After the game, Hawkins addressed his return for the first time, when I asked him about it. "I think they (the AD and chancellor Phil DiStefano) have a great perspective on the chore that this was. More than anybody, they have an understanding of all the little things that go into this deal," Hawk said.
This deal. Coaching at a major university in a major conference is not a "this deal." It's a major responsibility, and Hawkins didn't even understand that in his postseason spiel. How about: "I've done a lousy job of coaching, and my assistants have done a lousy job, and if we do a lousy job again, I'll resign and not ask for a buffalo nickel from the Buffaloes." Instead, he wants to dredge up that "this place (that would be Colorado) was burned to the ground" before he got hired. Pathetic excuses instead of positive results. Hawkins said he and Nebraska coach Bo Pelini were talking before the game about how tough it is to turn around a program. Pelini, in his second year, has already won nine games, twice.
There will be no more mulligans for Hawkins or his staff. "There`s a lot of potential on this team, but we`ve got to stop talking about being young said Scotty McKnight. We`ve got to stop making these dumb mistakes that are killing us. It`s not acceptable. ... It`s not the coaches. It`s us."
But I`d also beg to differ with McKnight in his defense of the coaches, at least in terms of some of the mistakes. When a team suffers a delay of game penalty in the fourth quarter deep in an opponent`s red zone, that`s a lack of communication -- and communication comes down to coaching. When a team has been burned repeatedly on kickoff and punt returns, it`s a matter of coaching. And, when your field goal kicker has missed 19 attempts in two seasons, that`s coaching. Find a way to get plays into the huddle on time. Find another kicker (preferably someone along the lines of NU`s Alex Henery, who might just be the Huskers` most impressive weapon). Find players who know their special teams assignments. Simply, find a way to fix the problems that can be fixed.
Early 2010 forecast for Buffs | The Buffzone Blog
Kyle Ringo looks at next year's schedule and predicts the wins and losses. He has the Buffs going 7 - 6 with a bowl win. He has the Buffs winning one road game at Kansas, beating Georgia at home and then beating Rutgers at Yankee Stadium in the first Yankee Bowl. That would be pretty sweet to play in New York.
Oct. 2 GEORGIA — With a bye week to prepare and some early momentum from three solid performances, the Buffs beat the Bulldogs in a thriller, maybe even overtime. 3-1
Kent Riddle stood by the Colorado locker room Friday evening looking like a defeated man. The 2009 season was a tough one for the special teams coach to stomach. "Poor," Riddle answered, when asked to grade the special teams’ performance this season. "We had some positive moments and did some good things, but you know, we gave up too many big plays. Way too many. One is too many, and believe me, I understand that." And five is downright absurd. The Buffs allowed another punt return for a touchdown in Friday’s 28-20 loss to Nebraska. Niles Paul’s 59-yard punt return was the fifth special teams touchdown CU allowed this season.
We need to clean up a few things along the way, whether it be fumbles or sacks. They are not quitters, and they never quit. We just have to build a body of confidence in the offseason so that we can have an intensity coming out to start the season. I think it's one of those seasons where if you take away ten plays, you are probably a bowl team."
As for his record, Hawkins said: "We all want to win more games. For those that are disappointed, just contact Mike Bohn and say, 'Hey, Mike. How can I help? What can I do to help?' And then go in and help."
Nevertheless, many are angry, and Friday’s result won’t appease them. The fan who planted the flag is Kevin Swope, a club-level season ticket holder who said he will maintain his rights next year but will return the tickets to the athletic department with a terse letter. "Probably one of the biggest things is the complete disregard and disrespect to the fans and donors," he said. "People ask critical questions that are solid questions, and he’ll scoff at them and give a condescending laugh."
Kelly Kizer of Northglenn, who has been attending CU games for 45 years, had a different opinion. "I think he should have been fired. The athletic department is accepting mediocrity and they're expecting the fan base to do the same. They act as if all the players who played here before were a bunch of thugs, which they weren't. I think the job is too much for him (Hawkins). He's a blowhard. How Mike Bohn can say he's seen improvement is beyond me."
Fans honor Brown with Heart award - Boulder Daily Camera
Cha'pelle Brown was the recipient of the Buffalo Heart Award.
-The award is 12 years old now and goes to the Buff the fans believe has shown heart, grit, determination and desire on and off the field throughout the season.
-Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith has a decision to make about his future after completing his junior season on Friday. Smith is already considered an NFL prospect and will have to decide whether to turn professional early or return for his senior season. The NFL has a committee in place to help advise underclassmen about their chances of being drafted and what round they might be taken in if they decide to turn pro early. Smith would probably improve his draft position if he waited a year and performed well as a senior, but there is always the risk of injury in violent game.
When Hawkins hunkers down during the offseason to correct all the flaws in his program, he can use Friday's game as a microcosm.
Nebraska hands CU 9th loss of woeful season - Boulder Daily Camera
Buffs defense delivers, but special teams sputter
McKnight finished with seven catches for 114 yards and two touchdowns. He will enter his senior season with 165 receptions, second all-time in CU history behind Michael Westbrook (167 from 1991-94).
WR SCOTTY McKNIGHT (7-114, 2 TD) He finished the season with 76 receptions for 893 yards; those numbers rank tied for second and seventh for a single-season at CU. He will enter his senior year with 165 receptions, second all-time and just two behind leader Michael Westbrook, who had 167 between 1991-94. He has 1,900 career yards, seventh all-time on that list, and 15 TD receptions, tied for fifth on that list. He also extended his regular season streak to 36 games with at least one reception (every game of his career, 37 including postseason). His 56-yard TD catch to close the game was the longest pass reception of his career (previous long was 40 his freshman year).
"It’s just a culmination of how we played today," Bo Pelini said. "That’s how we played all day. We played sloppy football."
Los Gatos continued to roll through the Division II playoffs, crushing Aragon 45-6 at Westmont High on Friday. Senior running back Cory McDowell had a season-high 137 yards and three touchdowns, and Nick Hirschman and Andrew Berg hooked up on two first-quarter scores to put the game away early. Berg had six catches for 164 yards, with 100 of them coming in the first quarter. The senior has six 100-yard receiving games this season. Hirschman was 11-of-17 for 286 yards, his second-highest total this season. Nose guard Suhkraj Sohal had 11 tackles, and linebackers Joey Vizzusi and Alec Gletzer had 10 tackles each for the Wildcats defense, which allowed its first points of the postseason with three minutes remaining. Los Gatos has outscored its opponents 93-6 in clinching a spot in the title game. The Wildcats will face the winner of today’s matchup between Leland and Wilcox.