Saturday’s matchup between No. 18 Colorado and Colorado State just got a lot spicier.
Colorado State head coach Jay Norvell appeared to take a jab at Sanders Wednesday for wearing a hat and sunglasses during sessions with the media.
“We had to do a bunch of ESPN videos. And it’s great. I loved it. But our kids came out of those videos really with a chip on their shoulder,” Norvell said Wednesday on his weekly radio show. “They’re tired of all that stuff. They really are tired of it.
“I sat down with ESPN today. And I don’t care if they hear it in Boulder. I told them, ‘I took my hat off, and I took my glasses off.’ And I said, ‘When I talk to grown-ups, I take my hat and my glasses off.’ That’s what my mother taught me. They’re not going to like us no matter what we say or do. It doesn’t matter. So, let’s go up there and play.”
Sanders responded Thursday, telling his players that the “Rocky Mountain Showdown” against Colorado State is now “personal.”
“I’m minding my own business, watching some film, trying to get ready,” Sanders told his players. “Trying to get out here and be the best coach I can be. And I look up, and I read some bull junk that they done said about us. Once again.
“Why would you want to talk about us when we don’t talk about nobody? All we do is go out here, work out butts off, and do our jobs on Saturday. But when they give us ammunition … they done messed around and made it, what?”
“Personal,” Sanders’ team responded.
“It was just going to be a good game,” Sanders continued.
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Sanders has made it clear from Week 1 he is keeping “receipts” on all those who have doubted his team or who made comments about his process in the offseason.
Prior to defeating Nebraska in Week 2, Sanders gave an electric speech to his team, telling players the rivalry game was “personal’ after Cornhuskers head coach Matt Rhule seemingly took a shot in the offseason at how some football programs were building through the NCAA transfer portal. Many observers took the comments as being directed toward Sanders and Colorado.
“And the reason it’s so personal to me is they said it’s about my kids,” Sanders told his players before the game. “You think I’m going to let them talk about y’all, and it ain’t going to be personal? You think I’m going to let them doubt y’all, and it ain’t gonna personal? You think I’m going to let them naysay y’all, and it ain’t going to get personal?
“I respect their head coach a lot,” he added. “He said some things. He tried to back off of it. But it’s too late because … it’s personal.”
On Monday, Norvell was complimentary of Sanders, pushing back at his critics.
“Deion Sanders has had a lot of public critics. I’m not one of them. I really respect all head coaches and the sacrifices they’ve had to make to become head coaches, and I appreciate the path they have to go through to get there,” Norvell said, according to The Coloradoan. “Especially African American coaches. I was happy to see Deion get his opportunity. I had to wait a long time to get mine.”
Colorado and Colorado State last played in 2019, and the Buffaloes have won five straight in the rivalry.