Colorado State head coach Jay Norvell doesn’t think much of the play that injured Travis Hunter — calling Henry Blackburn’s dirty hit on Hunter, one that happened in the first quarter of an eventual 43-35 double-overtime win for Colorado over the Rams, “a play that happens sometimes.”
“I reviewed the play,” Norvell prefaced before saying, “It’s a play that happens sometimes. When you throw a deep ball and have a guy playing middle safety, he’s got to react on the boundary and he’s going full speed. It was a bang-bang type of a play. The officials looked at it and we looked at it. It’s certainly not something that we teach or coach. It happens in football sometimes. Seems to have been a lot of attention about that play, but it’s a play that happens.”
Deion Sanders has also attempted to simmer the overflowing anger from Buffs fans and others are angry that CU’s top two-way star Hunter will be absent for two of their most important games at Oregon and against USC.
“Henry Blackburn is a good player who played a phenomenal game,” Sanders said on September 18. “He made a tremendous hit on Travis on the sideline. You could call it dirty, you could call it he was just playing the game of football. But whatever it was, it does not constitute that he should be receiving death threats.”
Jay Norvell on Henry Blackburn death threats: ‘Sad that that’s the state of the world we live in’
Norvell addressed death threats levied at Blackburn and his family on September 18, condemning the current state of the world we live in; one in which Sanders himself admitted he gets weekly death threats himself.
“Our university is supporting him (Blackburn),” Norvell said. “The police department is supporting him because of the seriousness of the threats that have come out of this. It’s just sad. It’s sad that that’s the state of the world we live in. It’s a football game. Let’s not make it more than that. We don’t want anybody to get hurt. We don’t coach that kind of football.”
Liberties were definitely taken by Norvell in saying that “they don’t coach that kind of football,” because everything about the lead-up to that game, on both sides, suggested that there’d be some extra intensity. Hunter having a bounty from an opposing team is far from the least believable circumstance.
But it’s good that both sides are trying to keep things professional following such an emotional Rocky Mountain Showdown war.