Colorado State coach Jay Norvell wants in-state rivalry matchup with Colorado to be played every year

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LAS VEGAS — This season the Colorado-Colorado State rivalry game returns to Fort Collins, Colorado for the first time since 2015. If Rams coach Jay Norvell got his way, it’s a game that would be played every year. 

“I think rivalries are what make college football special,” Norvell said. “It’s an in-state rivalry game and it’s been a special game for a long time to the people of Colorado. … I do wish we played them every year because it’s a rivalry and I think it’s something the fans love and the players love to play in those kinds of games.” 

After this year, the two schools are not scheduled to play again until 2029. There are six matchups scheduled between 2029-38, but plenty of gaps in between. The rivals met every year between 1995 to 2019. 

The game between Colorado and Colorado State was the fifth-most-watched regular season game last year with 9.3 million viewers. Colorado coach Deion Sanders was a major driver of interest in the game, which amazingly fielded the ratings despite taking place in the late-night window. 

Despite coming into the game as 23.5-point underdogs, the Rams held their own in a tight 43-35 double-overtime loss. Three different receivers posted 100 yards and quarterback Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi broke on the national scene. It brought attention to tight end Dallin Holker, who was named an All-American and signed with the New Orleans Saints. 

“I think we aspire to be a program that plays in big games and gets recognized nationally,” Norvell said. “It’s important to play well when you play on national TV. You want people to know about your school. We’ve got a great place. We’ve got a fantastic school, great stadium, incredible fanbase. As our program continues to play well, more people are going to see that.” 

Norvell became the target of harassment from Colorado fans leading up to the game after saying that his mother taught him not to wear a hat and sunglasses when talking to adults — a shot at Sanders’ laid-back persona. Sanders framed it as a shot at his own mother, which he used as a motivational tool. Before the game, with The Rock standing beside, Sanders’ mother addressed the team and told the team it was time to “kick ass.” 

“I don’t have any feelings about Deion Sanders, I really don’t,” Norvell said. “I don’t think about Deion Sanders unless you guys ask me a question about him.” 

Colorado State hosts Colorado at 7:30 p.m. ET on Sept. 14 at Canvas Stadium. The Rams will play on CBS, the first national network broadcast of Colorado State football since 2022 against Michigan. It will be the first-ever network broadcast from Canvas Stadium, which opened in 2017. 

“It should be a great atmosphere,” Norvell said. “People are excited about the game. We’re excited about the game. It should be an incredible night.” 

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