USC Trojans phenom Matt Barkley and Michigan Wolverines phenom Tate Forcier Dash to the forefront - ESPN
Pat Forde of ESPN, the guy who picked Colorado to win the North in the preseason, called the scheduling of Toledo only five days after a rivalry game as "one of the dumbest scheduling moves of all time" by Mike Bohn:
This one deserves special merit for one of the dumbest scheduling moves of all time, by Buffs athletic director Mike Bohn, who agreed to play a Friday night road game two times zones away after a Sunday night rivalry game. If Dan Hawkins loses his job after this season -- that remains a bigger if than some might think, given the cost of his buyout and CU's troubled athletic finances -- he can blame Bohn for lining up this trap game.
Woelk: Panic button still untouched by Buffaloes - Boulder Daily Camera
In a shocker based on calling the Buffs' play this past two weeks "inexcusable," Neill Woelk doesn't believe this season is a complete loss yet. I don't think it is a complete loss yet either considering only two games are complete but with the schedule only getting harder, we will see:
Theories as to why the Buffs have started so slowly are as plentiful as the points they`ve allowed. One former player told me Hawkins` offense isn`t geared to the team`s talent.Another said the fault lies with the defense, that it has been deteriorating over the last couple of years and the worst is still ahead. And yet another ex-Buff insists the troubles can all be traced to Hawkins` lack of motivational skills. Maybe some or all of that is true, but fact is, it`s still Hawkins` team, and he still has time to change the direction. With 10 games remaining on the schedule, there`s ostensibly still enough time to make this season memorable for something other than being the one every Buff fan wishes he could forget.
Defensive coordinator Ron Collins said a simpler scheme means CU is going back to base coverages and won’t rotate as many defenders. Toledo’s fast-paced offense caused CU confusion during Friday’s 54-38 loss. Collins said he expects Wyoming’s offense to use a similar pace. He expects fewer substitutions will reduce confusion.
"Do I worry about what they think?" Hawkins said. "Sure, I worry about what they think. We want our fans, because we need support. We have to have people fill up the stands. We didn’t sell out against Colorado State. I would like to see us sell out every single game. I would like to see our season ticket base grow, like to see our fans grow and see them fired up. I understand why they’re disappointed and all of that. "You do the things you believe in. You do the things close to 30 years of experience have taught you, and you keep hammering away at that. That doesn’t mean you don’t tweak some thing. But you don’t just scrap 30 years of successful experience and say, ‘Well, let’s do it a different way.’"
more Wyoming and Buff links after the jump....
Wyoming Returns Leading WR From Suspension
Former Aurora, CO and current Wyoming receiver Greg Bolling returns from suspension this week against the Buffs. The 6'2" wideout led the Cowboys putrid offense a year ago in receptions and yards, hauling in 26 catches for 271 yards.
McCartney backs CU coach Hawkins - The Denver Post
Bill McCartney, Colorado's winningest football coach, threw his full support behind struggling Colorado coach Dan Hawkins today. "I still believe he's laid the right foundation," McCartney said, "and with a foundation of sound character, hard work and principles, it's just a matter of time."
Big 12 power rankings: Week 2 - Big 12 - ESPN
Tim Griffin drops the Buffs to 12 out of 12 in the Big 12 in his weekly rankings:
12. Colorado: It can’t get much worse to start the season for the Buffaloes, who dropped two games to schools from outside BCS conferences and allowed 1,000 yards on defense to boot. The Buffaloes’ embarrassing defensive efforts have them ranked in the bottom 10 teams nationally in rushing defense, pass efficiency defense and total defense. And a rushing game that was thought to be the team's biggest strength ranks only 109th nationally.
Buffs face offensive guru - Boulder Daily Camera
Former Missouri Tigers offensive coordinator is now the head coach at Wyoming. Many fans have dreadful memories of Christensen's offense the past two years:
Christensen is confident his offense will be able to move the ball and score points this season against teams without burnt orange uniforms. Entering Saturday's game, CU's defense ranks 111th after yielding an average of 500 yards and 38.5 points in losses to Colorado State and Toledo. "I don't think it's any secret. Everybody knows how good they are. They're ranked No. 2 for a reason," Christensen said of the Longhorns. "We held them to 13 points in the first half. I played them last year at Missouri and they scored the first six times they had the football. Our defense is playing well. We have to do a better job offensively. We have to find some ways to keep the possession of the football."
