There was a weird feeling in the air all week long, even before we crossed into Friday the 13th.
First, Vegas set the spread at Colorado -12.5, which was a weird number. Stanford entered the game 1-4 and still hadn’t settled on a starting quarterback, while the Buffaloes were set to get their best player back from injury.
Then, Deion Sanders complained about the late kickoff, calling it “the stupidest thing ever.”
In the last day or two, Colorado posted several videos of the coaching staff basically telling their players none of them were good enough to play in the NFL. Even if they’re right, it’s not exactly motivational material before a big game.
It was just a weird week, and you knew it was going to lead into a weird game.
Colorado came out and dominated the first half, and it looked like it was going to be a boring three hours. Fans left the stands at halftime, and who knows how many people turned their TVs off.
At one point, ESPN Analytics Win Probability Meter gave Colorado a 100 – yes, 100 – percent chance to win the game.
But credit to Stanford coach Troy Taylor for giving what must’ve been an all-time halftime speech, because Stanford was a different team coming out of the break.
The Cardinal strung together three unanswered touchdown drives, including a 97-yard catch and run by the star of the night, Elic Ayomanor.
Quarterback Justin Lamson brought Stanford to within three after a one-yard touchdown run. and suddenly Colorado looked like it lost all confidence.
Sanders was seen getting into a verbal fight with defensive back Carter Stoutmire, who was effectively getting cooked by Ayomanor all night.
Carter Stoutmire getting targeted hard as Colorado gives up a 29-0 lead to Stanford.— NFL Notifications (@NFLNotify) October 14, 2023
Stoutmire went to the sideline and preceded to yell at his coach.
But Colorado responded, and it looked like the Buffs were breathing a sigh of relief after extending their lead to 36-26 early in the fourth quarter.
Buffs players were smiling on the sidelines after that score as if there wasn’t nearly a full quarter left in just a 10-point game.
Stanford continued its second-half assault and Ashton Daniels connected with Bryce Farrell for a three-yard score. Joshua Karty, who was absolutely clutch Friday night, sent the game into overtime with a field goal as time expired.
After Colorado opened overtime with a touchdown, Stanford quickly countered with an unbelievable 30-yard touchdown grab by Ayomanor, who bossed Travis Hunter in the process.
Disgraceful. Then, facing third-down pressure, Shadeur Sanders made an ill-advised throw that Alaka’i Gilman picked off in the end zone. Karty drilled the game-winning 31-yard field goal to complete Stanford’s biggest comeback in school history.
This was incredible entertainment for the objective fan, of which there are basically zero because of the polarizing Deion Sanders effect. I’d hate to be a Colorado player in practice tomorrow or any other day next week.
But for Stanford, this is a program-defining moment under the first year of Taylor’s coaching tenure. We don’t typically see huge recruiting swings after one game, but you know every high school prospect in America is tuning into Colorado games. This was an opportunity for Stanford to command some respect for itself, and that’s exactly what the Cardinal did.
For more inspirational stories of resilience, please subscribe to our newsletter below.