BOULDER, Colo — The eyes of the college football world were on Boulder Saturday, as the University of Colorado Buffaloes took the field in their first home game under Head Coach Deion Sanders.
CU said 53,241 people attended the game, the highest attendance for a home game in 15 years.
“This feels like a bowl game right now,” said Sam Mcingvale, who organized a tailgate party. “There’s been Nebraska fans in town since Wednesday. We’ve been planning this tailgate since like two weeks ago, working on it non-stop. Everyone is out in force. It’s amazing.”
Nebraska has historically been one of CU’s biggest rivals.
The Cornhuskers didn't prove to be much of a match for the Buffs.
After a slow start in the first quarter, Colorado found its momentum and clobbered Nebraska 36-14, earning its second straight win of the new season.
Colorado’s 2-0 start to the season has ignited a level of excitement many Buffs fans haven’t seen in decades.
“This is fantastic, not just for the University of Colorado Boulder, for our football team, [but] I mean just for Boulder, for Colorado,” said CU Regent Wanda James. “This excitement is electric.”
That excitement has infected even the most casual of fans.
“I’m not much of a football fan personally, but I do love the energy,” said Cher Seruto, who attended Mcingvale’s tailgate party.
And it’s no secret who fans credit with reenergizing CU’s football program, which finished 1-11 last season.
“I’m loving Coach Prime. I’m loving the enthusiasm he’s brought. I’m loving the accountability he’s brought. CU football is back where it should be, back to where we were in the 90s,” one fan told Denver7.
“It’s the personality that’s coming here. It’s the years of excellence that [Coach Prime] has brought to not just football, but all sports,” James said. “And it’s the fact that he is making people believe in the excellence that is CU Boulder. Our students are excited. Our staff and faculty are excited. The regents are excited. This is amazing.”
The energy and excitement for CU is not limited to Boulder or Colorado.
Celebrities from Shannon Sharpe and Stephen A. Smith to Terrell Owens and the Wu-Tang Clan attended Saturday’s game, a testament to the revitalization of Colorado football under Sanders.
“Prime brings mentality. He brings just like a winning mindset. He brings a lot of fun,” Mcingvale said. “It’s just a different approach than anything going on in college football right now.”