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HomeFeatured StoriesCoach Prime Rekindles CU’s Epic Football Rivalry with Nebraska

Coach Prime Rekindles CU’s Epic Football Rivalry with Nebraska

Additional reporting by Elizabeth Pond.

Boulder is absolutely buzzing with excitement for the CU Buffaloes, as fans look forward to Saturday when the school will host what is likely its most important football game in over two decades. The Nebraska Cornhuskers will make their way to Folsom Field on Sept. 9 to play in college football’s most anticipated game of the week.

The Buffs took on Texas Christian University last week and beat the Horned Frogs by a score of 45-42, earning the rank of 22nd best team in the nation from the prestigious AP Coaches Poll. New head coach Deion “Coach Prime” Sanders and the Colorado football team’s impressive showing have gotten fans pumped up for this week’s game. 

“I think people are going to be pretty stoked after having beaten TCU,” said current CU student Maeby Aleo. “I think everyone has these really high hopes for the team—for the whole season in general—and hopefully we can eat up those Cornhuskers. I think we’re gonna beat their butts!”

Many Buffs fans not only want to see their football team win. They want to see CU dominate Nebraska.

“[This week’s game] is gonna be huge. I better get there early,” said CU student Reilly Pitzer. “I hope they beat the sh*t out of Nebraska.” 

The Colorado Buffaloes versus Nebraska Cornhuskers rivalry may not be showcased very often now that the teams are no longer in the same conference, but there is some serious bad blood that runs deep between the two sides. The teams have over three decades of history with each other, going all the way back to Colorado head coach Bill McCartney’s banishment of the color red. 

The Cornhuskers are known by many as “Big Red” due to their bright red logo and uniforms, and their fans have been known to take over stadiums wearing their signature red clothing. McCartney, affectionately known as Coach Mac by CU fans, wanted none of that. 

“When Coach Mac was there, you weren’t allowed to wear red. You couldn’t wear it in the facility, and you couldn’t wear it in the weight room or practice. It was a big no-no if you wore red, and it was a big deal,” said former CU dance team member Erika Klefehn. “I’ve never liked Nebraska because of that. [Coach Mac] made it such a big rivalry.”

For the first time since Colorado football’s glory days in the ‘90s, this historic rivalry is being taken very seriously by the CU coaching staff. Sanders echoed Coach Mac’s sentiment against the Huskers and made something very clear: This game is personal. 

“I’ve learned the severity and serious nature of this rivalry, and have embraced it 100%,” Sanders said in his press conference this week. “This is personal. That’s the message of the week, this is personal.” 

Colorado quarterback Sheduer Sanders even joked about removing all the red-colored clothing off his brand’s website during his media availability on Tuesday. 

Many fans like Klefehn are very happy that Sanders has brought CU back to the point where the Colorado versus Nebraska rivalry means something again. The previously disheveled Colorado football program seems to be putting itself back on the map for the first time since the ‘90s. 

“[The Buffs] have a culture of winning that I think we haven’t had in a long time,” Klefehn said.

In anticipation of Saturday morning’s game, tickets have skyrocketed in price. Nosebleed tickets are going for around $500. Last year, these same tickets would have sold for less than $50. 

These high prices have left a lot of Colorado fans unable to afford tickets to the game, but it’s not stopping them from celebrating and taking in the gravity of the moment. Many Buffs fans, including Klafehn, are dropping everything to make the trek to Boulder on Saturday.

“I tried to get tickets to the game, but it was pretty much impossible. It’s actually my birthday on Saturday, but I’m going up there because I just want to be in the mix,” Klafehn said. “I’m going to go to the stadium and just kinda watch from outside. I need to be in Boulder for it.”

CU unfortunately isn’t hosting an official watch party for fans who couldn’t find tickets. However, The Sink on The Hill will open its doors early at 7 a.m. to welcome those who want to watch the game. For fans in Denver, DNVR Bar on Colfax is hosting a tailgate watch party. Super fans and students who are excited about the game can show up at Farrand Field on the CU Boulder campus between 5 and 7 a.m. to partake in Fox’s “Big Noon” pregame show.

Buffs fans can watch their team take on Nebraska for the first time since 2019 at 10 a.m. MST on Saturday, Sept. 9. Another chapter in this historic rivalry is about to be written.

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