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CU hangs on in double OT to best CSU

University+of+Colorado+Boulder+Buffaloes+player++Jimmy+Horn+Jr.+%285%29+jumps+for+an+interception+during+the+Rocky+Mountain+Showdown+against+Colorado+State+University+Sept.+16.+CU+won+43-35.
Collegian | Milo Gladstein
University of Colorado Boulder Buffaloes player Jimmy Horn Jr. (5) jumps for an interception during the Rocky Mountain Showdown against Colorado State University Sept. 16. CU won 43-35.
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  • Colorado State University fan watches The Rocky Mountain Showdown at Folsom Field in Boulder Sept. 16. CU won 43-35.

    Collegian | Milo Gladstein
  • University of Colorado Boulder fans celebrate during the Rocky Mountain Showdown game against Colorado State University at Folsom Field in Boulder Sept. 16. CU won 43-35.

    Collegian | Milo Gladstein
  • Colorado State University Running Back Kobe Johnson (0) awaits the kickoff during the Rocky Mountain Showdown game against The University of Colorado Boulder at Folsom Field in Boulder Sept. 16. CU won 43-35.

    Collegian | Milo Gladstein
  • Colorado State University Tight End Peter Montini (44) celebrates during the Rocky Mountain Showdown game against The University of Colorado Boulder at Folsom Field in Boulder Sept. 16. CU won 43-35.

    Collegian | Milo Gladstein
  • University of Colorado Boulder fans celebrate during the Rocky Mountain Showdown game against Colorado State University at Folsom Field in Boulder Sept. 16. CU won 43-35.

    Collegian | Milo Gladstein
  • Colorado State University football players celebrate a touchdown during the Rocky Mountain Showdown game against The University of Colorado Boulder at Folsom Field in Boulder Sept. 16. CU won 43-35.

    Collegian | Milo Gladstein
  • Colorado State University Tight End Dallin Holker (5) dives for the end zone during the Rocky Mountain Showdown against The University of Colorado Boulder Sept. 16. CU won 43-35.

    Collegian | Milo Gladstein
  • Colorado State University Cheerleader looks at the scoreboard during the Rocky Mountain Showdown game against The University of Colorado Boulder at Folsom Field in Boulder Sept. 16. CU won 43-35.

    Collegian | Milo Gladstein
  • Colorado State University Rams fans cheer on their teem during the Rocky Mountain Showdown against The University of Colorado Boulder Sept. 16. CU won 43-35.

    Collegian | Milo Gladstein
  • Colorado State University football players celebrate a touchdown during the Rocky Mountain Showdown game against The University of Colorado Boulder at Folsom Field in Boulder Sept. 16. CU won 43-35.

    Collegian | Milo Gladstein
  • Colorado State University wide receiver Tory Horton (14) dashes toward the sideline during the Rocky Mountain Showdown game against the University of Colorado Boulder at Folsom Field in Boulder Sept. 16, 2023. CSU lost 43-35.

    Collegian | Milo Gladstein
  • University of Colorado Boulder Buffaloes player Jimmy Horn Jr. (5) jumps for an interception during the Rocky Mountain Showdown against Colorado State University Sept. 16. CU won 43-35.

    Collegian | Milo Gladstein
  • Sea of University of Colorado Boulder fans during the Rocky Mountain Showdown game against Colorado State University at Folsom Field in Boulder Sept. 16. CU won 43-35.

    Collegian | Milo Gladstein
  • Colorado State University Linebacker Tramayne Mejia-Pastor (33) prays before the Rocky Mountain Showdown against the University of Colorado Buffaloes Sept. 16. CU won 43-35.

    Collegian | Milo Gladstein
  • One of the leaders of The University of Colorado marching band leads the opening performance before the Rocky Mountain Showdown game against The University of Colorado Boulder at Folsom Field in Boulder Sept. 16. CU won 43-35.

    Collegian | Milo Gladstein
  • One of the leaders of The University of Colorado marching band leads the opening performance before the Rocky Mountain Showdown game against The University of Colorado Boulder at Folsom Field in Boulder Sept. 16. CU won 43-35.

    Collegian | Milo Gladstein
  • Colorado State University kicker Jordan Noyes (67) embraces his teammates before the Rocky Mountain Showdown game against The University of Colorado Boulder at Folsom Field in Boulder Sept. 16. CU won 43-35.

    Collegian | Milo Gladstein
  • Colorado State University football coach Jay Norvell motivates his team before the Rocky Mountain Showdown game against the University of Colorado Boulder at Folsom Field in Boulder Sept. 16, 2023. CU won 43-35.

    Collegian | Milo Gladstein
  • The University of Colorado Boulder football coach Deion Sanders smiles to the student section before the Rocky Mountain Showdown game against Colorado State University at Folsom Field in Boulder Sept. 16. CU won 43-35.

    Collegian | Milo Gladstein
  • Colorado State University football players embrace before the Rocky Mountain Showdown game against The University of Colorado Boulder Sept. 16. CU won 43-35.

    Collegian | Milo Gladstein
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Editor’s note: This story has been updated to remedy a confusion between Shedeur and Shilo Sanders.

Colorado State came into Folsom Field with a chance to win, going into two overtime periods. That was a lot more than what the nation expected them to do.

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In the Monday press conference prior to the game, Jay Norvell said this game is about the team going in and earning respect. And despite the 43-35 double overtime loss, they did just that.

