It's time for CU's inexperienced but talented wide receivers to show their stuff - The Denver Post
Tom Kensler of the Denver Post hits the nail on the head with his article title this morning:
Other wide receivers must step up, be it Simmons, true freshman Will Jefferson, former cornerback Anthony Wright or sophomore Mark-ques Simas, a third-year player who finally got on the field for the first time against Wyoming. McKnight believes Thursday night's ESPN game at West Virginia will be a coming-out party for some of them, if not all. Last week's bye allowed for five extra practices and additional time to memorize the plays. "I think all those guys have made a ton of progress, just in the last couple of weeks," McKnight said. "They've been getting a lot of reps in practice. (Coaches) are going to try to work them in more. That's been pretty cool to see."
CU Game Notes: West Virginia - CUBUFFS.com
Dave Plati of the CU sports information department as put out his weekly game notes and he some interesting stats. First, he tries to put a spin on the yards the Colorado defense has given up this year, imploring us to look at the 85% of the plays the Buffs have been on the field and have only allowed 1.9 per play:
This one still works: to say big plays have hurt the Buffaloes would be an understatement, but there was dramatic improvement between games two and three. A young defense has already given up more than its fair share of long plays in 2009, but therein lays some good news as well. CU has allowed 1,230 yards in its first three games, on 199 plays (6.2 per); that includes 19 plays of 20 yards or more (12 pass/7 rush), eight of those for 40 or more. Those 19 plays have accounted for a whopping 755 yards; when adding in 10 other plays of 10 yards or more, the count rises to 899 yards. It translates to 15 percent of the opponent plays (29 of 199) having accounted for 73 percent of the yards, meaning the other 170 plays have netted just 331 yards (or just 1.9 yards per play). Wyoming had just five plays out of 71 gain 10 or more yards.
Here are a few other interesting stats:
Colorado is tied for the nation's lead in red zone offense, scoring at a 100 percent clip (12-of-12); that's the fourth most penetrations of the opponent 20 with all scores: 16 teams are perfect; Texas (23-of-23), Wisconsin (16-of-16) and TCU (13-of-13). Georgia is tied with CU and Arkansas is 11-of-11.
Colorado is 28-19-1 against I-A/FBS opponents in the second game of the series (13-8-1 when a true home-and-home deal). CU's most famous second game with a team? That was on Sept. 26, 1970, when CU ended Penn State's 34-game unbeaten streak with a 41-13 romp in Boulder.
West Virginia’s defense was expected to lead the Mountaineers in 2009. Three games in, though, and it’s been the opposite. While the offense is ranked in the top 10 in total offense in the country, the defense is allowing 27 points per game (83rd in scoring defense). West Virginia has been known for a bend-but-don’t-break style under defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel. But after giving up 41 points in a loss to Auburn in the team’s last game, the Mountaineers have been broken a lot.
Colorado looking forward to visiting WVU - WVU Football - Charleston Daily Mail - West Virginia News and Sports
Head coach Bill Stewart again loves up on Cody Hawkins, hoping that his defense can contain him:
Stewart still admires Hawkins, but isn't as afraid this season and said ball control and a sustained running game aren't the objectives. "We're going to let it go," Stewart said. "We're not going to change our offense. We'll do what we do best and hope our defense can contain him."
West Virginia inebacker J.T. Thomas, who missed a good portion of last year’s Colorado game with a concussion, leads the Mountaineer defense with 22 tackles and 4 ½ tackles for losses. Corner Brandon Hogan shows 20 stops and two tackles for losses. Defensive end Julian Miller has 2 ½ sacks and four tackles for losses.
On injuries Reed Williams had a good practice yesterday. He hit in shells, he ran full speed and he competed in every drill. Scooter ran yesterday, we had him on the sled but he did not hit live. I did not want to see his arm get pulled back. I am hoping Thursday night Scooter can go. Reed Williams is cranked and ready to go.
One thing is for certain: Brennan knows what makes the younger Hawkins so good and what he does that could give the West Virginia defense fits. "His leadership ability," Brennan said of the 5-foot-11, 190-pound Hawkins. "He has made kids, at all levels he's played, rally around him. Cody understands, and I have never really coached a kid who has done this like him, he understands that everyone needs to be motivated a little differently. Sometimes, there is a kid who you need to really get after and sometimes you need to approach another kid a little differently. He just knows how to do it."