Sunday Buff Bites

Darrell Scott fights for yards in the CU Spring game on Saturday. Photo: Cliff Grassmick

Here are some spring game links:

Colorado_mediumPatrick Ridgell writes about what everyone seems to be writing about today. Tyler Hansen will have surgery to repair a broken finger and will be out until June. Helfrich, who might be out next week as offensive coordinator, said the quarterback race is far from decided. Ridgell says, though, that their are still many questions surrounding the 2009 Buffs' squad:

While players and coaches called, as you'd expect, their spring drills a success, there remains to-do items for the fall leftover from the past four weeks, most notably naming a starting quarterback.

With offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich's pending interview at Oregon, there's uncertainty on the coaching staff. Several Buffs have been limited or out this spring with injuries, and 17, including several who might start, were listed on Saturday's injury report. The defense, playing "generic" schemes Saturday that helped the offense, as coach Dan Hawkins said, allowed 6.2 yards per rush and came up with only one turnover. And it remains to be seen how well the Buffs, who used a 3-4 base for much of Saturday, are going to replace the three departed seniors on the defensive line.

Agreed, tons of questions especially around that defensive line. That has me extremely worried and is my top concern going into fall (even more so now) quickly followed by the ability of WR's Andre Simmons, Terdema Ussery and Jarrod Darden to play early. We will probably need two of those three receivers to play right away with Simmons doing us a huge favor if he qualifies.

Colorado_mediumNeill Woelk of the BDC thinks the Buffs are getting closer but like most, think their is still work to be done. Woelk liked the running game, Jimmy Smith, the young safeties, the 3 - 4 and Cody Hawkins performance even though he said last week his pick for starting quarterback would be Tyler Hansen. I have no doubt in my mind that Cody will be the starting quarterback, he has looked much better in my mind in every scrimmage.

Colorado_mediumRidgell of the Longmont Times was impressed with the running game yesterday, both from the backs perspective and the offensive line. He wonders how they are going to keep these four running backs happy. We have seen the injury bug, we are sure to have a fresh group all year and I will would not be shocked if Brian Lockridge moves to wide receiver. We need to get as many of these guys on the field and that seems like the most logical move. Stewart and Scott will be a great one - two punch with Sumler being very successful as a situational back. Having a stable of running backs is a great problem to have. Darian Hagan will keep them all focused.

Colorado_mediumKyle Ringo of the BDC asked defensive coordinator Ron Collins what player stood out on defense for him. The answer was LB Marcus Burton. Like I said in my review, he was sideline to sideline from the middle and he was able to get to the quarterback twice yesterday. Again, if the Buffs run the 3 - 4 exclusively, which I think they should, Marcus Burton will be a huge asset in the middle. Ringo also makes a note of something that concerns me and that is OG Sione Tau. He wasn't on the injured list but was in sweats yesterday and he missed practice for personal issues last week...there is more to the story on this one, considering he was starting in week two at offensive guard this spring and now he is third on the depth chart.

Colorado_mediumRyan Thorburn of the BDC talks about the running game, specifically RB Darrell Scott. You almost feel like a weight was lifted off of the running back's shoulder today and he showed what a healthy, in-shape player can do on the field. Again, I am very impressed with Scott's maturity, he gets it. Tell me this quote from DScott doesn't sound like relief:

"It was fun and exciting out there today," said Scott, who rushed for 90 yards on 15 carries (6.0 per). "I just made some plays. It was just really fun. It's the culmination of hard work paying off in the weight room during the offseason."

Something tells me he didn't have a lot of "fun" last year

He later adds something we have talked about ad nausem on this site: the importance in establishing a run game in the spring game and the destruction four good running backs can do on a tired defense.

"The linemen did a great job and we all had a good day," Scott said. "In the scrimmages, the running game wasn't as effective, so it was good for us as a team to get out there today and make some plays. The last play summed up what we're trying to do (Sumler's 47 yard run).

Colorado_mediumOne good thing about the quarterback play in three scrimmages this spring, neither quarterback has thrown an interception:

Neither quarterback threw an interception in any of the three main spring scrimmages this year. Hawkins finished the spring completing 44 of 72 passes for 669 yards and 10 touchdowns. Hansen finished with a slightly better completion percentage but fewer attempts, yards and scores. He completed 26 of 44 passes for 337 yards and four touchdowns.

Colorado_mediumThe Register Guard, an Oregon newspaper, really sums up what most think regarding Helfrich going to coach the Ducks:

Colorado offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich, who was born and raised in Oregon, will interview for a position with the Ducks next week, according to reports.

He will be interviewing "for a position" probably not full control of the offense and probably the quarterbacks coach with little say in the offense. Chip Kelly, the supposed offensive guru at Oregon, doesn't get hired as the head coach for his offensive prowess and hand it over. I wouldn't be shocked if Helfrich left due to his ties in Oregon but I am failing to see the benefits of Helfrich to Oregon for both parties. Helfrich would surely be taking a step back in regards to the control he has now and from Oregon's perspective, the Buffs offensive production doesn't make you jump up and down.

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