The talk around the web this morning centers around a few topics.
-It is good to have Tyler Hansen at quarterback. Watching the highlights on cubuffs.com, the Buffs could have given up 20 sacks instead of the eight they actually were tallied with if it wasn't for Hansen's mobility. The kid has to be sore after the last two weeks where the Buffs have given up a total of 16 sacks. But just alluding the pressure wouldn't have been enough yesterday. Hansen was able to move well, make throws on the run or tuck the ball and keep the ball for big gains. If you remove the sacks, Hansen would have had over 100 yards rushing to go along with his 270 yards passing. He was hitting receivers in both the deep and intermediate passing game as well as going through his progression successfully hitting many second and third reads. He is still young and growing, behind a poor performing offensive line albeit, but Hansen looks to have the potential for a bright future. Now only if he can get the protection he needs to be successful. The Buffs are flirting with disaster letting Hansen take the number of hits he is in a game. Hansen is not a big kid and will wear down with all of the abuse. The Buffs need to get it figured out up front fast.
-WR Markques Simas introduced himself to the rest of the Big 12 with a break out performance. Along with Hansen and Rodney Stewart, who also ran for over 100 yards and two scores, the Buffs might have some playmakers developing. Once again, you would love to see these three aided by a solid offensive line rather trying to compensate for them. Simas finished the day with 7 catches and 135 yards, good for a 19 yard average. That 19 yard average has been unheard of this year for a Buff player and is certainly a good sight to see for Buff fans. Simas made big catches in key situations. What is nice is that Hansen, Stewart and Simas are all sophomores and could form to be the key trio for Colorado's future. Throw in WR Toney Clemons and potentially WR Andre Simmons, that is a pretty nice corp. Again, it all comes down to getting the offensive line to perform and limit the mistakes the offense seems to make. Without fixing those things, winning will be constant battle against stacked odds, especially against teams with better defenses than the poor one we saw in Texas A&M.
-The defense continues to play pretty well. They still gave up 27 points but key turnovers and crucial drive stopping plays that resulted in field goals and a turnover on downs was spectacular. Also impressive was holding what was an explosive offense to under 375 yards when they came into the game averaging 490 yards per contest, good for first in the offensive minded Big 12 and third in the entire nation.
-Consistency and building momentum will be the big discussion this week. You know the stats from the Ralphie Report. Only twice in the Dan Hawkins era has a Buffs' team won consecutives (two three game streaks). Obviously, this year Colorado has not won back to back games. After the prior home victories against Wyoming and Kansas, the Buffs had to go on the road to try and get a win streak going, both of which resulted in a loss. Along with a lack of winning consecutive games, CU is 2 - 18 away from the state of Colorado in the last four years. Colorado will need to win on the road if they want to get that important back to back win with that has not happened in the past. Next week they play an Iowa State team that was the talk of the Big 12 after Nebraska turned the ball over eight times giving Iowa State a victory in Lincoln. Since that game, Iowa State has been outscored 69 - 18. Against Oklahoma State, the Iowa State offense was non-existent, totalling only 242 yards with 54 rushing yards. Cyclones QB Austen Arnuad threw three interceptions while Oklahoma State running back Keith Toston rushed for 206 yards and three touchdowns. The game was played in Ames, Iowa where Colorado will play next week. Moral of the story: this is a winnable road game, no question about it. Part of the frustration with yesterday's win is the fact that you have to temper excitement because of what might happen next week. Colorado has been so inconsistent that many of us have bitten on a solid performance and started believing only to be dissapointed the next week (see Kansas this year). This game against Iowa State next week is a game the Buffs usually lose that leaves us scratching our head.
Buff bites are after the jump...
Here is some game highlights from ESPN from the Buffs game against Texas A&M. Also, check out these highlights from former Buff commit now Utah QB Jordan Wynn. Wynn started last night for Utah as a true freshman and he impressed, going 18 - 28 for 297 yards and two scores. Good performance from Mr. Wynn.
What we know for sure this morning: Tyler Hansen can play quarterback. The kid who a few weeks ago led Colorado to a win over Kansas by virtue of pure athletic ability continues to grow into the position. His play in the fourth quarter on Saturday, when the Buffs overcame a 31-21 deficit, showed a level of maturity that wouldn`t have been present even a couple of weeks ago. There`s a future there.
