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Monday Buff Bites - Counting Down the Days Until Fall Ball

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We are getting closer...really close to the start of it all. In one of the more important seasons in recent memory for the future of Buff football, there is a heightened sense of anticipation. Like Kyle Ringo said in his blog posting this week, no one is quite sure on the Buffs (except for Dan Hawkins) which can be a scary proposition but also an exciting one if the team can break through and surprise on a national level. Those are the types of thoughts you can have in August, everyone is 0 - 0 and everyone can dream.

Colorado_mediumCabral expects LBs to be strength on Buffs' defense - Boulder Daily Camera
Brian Cabral, linebacker coach of the Colorado Buffaloes, has a good feeling about this year's linebacker corp. Cabral was not afraid to put some pressure on his group saying that they must compensate for the youth on defensive line while still being productive. I can't wait to watch the defensive fronts this year. All we have heard about was how the defense is going to be creative, establish mismatches and be multiple. I think if the Buffs can find someone to patrol the middle on the defensive line, the 3 - 4 can be very successful with B.J. Beatty and others using their great rush end ability:

"We should be one of the strengths in our defense," Cabral said. "We have to understand the problem. We have to understand the issues and we have to understand our responsibility to make that better. "So my theme going in with my linebackers is, 'Make them right' regardless of what they do. We're going to play off of them and we're going to make the defense right. The onus is on us to adjust, and, at times, cover up the mistakes of a young defensive line." 2009 Preseason Rankings - No. 31 to 40 ranked the Colorado Buffaloes #39 in their most recent countdown. The Nebraska Cornhuskers, that team that is supposed to runaway with the Big 12 North championship, ranked 38th in CFN's countdown.

39. Colorado - Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart Relative Strengths: Running Back, Secondary Relative Weaknesses: Receiver, Defensive Line What to watch for on offense: Darrell Scott. Yeah, this is what recruitniks have been waiting for. Scott was the crown jewel of the 2008 recruiting class as the Buffs were able to steal him away from Texas. Minor injuries, lack of conditioning, and the emergence of other backs led to a disappointing first year, but that has all changed going into this season. He's 202 pounds, has 4% body fat, and he has looked like the NFL-bound total package who can carry the offense through the rough patches. What to watch for on defense: Part 3-4, part 4-3. The Buffs will try to get more out of a front four that has decent size on the outside, but might be better if the ends were used in a three-man front. The strength of the team, other than running back, is at linebacker where Jeff Smart, Marcus Burton, Shaun Mohler, Michael Sipili, and B.J. Beatty are all good enough to start. The coaching staff will try to get as many linebackers on the field as possible to combat spread offenses, and as the season goes on the defense, which wasn't bad last year, should have some big moments and some great games thanks to the back eight.

Colorado_mediumHawkins expecting success despite early Colorado struggles - Big 12 - ESPN
Tim Griffin is giving the Buffs some good love recently, claiming the Buffs are his darkhorse team to win the North:

The Buffaloes are my dark-horse team in the North Division. Hardly anybody is talking about this with most of the early interest centered on Kansas and Nebraska. But Colorado's schedule and underrated talent might keep them in the North Division title chase longer than most might think. 2009 CFN All-Redshirt Freshman Team - Defense
Buffs LB Doug Rippy was dubbed by College Football News as a preseason All-Redshirt Freshman Candidate:

LB Douglas Rippy, Colorado – The Buffaloes traveled all the way to Ohio to ink Rippy, and they’re thrilled they did. After playing well on the scout team and improving his strength, he emerged this spring as a starter at one of the outside spots. At 6-1 and 230 pounds, he plays with good pad level and has already displayed the instincts and sure-tackling of a more seasoned player. He should get plenty of chances to make plays and begin building a resume this fall.

A lot more links after the jump... 2009 CFN All-Redshirt Freshman Team
Buffs OL Bryce Givens was also named to College Football News' All Redshirt Offensive Team:

OT Bryce Givens, Colorado – It hasn’t taken Givens very long to show why he was one of the most coveted tackles of 2008. At 6-6 and 275 pounds, he may not be at his ideal fighting weight quite yet, but he’s headed in the right direction and has the reach and footwork to excel in his debut as the starting right tackle. Already a knee-bender, he’s been well-coached up to this point and has the proper fundamentals to eventually become a dominant pass blocker.

Colorado_mediumThe Longmont Times-Call - 10 CU Players To Watch This Year

Colorado_mediumThe Score with Armstrong and Shapiro " Cody Hawkins Interview 7-30-09
Colorado Buffaloes starting QB Cody Hawkins joins The Score with Armstrong and Shapiro to talk about the upcoming football season. Also Cody talks about what happened to his dad, head coach Dan Hawkins and the recent surgery that he had to remove a . . . well click to find out!

