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College Football

Maybe It Was A Bad Idea To Take A Cheap Shot At Travis Hunter

1:10 PM EDT on September 17, 2023

Defensive back Henry Blackburn #11 of the Colorado State Rams celebrates after a first quarter interception against the Colorado Buffaloes at Folsom Field on September 16, 2023 in Boulder, Colorado.
Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

The Colorado Buffaloes narrowly avoided suffering the funniest loss of the college football season on Saturday night, by beating in-state rival Colorado State 43-35 at home in double overtime. The Buffs, who won their previous two games against TCU and Nebraska and have turned home games into attractions for celebrities like The Rock, Lil Wayne, and Kawhi Leonard, were favored by 23.5 points. The Buffs were also gifted a does of extra motivation by CSU head coach Jay Norvell when he made a crack about CU head coach Deion Sanders wearing a hat and sunglasses during press conferences. Given all the pregame attention, a home loss under the lights to the Rams would have certainly put a damper on what was already shaping up to be an ascendant season for Sanders's team.

CU may have escaped Saturday's game with a win and a 3-0 record, but they suffered losses as well. Some team-wide flaws were exposed in surrendering 35 points to the Rams, but more worrying is what happened to two-way star Travis Hunter. The WR/CB, who was building an early Heisman Trophy case, was knocked out of the game by a cheap shot in the first half.

That was one of 17 penalties, including several personal fouls, committed by CSU. Hunter was initially able to stay in the game, but was eventually taken to the hospital. After the game, Sanders told reporters that his star player would be "out a few weeks."

The problem with being an anonymous senior defensive back like Henry Blackburn who decides that he's going to take a cheap shot at one of the best players in the country is that you immediately cease being anonymous. Suddenly, LeBron James and J.J. Watt are mad at you, and everyone watching the game is hoping to witness your comeuppance. Unfortunately for Blackburn, he suffered a bit of karmic payback at the worst possible moment for his team. With CSU leading 28-20 with 46 seconds left to play in regulation, CU quarterback Shadeur Sanders found Jimmy Horn Jr. down the left sideline. Horn Jr. caught the pass and then shook Blackburn out of his socks to score what would become a game-tying touchdown.

If you're going to be a goon, it's a good idea to avoid missing the biggest tackle of the game. Let this be a lesson.

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