Deion Sanders And Colorado Shatter Viewership Records With Rocky Mountain Showdown Win

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Colorado State v Colorado
BOULDER, CO - SEPTEMBER 17: Head coach Deion Sanders of the Colorado Buffaloes talks to players in the second overtime period against the Colorado State Rams at Folsom Field on September 17, 2023 in Boulder, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
Colorado-Colorado State became ESPN's fifth-most watched college football game of all time.

Deion Sanders and the Colorado Buffaloes have yet another thing to celebrate. Their 43-35 comeback win against Colorado State last week shattered numerous viewership records for ESPN. Per a press release from the network, the game was the fifth-most watched game ever broadcast on the platform. Furthermore, it is also ESPN's most-watched late-night game and most-streamed game of all time. Additionally, it is ESPN and ABC's fourth-most watched regular-season game, excluding conference championships, in the last six seasons. The viewership peak was 11.1 million viewers, with the game average being 9.3 million.

However, it's not all good news. Two-way star Travis Hunter was knocked out of the game after an illegal hit by Colorado State's Henry Blackburn. Hunter is expected to miss several weeks due to a lacerated liver. However, Sanders has spoken out in defense of Blackburn after the player and his family began receiving death threats. "Henry Blackburn is a good player who played a phenomenal game. He made a tremendous hit on Travis on the sideline. You could call it dirty, you could call it, 'He was just playing the game of football.' But whatever it was, it does not constitute that he should be receiving death threats. This is still a young man trying to make it in life. He does not deserve a death threat over a game," Sanders said.

Sanders And Colorado Prepare For Pac-12 Play

However, for Sanders and the Buffs, the real season is about to begin. While a 3-0 record and #19 ranking in the AP Poll is nice, it's fair to say that Colorado has had a fairly favorable start to the season. They beat an overhyped TCU squad by three, crushed the ever-hapless Nebraska, and needed an 11-point comeback and double-overtime to beat a Colorado State team projected to finish 7th in the Mountain West. The team's upcoming slate of games will be a true test of what the squad is capable of.

For Colorado, Pac-12 play begins with a trip to #10 Oregon. The Ducks are projected to finish fourth in the conference and even received a first-place vote in preseason media voting. However, Colorado will be Oregon's first real test of the season as well after wins over Portland State, Texas Tech, and Hawai'i. After Oregon is a matchup against #5 USC, led by Heisman favorite Caleb Williams. Beyond that, the Buffs have four other (currently) ranked matchups in #22 UCLA, #14 Oregon State, #21 Washington State, and #11 Utah. In short - the next few weeks will be crucial for Sanders to prove that his new-look Colorado is the real deal.

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About The Author
Benjamin Mock (they/them) is a sports and culture writer working out of Philadelphia. Previously writing for the likes of Fixture, Dexerto, Fragster, and Jaxon, Ben has dedicated themselves to engaging and accessible articles about sports, esports, and internet culture. With a love for the weirder stories, you never quite know what to expect from their work.
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