Colorado_mediumHawk's Radio Show Moving To Boulder Draft House -—Official Athletics Web site of the University of Colorado

University of Colorado football coach Dan Hawkins’ radio show has moved to a new location for the 2009 season – the Boulder Draft House. Buff fans can catch up with Coach Hawk alongside 850 KOA’s Mark Johnson and Larry Zimmer for the Dan Hawkins Show live every Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the new Boulder Draft House, located at 2027 13th Street, less than a block off of Boulder’s world famous Pearl Street Mall. The first show is scheduled for Wednesday, September 2, the Wednesday prior to the Colorado-Colorado State game.

Colorado_mediumJUCOs to Watch in 2009 -
Athlon Sports states that WR Andre Simmons is a JUCO transfer to watch in '09:

Andre Simmons, Colorado - With Josh Smith transferring, the Buffaloes are desperately seeking help in the receiving corps. At 6-foot-3, Simmons should be in contention for a starting spot and could be the big weapon for Cody Hawkins or Tyler Hansen, as they desperately need to get the passing game going.

Colorado_mediumA look ahead: Colorado football - The Denver Post

Three things to watch 1. Quarterback controversy? As a true freshman, Tyler Hansen stole the starting job from Cody Hawkins last season. But following spring drills, coaches said that Hawkins had a slight edge. Can Hansen, a better athlete who sometimes lacks consistency and poise, show enough in August camp to make it a bona fide battle? 2. Calling on defensive linemen. Three of last year's starters, George Hypolite, Brandon Nicolas and Maurice Lucas, are gone, leaving end Marquez Herrod to look for help. Sophomore Curtis Cunningham is the leader for one tackle slot. But defensive line coach Romeo Bandison will have to sift through a half-dozen other candidates. 3. Which new wideouts will emerge? In addition to junior-college transfer Andre Simmons and incoming freshmen Jarrod Darden and Terdema Ussery, others new to the fray include sophomore Markques Simas and senior Kevin Moyd, a running back expected to get an audition at receiver. With Josh Smith leaving for UCLA, there's not much experience behind junior Scotty McKnight.

Colorado_mediumWelcome to My World: Colorado's Riar Geer |
Colorado tight end Riar Geer has been a starter for the Buffaloes since his redshirt freshman season. The 6-4, 250-pound senior spoke with The Oklahoman's Brandon Chatmon about playing at Nebraska, playing for Dan Hawkins and the fact "It's Division I football, it ain't intramurals!":

Colorado_mediumBuffs' Solder: 6-feet-9, 305 . . . and counting - The Denver Post
The Denver Post has a good article on the enormous but athletically gifted Nate Solder.

Colorado_mediumPolling the Big 12: Who has the best and worst mascots? |

The Oklahoman's Jake Trotter polled 29 of the 38 players at Big 12 Media Days, including at least one from each school. These are their answers. Who has the best mascot? Ralphie (Colorado), 25% Bevo (Texas), 20% Joy and Lady (Baylor), 15% Pistol Pete (Oklahoma State), 10% Herbie Husker and Lil' Red (Nebraska), 10% Other receiving votes: Cy (Iowa State), Big Jay and Baby Jay (Kansas), Truman the Tiger (Missouri), Masked Rider (Texas Tech) Quotable: "It's definitely Ralphie. No one else I know has a buffalo." — a Big 12 North defensive player Quotable II: "They actually have a live bear sitting in the end zone," — a Big 12 North offensive player

Colorado_mediumThe Quad Countdown: No. 32 Kansas - The Quad Blog -
The Quad, the NY Times blog, thinks Kansas will finish outside of the top 25.

"Kansas will be very good, but until the team starts beating the best the Big 12 has to offer, it will remain out of title contention."

Colorado_mediumBuffs taking studies seriously - Boulder Daily Camera
"The Colorado football program struggled on the field last fall to a 5-7 record, but it improved in the classroom, finishing the semester with a 2.545 GPA, the best since the department began tracking team GPA in 1996."

Colorado_mediumBig 12 logjam: A team-by-team breakdown as season closes in -

Colorado: The Buffaloes enter year three of the Dan Hawkins era with a sense of urgency. The Buffs seemed to have turned a corner last season by starting off the season 3-0, but went 2-7 the rest of the way floundering to a 5-7 finish. Junior Cody Hawkins returns for his third season under center, feeling pressure to improve an offense that ranked last in the Big 12 in points a game last season at just over 20. The Buffaloes win the prize for scheduling. The Buffaloes play their annual rivalry game against Colorado State and travel east to play West Virginia. Key game — Nov. 27, Nebraska: The Buffaloes went into last year's game against the Huskers with a chance to be bowl eligible and lost. They might be in the same predicament this season.