Colorado Buffaloes head coach Deion Sanders during a spring game event at Folsom Field.

Know the Huskers foes 2024: Colorado Buffaloes

Week two will be one of the most important weeks for Matt Rhule and the Nebraska Cornhuskers for the 2024 season. The Huskers have the privilege of hosting the “Prime” Colorado Buffaloes in the primetime slot. The Buffaloes have been in the college football headlines 24/7 ever since NFL Hall-of-Famer Deion Sanders has been announced as head coach. This old-school rivalry renewed will go a long way on the impact of the rest of the season for both teams. Here is a look at 2024 Colorado.

Know the Huskers foes 2024: Colorado Buffaloes

2023 review

Like previously mentioned, the 2023 season begun all the way back when Coach Prime was brought in to take over the head coaching gig in Boulder. Sanders brought in 72 new scholarship players in the 2023 class, including then junior quarterback Shedeur Sanders and sophomore athlete (WR and DB) Travis Hunter. The way that coach Sanders was rebuilding the Buffaloes roster was something unseen and it looked like it was going to work through the first couple weeks of the 2023 season.

Colorado Buffaloes quarterback Shedeur Sanders (2) throws a pass in the second quarter against the TCU Horned Frogs at Amon G. Carter Stadium.
Sep 2, 2023; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; Colorado Buffaloes quarterback Shedeur Sanders (2) throws a pass in the second quarter against the TCU Horned Frogs at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Colorado opened up the season on the road to face the then No. 17 TCU Horned Frogs, who were just coming off a national championship appearance in 2022-2023 season. The Horned Frogs lost nearly every productive player from the season before but still came into the game as 20.5 point favorites against the Buffaloes. Colorado went into Fort Worth and came out on top in a shootout against No. 17 TCU 45-42. The hype was real. Now ranked No. 22 in the country, The Buffaloes came home to host Nebraska and controlled the game all the way through, winning 36-14. Now, Colorado was 2-0 and ranked No. 18 in the country going into it’s game against the Colorado State Rams. It took two overtimes for the Buffaloes to beat the Rams, with Colorado winning 43-35. However, the Buffaloes still won the game and had a chance to shock the world with their upcoming road trip to Eugene, Oregon to take on the No. 10 Oregon Ducks.

The Ducks shut down the high flying Colorado, holding them to only nine points compared to Oregon’s 42. Things didn’t go well the next week losing to Caleb Williams and the USC Trojans in Boulder 48-41. Now with back-to-back losses, the Buffaloes fell out of the top-25 and it went down to the wire on the road against a not great Arizona State Sun Devils team. Colorado improved to 4-2 with a 27-24 win. Any remaining hopes for a potential PAC-12 title seemingly ended on Friday, October 13 against the Stanford Cardinal. The Buffaloes looked like they were going to cruise to a easy victory, opening the game scoring 29 unanswered points in the first half. However, things changed quickly. The Cardinal came out of nowhere and turned the 29 point deficit to a three point double OT victory in Boulder. Colorado couldn’t win another game the rest of the way, finishing 4-8.

Colorado Buffaloes wide receiver Xavier Weaver (10) carries the ball against the UCLA Bruins in the second half at Rose Bowl. UCLA defeated Colorado 28-16.
Oct 28, 2023; Pasadena, California, USA; Colorado Buffaloes wide receiver Xavier Weaver (10) carries the ball against the UCLA Bruins in the second half at Rose Bowl. UCLA defeated Colorado 28-16. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Shedeur finished 2023 with 3,230 yards, completing 298 out of 430 passes with 27 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions. However, he took a lot of sacks. The Buffaloes offensive line allowed 56 sacks, which ranked second-to-last in the FBS last season. Senior wide receiver Xavier Weaver led the team in receiving with 68 catches for 908 yards and 4 touchdowns. Hunter had a decent 2023 season, with 57 catches for 721 yards and 5 touchdowns, while logging 30 tackles and 3 interceptions on defense.

2024 overview

Shedeur and Hunter highlight the returning production from 2023, with 39 transfers and 10 incoming freshman in 2024 class. The incoming freshman class is highlighted by the No. 1 IOL Jordan Seatonย (IMG Academy, Bradenton, FL). A large amount of the transfers brought in by the Buffaloes’ staff were to fill the holes in the trenches, especially on the offensive line. Despite the massive amount of transfers brought in during the 2023 offseason, Colorado has to replace 61% of the 2023 class. The Buffaloes also has a couple of new faces on the coaching staff. Colorado will have a new defensive coordinator with former Cincinnati Bengal secondary coach Robert Livingston. Pat Shurmur will basically be new in 2024 with his first full season as the offensive coordinator in Boulder. Shurmur was elevated from his quality-control position after Sean Lewis was demoted, which led to Lewis bolting for the head coach position for San Diego State.

Other than Shedeur and Hunter, the biggest x-factor for the Buffaloes potential success in 2024 will come from the trenches. It will be important to not only protect the quarterback, but to also provide pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Colorado is also in a new conference. After the PAC-12 pretty much dissolving due to conference realignment, Colorado along side Utah, Arizona and Arizona State are set to join the Big 12 conference starting in 2024. This means the Buffaloes will have some different matchups than they are used to during their time in the PAC-12.

Colorado doesn’t have the easiest start to the 2024 season. The Buffaloes open up against the FCS powerhouse North Dakota State Bison before going on the road to Lincoln. After that, Colorado will have to go on the road to face Colorado State before beginning conference play against Baylor and on the road at Central Florida. The Buffaloes have to face Kansas State and Arizona back-to-back weeks, which both will be competing for the conference title. The month of November will be tough for Colorado, as it will have to go on the road to Texas Tech and hosting, while hosting Utah and Oklahoma State.

With as much roster turnover the Buffaloes have, it will be very important that the starters, including Shedeur and Hunter stay healthy if they want to go bowling at the end of the season. Colorado will have very heavy expectations in 2024 (as expected). If the starters stay healthy, there should be no surprise that the Buffaloes will compete for a bowl game in 2024.

Week two matchup

Colorado has taken the last three matchups between Nebraska, including a 33-28 victory at Memorial Stadium in 2018. However, the Huskers hold the all-time series lead 49-2-21. This game is massive for not only for both teams but for the entire landscape of college football in 2024. If the Buffaloes win in Lincoln, we’re back to “Prime Mania”. If Nebraska wins, there is serious chance that the Huskers are 7-0 going into their matchup with the Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday, October 26.

There will be no doubt that Memorial Stadium will be rocking when Colorado comes to town, especially with the week two matchup will be played under the lights. We will find out who comes out on top on Saturday, Sept. 7 in Lincoln at 6:30 p.m. on NBC.

Main Image: ยฉ Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

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