Jay Norvell jabs at Deion Sanders ahead of Colorado rivalry game


Deion Sanders won’t have a hard time making Colorado‘s rivalry game this week against Colorado State feel “personal.”

Rams coach Jay Norvell took a shot at Sanders’ habit of wearing a hat and/or sunglasses during news conferences, saying Wednesday during his weekly radio show: “I don’t care if they hear this in Boulder. I told them [ESPN] — I took my hat off, and I took my glasses off. I said, ‘When I talk to grown-ups, I take my hat and my glasses off. That’s what my mother taught me.'”

The comments drew applause from the live audience and the show’s host, Colorado State football radio voice Brian Roth, and it didn’t take long for the remarks to make their way to Sanders.

In a video titled “Coach Prime & The CU Buffs Responds to Lil Bro,” posted Thursday to YouTube by Well Off Media, which is run by Deion Sanders Jr., the Colorado coach is shown addressing his team at practice.

“I’m minding my own business watching some film, trying to get ready, trying to get out here and be the best coach that I could be, and I look up and I read some bull junk that they had said about us, once again,” Sanders told the team. “Why would you want to talk about us when we don’t talk about nobody? All we do is go out here, work our butts off and do our job on Saturday. But when they give us ammunition, they done messed around and made it [personal].

“It was just gonna be a good game and they done messed around and made it personal. It was gonna be a great task — a battle of Colorado — but they done messed around and made it [personal].”

Later in the video, Sanders is shown on a golf cart at practice, saying, “Now he’s messing with my mama,” referring to Norvell’s comment about how he was raised.

In his weekly show, Norvell initially said he did not “really want to talk about [Sanders] right now.” But as the interview progressed, Norvell opened up about the attention this week’s rivalry matchup has generated, including a visit from ESPN’s “College GameDay.”

As part of GameDay’s visit, Norvell and multiple Rams players did on-camera interviews.

“It was great. I loved it,” Norvell said of the added attention. “But our kids came out of those [interviews] really with a chip on their shoulder. They’re tired of all that stuff. They really are tired of it.

“They’re [Colorado] not gonna like us no matter what we say or do. It doesn’t matter. So, let’s go up there and play. That’s just how I feel about it.”

Sanders, who is in his first season as Colorado’s coach, has made it clear over the past two weeks that the Buffaloes have been keeping tabs on what has been said about the former NFL star and his program.

“I keep the receipts,” Sanders said after the Buffaloes’ season-opening victory against TCU.

Sanders told his team last week that their game against Nebraska was “personal.” Shedeur Sanders, the Buffaloes’ quarterback and son of Deion Sanders, said after Colorado’s 36-14 victory that he didn’t respect Nebraska coach Matt Rhule because, in part, “[Rhule] said a lot of things about my pops, about the program.”

The commentary about the Buffaloes was not all negative from Norvell, who was complimentary of the job Sanders has done turning Colorado around so quickly. Norvell also highlighted Shedeur Sanders’ play.

“They got a good football team, and their quarterback has been the difference,” Norvell said. “He’s playing at a very high level. We’re gonna have to slow him down.”

Norvell was even more complimentary of Coach Sanders earlier in the week during his weekly news conference.

“Deion Sanders has had a lot of public critics. I’m not one of them,” Norvell told reporters, according to The Coloradoan. “I really respect all head coaches and the sacrifices they’ve had to make to become head coaches, and I appreciate the path they have to go through to get there — especially African American coaches. I was happy to see Deion get his opportunity. I had to wait a long time to get mine.”

Colorado (2-0) already has doubled its win total from last season and enters Saturday’s Rocky Mountain Showdown game ranked No. 18 in the Associated Press poll. Colorado State (0-1) lost its season opener, 50-24, to Washington State.

The Buffaloes and Rams last played Aug. 30, 2019, and Colorado has won five straight in the series. The Rams’ last victory over the Buffaloes was in 2014, and they have lost 23 straight games against AP Top 25 teams. Their last road win over a ranked team was in 1998.

Colorado was a 23-point favorite over Colorado State at Caesars Sportsbook on Thursday afternoon.



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