a 94-82 loss to the Wings on Friday. The series continues Tuesday.
- The Warriors are set to meet with a familiar face this week: eight-time NBA All-Star Dwight Howard. The 37-year-old has expressed to interested teams this offseason he is in shape and ready to contribute.
Al Michaels talked with Richard Deitsch about about the criticism he faced last year that some of his calls lacked enthusiasm, a memorable French onion soup dinner in Green Bay with John Madden, which coaches he think would make the best broadcaster and more.
Everything you ever wanted to know about Brock Purdy’s thighs.
More Angels dysfunction: Anthony Rendon broke his silence, but his comments left more questions than answers, Sam Blum writes.
The Cardinals have ensured their first losing season in 15 years. They will have an entire winter to pinpoint their optimal plan to rebound, but they surely know where to begin: with quality pitching.
As the Yankees’ youth movement continues, their pushed-aside veterans are looking to help the kids.
(Photo: Andrew Wevers / USA Today)