USC football brings calm confidence to Prime Time clash in Boulder

Friday, September 29, 2023
USC football brings calm confidence to Prime Time clash in Boulder
Unbeaten USC is getting ready to play in "Prime Time" this weekend. The Trojans will face Colorado and head coach Deion "Prime Time" Sanders Saturday.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- You can't throw a rock without hitting someone who knows about what's happening in Boulder.

University of Colorado Head Coach Deion Sanders has a sunglasses-wearing, spotlight-loving, don't-waste-your-time-hating-me defiance that has become the talk of much more than the town.

"Why would you want to talk about us when we don't talk about nobody?" said Sanders during a speech at training released by the university. "All we do is go out here, work our butts off and do our job on Saturday."

A player quipped, "It's personal" when Sanders rhetorically asked about the trash talking turning into ammunition.

It's also business - good business.

TV ratings alone have seen a spike in an audience that represents less than five percent of the state's population.

Colorado's first three games of the season rated 77 percent higher among Black viewers, who made up 23 percent of the audience, according to ESPN. Its research notes Black viewers made up 15 percent of non-Colorado games.

Game four ended up being an easy win for Oregon, who was also fueled by the hype.

"They're fighting for clicks, we're fighting for wins," said head coach Dan Lanning during a pregame speech broadcasted during the September 23 game. "There's a difference, right? There's a difference. This game isn't gonna be played in Hollywood, it's gonna be played on the grass."

The young men traveling to Boulder for Saturday's matchup are using a different tone.

"I see right where he's coming from," USC Head Coach Lincoln Riley said of Sanders. "He's done a great job with the roster. And the other thing I've seen is-- I don't know him, I've never met him-- but he seems to be very genuine in his approach."

The game will be wide receiver Brenden Rice's first time playing in Boulder since he was a Buffalo, having transferred well before the Sanders era.

"Very familiar (territory)," said Rice. "I can't wait to get back to Folsom (Stadium)."

Rice's father, Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice, played with Sanders as a 1995 Super Bowl-winning San Francisco 49er.

They'd play against each other the next year, when Sanders joined the Dallas Cowboys.

Friendly competition comes naturally for the younger Rice, who has had his own meteoric rise at USC. But friendly competition is still competition.

"Colorado's my first love, so seeing how Coach Sanders has transformed Colorado, it makes me happy. But at the same time, going back-- that nostalgia-- it's a rivalry to me now," said Rice. "And I can't wait to go tear up Folsom."

Saturday's game kicks off in Boulder at 10am local time, 9am in Los Angeles.