“Football is about learning that it’s about your team and not the other team,” Norvell said. “We decide how we’re going to play, and it doesn’t matter who’s on the schedule, and so it’ll be the same thing next and the week after that.”

The Rams did what the nation thought they couldn’t — play on the same level as CU. Outside of Fort Collins, there weren’t a lot of people who thought CSU could even put up a fight. Pat McAfee even said the Buffs would railroad the Rams. 

“I think our kids learned quite a bit,” Norvell said. “We’ll just take a look at the film — you know, 24-hour rule — and turn the page.”

It was a team effort in the first, with the Rams scoring twice on offense and once on defense. Ron Hardge III picked up a Travis Hunter fumble and housed it. Hunter ended up being taken to a local hospital during the game. Deion Sanders said he is OK, but he will be out for multiple weeks.

Hardge transferred to the Rams this offseason from Oregon State. While the concept of rivalry games isn’t new to Hardge, he still said that this one really lived up to the hype leading up to kickoff. 

“It definitely lived up to the hype, and we know what we need to do,” Hardge said. 

The Rams receiving room came to play. After a lot of talk from Hunter and the Buffs secondary throughout the week, the Rams receivers went nuclear against them.

Louis Brown IV didn’t only have a career night, going for 10 receptions and 131 yards, but he eclipsed his production from last season all in one night. 

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Tory Horton was the only receiver who bested Brown in receiving putting up 10 and 133.

To top that, Dallin Holker added another two touchdowns to his Rams resume. 

Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi had his ups and downs in the game, but two big characteristics of a great QB are poise and the ability to bounce back from mistakes. 

After throwing a pick six to Shilo Sanders in their own territory, Fowler-Nicolosi bounced back by throwing two touchdowns, which would see the Rams take a 21-14 lead into the half. 

“Knowing my boys had my back and letting them know that I had theirs no matterwhat,” Fowler-Nicolosi said. “For example, when I threw that pick six, I came to the sideline — not one nasty look, it was just, ‘We got y’all, we got y’all, we got your back.’ … It really gives me a lot of faith in the team and makes me feel pretty dang comfortable that I’m out there with them.”

The Rams offense had their struggles in the second half. Posting two turnovers in their first three drives, it looked like CU was poised to take control of the game. 

The Rams defense had a different idea. 

At one point the Rams held the Buffs to five straight punts, never allowing the explosive Buffs offense to get going. 

However, a big-time play from Sanders to Xavier Weaver would give the Buffs with a chance to tie the game, only needing to convert a two-point conversion to tie. Sanders would find Jimmy Horn Jr. to tie it up. 

After each team scored a touchdown in the first overtime period, CU would be the one to turn the lights off. Sanders found Michael Harrison down the seam to go up by six, then finding Weaver on the two-point attempt to put the Buffs up eight. 

The Rams were killed by penalties that would set them into a fourth and goal from the 19-yard line that would be far out of reach. 

So despite the efforts by the Rams, they couldn’t get it done. Twenty-four hours, and the Rams will move on. 

“That’s what I was looking for from them,” Norvell said. “I wanted to see them come out and play to win and be clear-eyed.”

Penalties were an issue for the Rams, with tensions at their highs: They were called for 17 penalties, totaling 187 yards — something that’s hard to and come out with a win. 

“Obviously we had too many penalties; I can’t even speak about it,” Norvell said. “It’s a real shame because a lot of those penalties took away a lot of great efforts from our kids.”

CSU will look ahead to their second game away from Canvas Stadium, as they will travel to play Middle Tennessee Sept. 23. The Blue Raiders are off to a 1-2 start to the season. Last season when the two teams faced off, MTU bested the Rams 34-19.

Reach Damon Cook at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @dwcook2001.

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About the Contributors
Damon Cook
Damon Cook, Sports Editor
Damon Cook is the 2023-24 sports editor for the The Collegian and has been at the paper since August 2022. He started doing coverage on volleyball and club sports before moving onto the women's basketball beat. He is in his third year and is completing his degree with a major in journalism and media communication and a minor in sports management. As The Collegian's sports editor, Cook reports on CSU sports and helps manage the sports desk and content throughout the week. After having a year to learn and improve, Cook will now get to be part of a new age under the sports desk. The desk moved on from all but one other person and will now enter into a new era. Damon started school as a construction management major looking to go in a completely different direction than journalism. After taking the year off during the COVID-19 pandemic, he quickly realized that construction wasn't for him. With sports and writing as passions, he finally decided to chase his dreams, with The Collegian helping him achieve that. He is most excited to bring the best and most in-depth sports coverage that The Collegian can provide.
Milo Gladstein
Milo Gladstein, Photo Director
Milo Gladstein is a fifth-year senior majoring in journalism and media communications. He is currently serving as one of the two photo directors for the 2o23-24 school year. Gladstein's work focuses on long-form stories diving deep into what it means to be human and sharing people's passion and story with the community. He did not begin as a journalism major and has worn many hats while at CSU. He began as a conservation biology major, moving to undeclared and then horticulture therapy before finally landing in the journalism department. He seeks stories about community members who are impacting the world around them in positive ways and shares those stories. Working at The Collegian has taught Gladstein about working on a team, how to develop a story and the best ways to present said stories. Most importantly, he has grown from a photographer into a photojournalist. As co-photo director, he hopes to pass that knowledge on to the next group of journalists rising through The Collegian. When not working at The Collegian or in class, Gladstein can be found reading a book or in the outdoors climbing, camping, exploring and getting lost in the mountains.

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