DENVER - SEPTEMBER 04: Quarterback Cody Hawkins #7 of the Colorado Buffaloes hoists the Centenial Trophy after defeating the Colorado State Rams in the Rocky Mountain Showdown at INVESCO Field at Mile High on September 4 2010 in Denver Colorado. Colorado was awarded the Centenial Trophy after they defeated Colorado State 24-3. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
I've got some quick reactions to this game. I predict success this season for the Buffs, so I'm holding them to a high standard. I'm very happy that we won. We started fast for the first time in a long time, which was very encouraging. But like the team will tell you, you can only enjoy each win for so long before you have to shift your concentration to your next opponent. And we were far from perfect today. Yes we did a great job against Colorado State, but we face teams that are significantly better than CSU this year.
See my Quick Hits after the jump:
-We only played three quarters. That's not a good thing. That was an incredibly lackluster 4th quarter performance. That NEEDS to never happen again. We can get away with it against CSU, but not against the rest of the teams we play this year. And what happens when we inevitably find ourselves behind in a game? If that happens again, we're done.
-Patterson looked great on Punt Returns, had the nice TD, but had two big drops. He's got to do a better job there.
-Ethan Adkins. Yikes. He's been my whipping boy all offseason, and he showed why today. He was the primary culprit on that big sack of Hansen. We'll have to see what comes of the rotation between the LG and C spots. I'll give my impressions after checking the tape.
-Orms. That's a damn shame. He had a chance to be a big-time contributor this year. We'll see what the MRI shows, but it didn't look too good for him out there. Fortunately, he should qualify for a medical-redshirt this year.
-Sandersfeld looked solid taking over for Orms (Of course, we have no idea how Orms would have played) so I give him a check-plus. I'll have to look at the tape for Jonathan Hawkins who played that position late in the game. The pick was good. Sandersfeld let a few guys get open across the middle though. He's clearly talented, so I'm not going to let him slide too much.
-For that matter, Brown and Smith both let guys get open. Solid in deep coverage, but the short-passing game for CSU was wide open.
-Part of that was an impressive performance by Pete Thomas. This kid is the real deal. He only forced a few throws, and our D made him pay, but he stayed strong in the pocket and didn't get rattled by our pressure (and we did keep some pressure coming) or when we knocked him down. He also escaped a couple of sacks. Good pocket awareness.
-The Buffs put a little effort into getting the ball into Clemons hands, but I think they can do a MUCH better job. Those quick WR screen-type passes were great and all, but I want to see them throw the ball to him downfield more.
-Except for the false-start, Bakhtiari seemed to do well. I'll have to go back and watch the tape to see. But he seemed to hold up to CSU's speed rushers well. Givens got playing time there late, but I think Bakhtiari's job is safe for now.
-How about that blocked kick?! That was Will Pericak doing his thing. I'll keep saying it, but he's one of my favorite players on the team.
-Grossnickle had some shaky punts, though he did have a 41.4 punt avg and a 35.1 net avg (already an improvement over last year). Not the best place to start, but it was his first game. I expect him to improve a ton.
-Jon Major. We've got three years of this guy. He was everywhere, and he's only going to get better.
-Short passing game was too effective against us. We need to work on that. The next four teams we play will make us pay if we can't get that under control.
-Both Major and Michael Sipili made some great plays in the hole stuffing the run. Their RBs had very little room through the first three quarters.
-Early on, Scooter Fernandez missed a block badly in the hole in a short-yardage situation that led to our FG attempt. I mean, he missed badly. They'll be on him about that again, and hopefully it won't happen again. But the 'heavy' package is still a work in progress.
-Penalties. WAY too many. Not sure we had one on defense, but we had far too many on special teams. Holy cow.
-Torres looked solid there at the end. I didn't realize he averaged 5 yards per carry. That's really promising. He looked calm, cool and collected, and did a good job of following his blocks (all very important to true freshmen)
-Lockridge looks good in space, but he still doesn't have the shiftiness that you want in a running back.
I'm pretty encouraged by this. I didn't expect us to keep them out of the endzone, which was a pleasant surprise. And that blocked kick was great! We looked better in just about every way over last year, but we can't be content with that. Hopefully they get right on some of these things because the team we face next week didn't look like they had anything to work on. CSU is a slightly higher quality opponent than UC-Davis, but Cal looked impressive.
But mostly. GO BUFFS! Undefeated for at least a week! It feels good.