However, we`ve been through this drill before. After a win over Wyoming. After a win over Kansas. And now ... Now we`ll wait. Wait to see if the Buffs can actually build off of a big victory. Skeptical, you say? Darned right. Consistency has never been a Buff trademark in the Hawkins era; in fact, it might be the biggest missing component since his arrival. It`s been a maddening trend.
Hansen looked more like the quarterback who led the Buffs to an upset over then-No. 17 Kansas three weeks ago. He threw for 271 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 45 yards. He actually gained 105 yards on the ground on 20 carries, but losses from eight sacks severely reduced his total rushing yards. It was the second consecutive week he was sacked eight times. The sophomore quarterback, who took over the starting role at midseason, led four different scoring drives of at least eight plays. He committed only one turnover after consecutive weeks of multiple miscues against Kansas State and Missouri. "This was probably the first game that Tyler has played where he really looked to me like he was in a groove," coach Dan Hawkins said.
Here is a statistic to chew on. Anyone wondering why the Buffs will be hard-pressed to qualify for a bowl game this season need look no further than the inability of the offensive line, tight ends and running backs to protect the quarterback this fall. The last time the Buffs went bowling in 2007, that team gave up 16 sacks the whole season. These Buffs have done it two weeks.
A week ago, the Buffs began making themselves run for penalties committed in practice. It doesn`t seem to be having much of an effect. Colorado came into the Texas A&M game as one of the most penalized teams in the country. Only four teams had committed more penalties this season than the Buffs prior to Saturday. CU committed 10 more penalties against Texas A&M and has now committed 82 penalties for 683 yards this season. The Buffs are probably not going to threaten the CU single-season record for penalties, set at 116 in 2005.
Simas' 135 receiving yards were more than double any of his previous games. "I feel real good about it," Simas said. "I feel like I've had that in me the whole time, and now I had a chance to show it. I was able to give everyone a taste of what's to come."
Not so blue. A protest of CU's football program organized on Facebook urged fans to wear powder blue (per CU's teams in the Chuck Fairbanks era) to the game to show their disgust at the state of the team. It didn't go unnoticed in CU football camp. "Real Buffs fans wear black and gold," CU coach Dan Hawkins said.
Playmakers put spark in Buff offense - Boulder Daily Camera
Stewart, Simas, Devenny all come up with big plays
Colorado's gritty defense did its job too. Jerrod Johnson, second nationally in total offense at 328.9 yards a game, had only 251. The Buffs held A&M (5-4, 2-3) to field goals on back-to-back drives in the fourth quarter.
CU reported the attendance at 47,227. Athletic director Mike Bohn said 2,500 tickets were sold for the game over the previous week. ... CU linebacker coach Brian Cabral wore his trademark lava lava for the game, his 300th (254th as a coach, 46 as a player) with the program. ... CU had four plays of 30 yards or more; it entered with seven in 2009. ... Rodney Stewart now has 1,210 rushing career yards; good for fifth all-time for a sophomore at CU. ... Scotty McKnight extended his reception streak to 33 straight games with at least one. ... Texas A&M went 6-for-9 on third down conversions in the first half, 0-for-5 in the second.
What was wrong was that A&M's defense surrendered 35 points to a CU team averaging a Big 12-low 21.8 coming in. The Buffs, also last in the league with 286.1 yards of total offense a game, gouged the Aggies for 437. That was most in a Big 12 game and second-highest total overall for the Buffs (3-6 overall, 2-3 Big 12) this season.
"He should have stuck it out," Hagan said. "(The lack of playing time) was no fault of his own. The guy just wasn't healthy. If he could have gotten healthy, he could have been a dynamic back here. One day, he'll realize his decision was not the right one." Asked if he would have changed anything about the way he handled his prized prospect, Hagan said he would have been more stern. "I wasn't hard on him at all," Hagan said. "I gave him a lot of leeway. In retrospect, maybe (stronger discipline) is something Darrell should have had. But that's not the way I was coached (by Bill McCartney). It's not the way I like to coach."
Kiszla: CU blues start with loyalty - The Denver Post
I really don't know what Mark Kiszla is trying to say with this article, maybe you guys can figure it out. Below is all I could really figure out:
It has been trendy to suggest athletic director Mike Bohn start looking to replace Hawkins and his 16-30 record. The frustration is understandable, but from a practical standpoint, how many proven coaches would be gung-ho to take the whistle at a football program that ranks outside of the top 40 in attendance and lacks top-of-the-line facilities?