After an embarrassing loss at Toledo, Colorado football players knew they would have a hostile greeting when they returned home, but maybe they didn't know the extent of it. They do now. "I have this geology class," senior linebacker and captain Marcus Burton said Tuesday, "and the professor's like, 'You people may think this class is boring. We're just talking about rocks. But it's no more boring than both the CU games. Marcus, you're a captain. Can you tell us about that?' "He calls me out on the floor. I wanted to leave, but I didn't. I'm in the class to learn. I'm not there to talk about football."
Key Matchup Colorado RB Darrell Scott vs. Wyoming DL John Fletcher. Scott, a prized recruit who hasn't yet turned into a dominate player, had 85 yards on 12 carries in the loss at Toledo. Fletcher is the anchor of the Cowboys line. He has two sacks this season, both in the opener against Weber State.
Players to watch Wyoming: Junior FS Chris Prosinski had a career high 17 tackles against Texas last week and a pair of sophomores - LB Brian Hendricks and CB Marcell Gipson - added 14 and 12 tackles, respectively. LB Weston Johnson tied a career high with 11 tackles. Colorado: Junior QB Cody Hawkins was knocked woozy after a helmet-to-helmet hit near the end zone against Toledo. But he's expected to start again. The Buffaloes are trying to avoid stripping speedy QB Tyler Hansen of his redshirt year.
Facts & Figures The Buffaloes will don throwback jerseys from the 1930s - the days of Byron "Whizzer" White - on Saturday. The uniforms feature gold jerseys with black numbers and silver pants. ... The Buffaloes defense has allowed 16 plays of 20 or more yards this season. ... Cowboys senior WR Greg Bolling returns after serving a 2-game suspension for violating team rules. Bolling led Wyoming in receiving last season, hauling in 26 passes for 271 yards.
INSIDE THE MATCHUP: Wyoming at Colorado
The Buffs aren't the only team giving up a lot of big plays this season. Wyoming is having problems of their own keeping opposing teams offenses limited:
KEY STAT: The Pokes continue to be bugged by big plays. One week after allowing nine plays of 15 or more yards to Football Subdivision opponent Weber State, the Pokes gave up 11 such plays to the Longhorns -- including three touchdowns from at least 25 yards out. UW had just two plays go for at least 15 yards Saturday and have just nine such plays through two games.
On Defensive Issues-"The biggest thing is we have a really good defensive staff, and it's interesting, what we are trying to do to some degree is try to make it so perfect and so exact that sometimes you overdo it just a hair. I think you can do that on offense too, and you run into situations where you make sure you have the right amount of numbers, and if they have seven in the box, run it, or eight in the box so don't run it, sometimes you just need to just line up and run it. I think that's a lot of it, we just have to be able to kind of not worry about every single exact nuance, but maybe the simplicity allows for the complexity, and that's it. We get tied into knots by trying to do too much or thinking a little bit. Part of that is due to inexperienced nature, particularly as it pertains to the kids up front, and part of it is like I said, trying to be such a great coach that you want to put them right in exactly the right place every single time, I think that's a lot of it."
In Laramie, Christensen initially might be lacking the firepower he's accustomed to wielding, but his system hasn't changed. CU remembers it as the stuff of nightmares; over the past two seasons, Christensen and the Tigers thoroughly embarrassed the Buffs, flogging them 55-10 in 2007 and 58-0 in 2008. "They're Missouri," CU secondary coach Greg Brown said of Wyoming's offensive scheme under Christensen. "They're extremely similar to what he was doing at Missouri and had so much success with."
Colorado won't be winning 10 games, much to the chagrin of coach Dan Hawkins. The Buffs (0-2) may lose 10, though. Their defense was dreadful on Friday in a 54-38 pasting at Toledo. The schedule won't be forgiving these next few weeks, either. Colorado is home to Wyoming next week, which should be a win, but then travels to West Virginia, Texas, and is home to Kansas. One-and-5? It's probable.
2. Colorado coach Dan Hawkins apparently reads different statistics than the rest of us. Out of 120 teams nationally, the Buffaloes (0-2) are 107th in scoring defense, 109th in rushing offense, 111th in total defense, 112th in rushing defense and 119th in pass efficiency defense. Yet from listening to Hawkins on Monday's Big 12 teleconference, things are good after losses of 23-17 to Colorado State and 54-38 to Toledo. On his players' mental state after questions about their effort against Toledo:
"They're good. They hustled Friday night and we practiced hard Sunday morning.'' On an offense ranked 78th and special teams units floundering in the lower half of the nation: "I think we're starting to find ourselves.'' On falling behind 20-3 to Colorado State and 30-3 to Toledo: "I thought we did better last week.'' On a defense that has allowed 1,000 yards in two games: "We've just got a couple of things we've got to clean up.''