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It was revealed on Monday that Nebraska’s conflict with Deion Sanders and Colorado on Saturday, Sept. 7 will air in prime time with a 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff on NBC in Week 2 at Memorial Stadium. The previous Large 12 rivals will meet for the 73rd time within the closing sport of a four-game home-and-home sequence that was agreed to again in 2018.

The primary dwelling sport of the Sanders period final season was a 36-14 assertion win over Nebraska to enhance to 2-0 for the primary time since 2020. Colorado star quarterback Shedeur Sanders overcame a sluggish begin and completed with 393 yards on 31-of-42 passing with three complete touchdowns. 

Colorado allowed a season-high eight sacks towards the Cornhuskers in that sport — foreshadowing future points with the offensive line that prompted Sanders to fully overhaul the unit for the second consecutive season. The Buffaloes allowed 56 sacks in the course of the 2023 marketing campaign and dropped eight of their closing 9 video games to complete 4-8.

Sanders and Nebraska coach Matt Rhule each enter Yr 2 with expectations of main their respective applications to a bowl sport. Nebraska was on the doorstep of reaching its first bowl sport since 2016 however dropped 4 consecutive video games to Michigan State, Maryland, Wisconsin and Iowa to complete 5-7.

Nebraska’s matchup with Colorado may loom giant in each program’s taking the subsequent step. Listed here are 4 early storylines to trace with the coveted time slot introduced for the showdown. 

Who wins the Colorado OL-Nebraska DL battle?

The matchup that would finally determine this sport might be Colorado’s new-look offensive line towards Nebraska’s stout defensive entrance that ranked inside the highest 20 nationally in rush protection and complete sacks in 2023. Colorado ranked close to the underside in nearly each offensive line class final season, which led to an entire overhaul. The Buffaloes introduced in first-time offensive line coach Phil Loadholt to exchange Invoice O’Boyle, and the Buffaloes added blue-chip deal with Jordan Seaton from the 2024 recruiting cycle to pair with switch portal additions Payton Kirkland (Texas), Kahlil Benson (Indiana) and Tyler Johnson (Houston). The depth of Nebraska’s defensive position is what makes it a power. Whereas Nash Hutmacher, Jimari Butler and Ty Robinson headline the record of returners, eight completely different Nebraska defensive linemen recorded a minimum of 100 snaps final season. If Nebraska can get to the quarterback on the identical stage it did final season, the sting might be in its favor.

Will star freshman Dylan Raiola lead the Nebraska offense? 

Raiola is the present frontrunner to win the beginning quarterback job this season. The previous five-star sign caller and the second-ranked participant at his place within the 2024 recruiting cycle by 247Sports might be competing with Heinrich Haarberg and Daniel Kaelin. Rhule hasn’t publicly named him the starter, however it seems extra probably than not that Raiola will begin within the season-opener towards UTEP on Aug. 31 and the next week towards Colorado. Raiola threw for 239 yards and two touchdowns on 16-of-22 passing in Nebraska’s spring sport final month, whereas Haarberg tossed a pair of landing passes. One issue that would assist Raiola ease into the school sport is that 5 of Nebraska’s six video games are at dwelling. Raiola has the scale and the instruments to achieve success on the faculty stage, and Colorado ought to provide him his first actual take a look at.

Will we see extra drama main as much as the sport?

The primary matchup between Sanders and Rhule was stuffed with drama. Final offseason, Rhule made feedback that seemed to be directed at Sanders and Colorado. Whereas Rhule didn’t point out Sanders or this system by title, he scoffed at different faculties who have been making a reputation for themselves on the “switch portal” and “hype,” noting how his program dealt with enterprise in a extra conventional method.

“I hear different faculties [say] they can not look ahead to at this time, the switch portal, they can not wait to exit. … I can not wait to educate my guys, let me let you know that,” Rhule said. “I am not right here … I am not desirous about anyone else however this workforce out right here.”

“Should you discover in our movies that we submit — and I am proud to submit these — they’re at all times of us working,” Rhule added. “They’re by no means of us speaking. [This] program is constructed on work; it isn’t constructed on hype.”

Following the sport, the youthful Sanders responded months after the preliminary feedback have been made.

“The coach mentioned plenty of issues about my pops and about this system, however now, he needs to behave good,” Sanders told reporters after the victory. “I do not respect that since you hated on one other man. You should not do this. It was simply, all respect was gone for them and their program. I like taking part in towards their defensive coordinator [Tony White], however the respect stage ain’t there as a result of [Rhule] disrespected us first.” 

Hunter is without doubt one of the most dynamic gamers in faculty soccer. Colorado’s two-way star has proved he can play as a large receiver or cornerback on the Energy 4 stage, and there seems to be no plans of that altering forward of the 2024 season. In a current interview with DNVR Sports activities, Sanders defined why Hunter will proceed to play on each side of the ball.

“Travis got here out of highschool taking part in each methods,” Sanders mentioned.  “Travis got here out of youth ball taking part in each methods (and) Travis going to varsity taking part in each methods, got here from Jackson State taking part in each methods. Why would we modify what he is at all times completed in his life. Simply because some man with no expertise, sitting up right here saying, ‘effectively, he ought to watch his variety of reps.’ How you already know? You depend your variety of reps whenever you go to the fridge on daily basis?”

Hunter caught three passes for 73 yards and recorded 4 solo tackles and a go deflection whereas taking part in 127 complete snaps (70 on offense, 57 on protection per PFF) towards Nebraska. In CBS Sports activities’ way-too-early 2025 NFL mock draft, Hunter was slotted No. 2 total. Whereas Hunter tasks as a cornerback on the subsequent stage, he may need to play on offense greater than final season. With main receiver Xavier Weaver off to the NFL, Hunter ought to see extra involvement as a safety blanket and a deep-play risk for Sanders.

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