Colorado coach Deion Sanders said he made the decision to change the play caller before his team’s loss to No. 16 Oregon State on Saturday night because his team needed a change.
Former Kent State coach Sean Lewis was hired as the team’s offensive coordinator after Sanders became Colorado’s coach in the offseason. Lewis had called the plays for the first eight games of the season, but Colorado named analyst and former NFL head coach Pat Shurmur as the play caller before the Oregon State game.
The change of coach had no immediate effect. Colorado’s offense struggled seriously for most of the 26-19 loss. The Buffaloes had seven punts and a fumble in their first nine drives of the game and scored just three offensive points until two touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
After the game, Sanders was asked about the coaching changes and preached patience.
“We’re not going to disparage Sean Lewis, we’re not going to use that tone,” Sanders said in response to a question about the play-caller change. “Sean is a good man, I think he’s a good playmaker, we just needed a change back then. We just had to try something different back then. And that’s exactly what we did. I don’t look back, I don’t question anything, because there’s more to it than you might know. So let’s just trust the process. Let’s just trust the process.”
Colorado finished the game with minus-7 rushing yards and 238 total yards, giving the Buffaloes their third straight game loss. The offensive line was a major problem for Colorado and struggled again on Saturday night.
QB Shedeur Sanders has been sacked four times and has now been sacked 45 times in the first nine games of the season. He even briefly went to the locker room in the second half after being pushed to the turf by an Oregon State defender, but returned to the field before missing a play.
“He got hurt,” Deion Sanders said. “I think he got a shot so he could finish [the game]. It is extraordinary.”
Colorado has lost three straight games and five of its last six games after starting the season 0-3. The Buffaloes are now 4-5 and need two wins in their last three games against Arizona, Washington State and Utah. While Washington State is reeling and riding a five-game losing streak, Arizona is on the rise and could end up in the College Football Playoff rankings this week, while Utah sits at No. 18.
“I don’t feel the same passion, I feel the same attention to detail,” Sanders said of his team. “The film time has increased, fewer errors in the penalty shootout, we had some penalties in some crazy situations but we have summarized that we have coped well with it over the last few weeks. It’s just a few small, stupid penalties we picked up today.”
“But the passion, the passion of it. The passion of that first game, the passion of these games, that’s what we miss. And that’s still something we’re trying to understand and we’re also trying to pinpoint it.”