Colorado star cornerback and wide receiver Travis Hunter will miss the next three weeks, Coach Prime told Carl Reed Jr. (@CoachReedLive) this morning.
The Buffaloes’ versatile star was injured when Colorado St. free safety Henry Blackburn hit him late on a dirty play in the first quarter of Saturday’s thrilling 43-35 comeback win in double overtime.
Hunter will miss CU’s first three games in Pac-12 play, starting with Saturday’s league opener at Oregon. As of early Monday afternoon, Colorado was listed as a 21-point road underdog with a total of 71 or 71.5. The Buffaloes were +800 on the money line at DraftKings.
Many books, including DraftKings, had the Ducks as 14 or 14.5-point home favorites vs. CU for their look-ahead line going into this past weekend. The Buffs’ shaky performance as 23.5-point home ‘chalk’ in their comeback win over CSU is probably responsible for around 50 percent of the seven-point adjustment, but Hunter’s absence is clearly at least a three-point factor in the line move.
According to Pro Football Focus, Hunter played 183 snaps on defense and 157 snaps on offense combined in Colorado’s wins at TCU and vs. Nebraska. He had 11 receptions for 119 yards against the Horned Frogs, and he caught three balls for 79 yards vs. the Cornhuskers.
Hunter had three tackles, three passes broken up and one interception at TCU. He recorded four tackles and one PBU vs. Nebraska. Although Hunter’s night ended in the first half vs. CSU, he still had two tackles and two catches for 21 yards.
Trailing 28-20 with 2:06 remaining, CU took over at its own 2 with two timeouts remaining. Shedeur Sanders led his team on an eight-play, 98-yard drive, connecting on 5-of-6 throws for 96 and a touchdown. Sanders hit Jimmy Horn Jr. for a 45-yard TD pass with 36 seconds remaining.
Horn made the catch at CSU’s 14-yard line. Then he shook Blackburn and darted into the end zone. When Sanders found Michael Harrison to convert the two-point attempt, the game was tied.
In the first overtime, Sanders found Harrison again for a three-yard TD pass to go in front 35-28. After CSU answered to tie things up, Sanders connected with Harrison yet again for an 18-yard TD pass. The Buffs went ahead 43-35 on Sanders’ pass to Xavier Weaver on the two-point attempt.
On the Rams’ fourth-and-goal play in double OT, CU’s Trevor Woods intercepted Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi to end the game.
Sanders completed 38-of-47 passes for 348 yards and four TDs with one interception. Weaver had nine receptions for 98 yards and one TD, while Harrison had seven catches for 76 yards and two TDs. Horn had seven grabs for 66 yards and one TD.
Shedeur’s brother, Shilo Sanders, had four tackles and an 80-yard pick six. LB Juwan Mitchell, a transfer from Tennessee, had 15 tackles and one tackle for loss.
In three games, Shedeur Sanders has completed 78.7 percent of his passes for 1,251 yards with a 10/1 touchdown-to-interception ratio. He has an 80/15 career TD-INT ratio.
Sanders is currently second in the nation in passing yards, fourth in completion percentage and seventh in TD passes. Weaver, who has 25 receptions for 386 yards and two TDs, is fourth in the country in receiving yards and sixth in catches.
Horn has 26 catches for 247 yards and two TDs. He’s fifth in the nation in receptions.
FanDuel has Colorado’s odds to win the Pac-12 Championship Game at 30/1. Sanders has 25/1 odds to win the Heisman Trophy, while the Buffs have 200/1 odds to win the College Football Playoff.
DraftKings has CU’s adjusted season win total at 6.5 (‘over’ -130, ‘under’ +105). The Buffs had a season win total of 3.5 going into the year.