The Buffs aren't quite at the halfway point, but they have reached the bye week, which seems like as good a time as any to review some of the positive developments so far this fall. There will be plenty of time over the coming months to dissect the problems and point fingers at those to blame.
If you didn't think there were any positives that came during this 1-4 start, you weren't looking hard enough. Here is our list in no specific order:
CU's 15 possessions on Saturday ended with 10 punts, two touchdowns, back-to-back third-quarter turnovers and also giving the ball back to UCLA on downs in the third quarter. The Buffs' offense was hit-and-mostly-miss - and Embree was left searching for a solution.
Asked if he had an answer, he answered: "I don't. I wish I did, but that will have to be something that over this bye week period we will have to address . . . for whatever reason, we have not played well. We have eight to ten plays that we know we're going to start with and we practice it against the looks we are going to get. But for whatever reason we're just not able to do anything."
Despite what the scoreboard might say, the Buffs' defense - poor tackling aside - had its moments. "Up until a certain time frame in the third quarter," said CU defensive coordinator Greg Brown, "we kind of felt as a defensive staff that our players felt, 'we're in this, we can play, we can stop the Bruins, let's get them off the field and give the ball back to our offense.' "But obviously, it didn't hold up and we didn't finish what we started. The bottom line is, we're not there. We're a work in progress and we have a long way to go."
What we expected to be a rather short press conference with Mike Leach on Monday turned into 32 minutes of meandering fun. There was game talk, sure, but Leach wandered off in all sorts of different directions throughout.
The break to talk about 16mm film follies and students checking out girls in the stands came first, followed by commentary on belt style and taking B12 shots in his ass before games. I've transcribed the highlights below. Enjoy.
Jim Mora is a bad person, which does not make him a good football coach - SBNation.com - UCLA's Jim Mora yells at people a lot, which has deceptively little to do with winning football games.
About two years ago, the Big 12 was on its death bed. The conference was on the operating table, waiting for a priest to read its last rites and a coroner to dissect its cause of death. Gored by a a Longhorn, maybe. Excessive bleeding of (Big) Red blood cells, another possibility. But look at the Big 12 now. It's not only alive and well, it's the "it" conference, the talk of the college football world. More than half of its teams (six) are ranked in the top 20 of the latest simulated BCS standings. Its two new acquisitions are a combined 8-0, and one of them boasts the undisputed frontrunner for this year's Heisman Trophy.
Coach Urban Meyer says he believes Ohio State has sent a tape to the Big Ten office which appears to show a Michigan State player gouging at the eyes of Buckeyes defensive lineman Johnathan Hankins. The short clip appears to show the Spartans' Jack Allen or a teammate trying to thrust a gloved hand inside Hankins' facemask.
At the same time, Hankins is trying to get his fingers inside Allen's facemask. Meyer was asked about the video during his weekly news conference on Monday. Ohio State suspended linebacker Robert Reynolds for one game after it was determined he tried to choke Wisconsin quarterback Jim Sorgi at the bottom of a pile during a 17-10 Badgers win on Oct. 11, 2003.
You know how I know that we're still better than Ohio State and Michigan State? This.
If there is any positive to this season, let it be that even in defeat our football players are not strangling and eye-gouging the opposing players.
On Sunday, the Buffs fell to visiting Washington State 1-0 at Prentup Field and went winless in its two-game weekend homestand. "We can take some positives, but these were two matches this weekend where maybe we could have gotten something out of them," head coach Danny Sanchez said.
The Buffs (6-3-3, 0-2-1 Pac-12) took a four-game unbeaten streak into the weekend, but lost in overtime to Washington on Friday before the disappointment on Sunday.
Haley Smith has yet to realize her full potential on the basketball court. She's hoping that four years in Boulder will help her to do just that. On Sunday night, Smith, a 6-foot-1 wing from Sammamish, Wash., gave a verbal commitment to play for Colorado.
Smith took an official visit to CU over the weekend, returned home on Sunday afternoon and quickly called Buffs head coach Linda Lappe to tell her the news.
"I really love how it was kind of a family feel," said Smith, who plays at Skyline High School, located in a suburb just outside of Seattle. "I really got the impression that all of the staff and all of the players were really just one big family and they are really tight knit. It really felt like a team."
CU's newest assistant coach, Kelly Finley, led the recruitment of Smith and that proved to be key.