2008 CFN Colorado Preview |
2008 Colorado Depth
2007 CFN Colorado Preview |
2006 CFN Colorado
Alright, so the
magic hasn't exactly kicked in yet in the Dan Hawkins era.
After going 8-17 in two years, Hawkins didn't have a quick fix, his
teams haven't done anything that special, outside of upsetting
Oklahoma and pulling off two straight wins over Texas Tech, those
wins were offset by losses over the last two years to teams like
Montana State, Baylor and Iowa State, and 2008 shapes up to be yet
another building campaign with the hope of a better tomorrow.
Head coach: Dan Hawkins
3rd year: 8-17
8th season overall: 61-28
Off. 19, Def. 20, ST 2
Lettermen Lost: 17
Best Buff Players
1. DT George Hypolite, Sr.
2. QB Cody Hawkins, Soph.
3. RB Darrell Scott, Fr.
4. C Daniel Sanders, Sr.
5. SS D.J. Dykes, Sr.
6. FS Ryan Walters, Sr.
7. RB Demetrius Sumler, Soph.
8. NT Brandon Nicolas, Sr.
9. TE Patrick Devenny, Jr.
10. OT Ryan Miller, Soph.
CFN Prediction: 6-6
2008 Record: 0-0
Sept. 6 Eastern Washington
Sept. 13 OPEN DATE
Sept. 18 West Virginia
Sept. 27 Florida State (Jacksonville)
Oct. 4 Texas
Oct. 11 at Kansas
Oct. 18 Kansas State
Oct. 25 at Missouri
Nov. 1 at Texas A&M
Nov. 8 Iowa State
Nov. 15 Oklahoma State
Nov. 22 OPEN DATE
Nov. 28 at Nebraska
CFN Prediction: 6-6
2007 Record: 6-7
W 31-28 OT
Sept. 8 at
Arizona St L 33-14
Florida State L 16-6
Oklahoma W 27-24
Oct. 13 at Kansas St L 47-20
Texas Tech W 31-26
at Iowa State
Nebraska W 65-51
Dec. 30 Alabama L 30-24
While it's easy to get impatient when things aren't improving quickly
enough, there is light at the end of the tunnel. This was a young team
last year, and it's getting even younger this season with a good
recruiting class expected to upgrade a few areas like linebacker and
running back, while QB Cody Hawkins is maturing into a good one who'll
just need a little more seasoning.
But the big problem, at least this year, is that while Colorado is
making decent strides and Hawkins, the father version, appears to have a
good plan in place, there's a chance that any window of opportunity to
become a major North player in the near future could be shutting, if
it's not already slammed shut.
The North was the far weaker of the two Big 12 divisions when the Buffs
were playing in conference title games under Gary Barnett. Yes, those
Colorado teams were good, but now the division is turning into a monster
with Kansas becoming a powerhouse, Missouri looking like a team with
staying power, Kansas State appearing to be dangerous with a quick-fix
from the JUCO ranks to go along with a good base of athletes, Iowa State
certain to be pesky, and Nebraska about to enter the ranks of the living
again under Bo Pelini. So basically, Colorado is improving, but so is
There are enough good pieces to get back to a bowl game, and in
super-recruit Darrell Scott, there's a star running back to ease the
pressure off the passing game that's lacking in receiver star power,
but there are still too many issues from top to bottom to realistically
shoot for the North title.
Where's the pass rush? Where's the receiving corps? Who's going to
improve the cornerback play with Terrence Wheatley gone? Are there any
healthy, live bodies on the O line?
Colorado needed to be torn down after the Barnett era and built up
again, and that job is still underway. Give it one more year.
What to watch for on offense: Speed up the pace. The coaching staff wants
to quicken things up on offense with a no-huddle, hurry-up style that'll
get the offense in a faster, better rhythm. Colorado was a great
momentum team last year as it did a good job of producing when things
were going its way. By looking to dictate the pace, the goal is to
control games better and keep defenses on their heels.
What to watch for on defense: The middle. The Buffs are strong
inside, and questionable outside. Tackles George Hypolite and Brandon
Nicolas, and safeties D.J. Dykes and Ryan Walters, are rock-solid
veterans who should be able to make up for plenty of mistakes from the
ends and corners. The defense is being built on very athletic players
who can move around and wreak more havoc, but there's a whole bunch of
youth that needs to grow up right away. The tackles and safeties will
help ease the transition.
This team will be much better if … it can generate some sort
of pressure into the backfield. Last in the Big 12 in tackles for loss
and 95th in the nation in sacks, even with good, mobile tackles who
weren't bad at making plays behind the line, Colorado suffered a major
trickle-down effect. No pressure meant the solid Big 12 quarterbacks
were able to do what they wanted against a good Buff secondary that
struggled late. If spring ball was any indication, finding more sacks
will still be a problem.
Brutal. With a new head coach, Colorado State is going to be tougher
than ever to get past in the always nasty season-opener, and then
there's an off-week against Eastern Washington followed up by a real
off-week. And then comes the hammer. West Virginia, at Florida State
(it's technically a neutral site game, but it's in Jacksonville), Texas,
and at Kansas. Kansas State will be far better, and it's the relative
breather after dealing with the trip to Lawrence. At Missouri and at
Texas A&M follow. If that wasn't enough, there's still the trip to
Nebraska to end the regular season. This is Division I football. It's
the Big 12.
Best Offensive Player:
Sophomore QB Cody Hawkins. This could quickly change if
super-recruit Darrell Scott is half the running back he's supposed to
be. Hawkins struggled at times with interceptions, and he wasn't always
efficient, but he showed tremendous promise and potential. He's the
quarterback for the next three years, and now he needs more help from
the receiving corps. The pass protection should be solid, and the
running game will be a plus. Now the passing attack has to follow
Best Defensive Player:
George Hypolite. The team's best lineman over the last two seasons, he's
a quick, tough tackler who'll come up with the occasional big play in
the backfield. He's not exactly an anchor, but he's more of a playmaker
on the inside that everyone else has to deal with.
Key player to a
Senior DE Maurice Lucas. Throw senior Drew Hudgins and sophomore Marques
Herrod in that mix, too. The tackles aren't bad at getting to the
quarterback, but there's an open casting call for someone, anyone to get
some pressure from the outside. Lucas is the big, 260-pound veteran who
needs to find a way to make things happen, but Herrod is the most
promising option. At 6-2 and 270 pounds with good speed, he's has the
potential to be exactly what the line needs.
The season will be a
... CU gets back to a bowl game. It's not exactly the big step forward
the program might like, considering the Buffs went to a bowl game last
year, but with the nasty schedule, and with so many holes the team has
to fill, and with such a tough Big 12 overall, a 13th game would be a
nice reward before what should be a better 2009.
Oct. 4 vs. Texas. Colorado came up with a great defensive game plan, and
a fantastic second half, to upset Oklahoma in Boulder. The team has
shown it can pull off the big upset against a big boy, and it'll have to
do the same in the Big 12 opener. Coming off games against West Virginia
and Florida State, and with road trips to Kansas and Missouri coming up
quickly, a win over the Longhorns might be a must.
2007 Fun Stats:
- Opponent scoring 1st & 4th quarters: 115 –
Opponent scoring 2nd & 3rd quarters: 238
- Kickoff return average: Colorado 23 yards – Opponents 19.3 yards
- Average gain on first down: Opponent 6.3 – Colorado 5.3