October 29th

Fearless Forecasts

If it’s Friday, it must be time for the “Fearless Forecasts”. While the Buffs held up their end of the deal, making the Texas Tech game interesting until the end, I doubt that Fox regretted showing the Iowa State upset of Texas instead of the Texas Tech/Colorado game. As a result, the two-for-three week left the Fearless Forecasts for the year at 17-for-21. We’ll try and do better this week …

Scotty McKnight will become the first player in Colorado history with 200 career catches … Before Scotty McKnight came along, the career mark for receptions stood at 167, and had been the milestone since Michael Westbrook took off for the NFL after the 1994 season. McKnight broke that record in the opener against CSU, and stands poised to become the first Buff to hit the 200 reception mark. McKnight’s total stands at 196, and the senior has been averaging about four catches per game. Cody Hawkins, before he was passed over in favor of Tyler Hansen, would frequently look for McKnight when he got into trouble with the pass rush. Look for Hawkins to seek out McKnight early and often against Oklahoma …

The Buffs’ ranking in rushing touchdowns allowed will take a hit … Only five teams in the NCAA have allowed fewer rushing touchdowns than the four allowed this season than Colorado. West Virginia has allowed only one rushing score this year, while Arizona, TCU, South Florida, and Utah have allowed only three. Colorado was higher on the list until the past two weekends, when Baylor went for two rushing touchdowns, and Texas Tech had one. Oklahoma has 15 rushing touchdowns so far this season, with DeMarco Murray scoring 11 of those. Murray this year became the all-time touchdown leader in Oklahoma history, and will be looking to pad his stats on Saturday night …

– Cody Hawkins will become the second-most prolific passer in Colorado history Saturday against the Sooners … Cody Hawkins came into the 2010 season ranked third all-time in passing yards in Colorado history. His 5,862 yards trailed only Joel Klatt (7,375) and Kordell Stewart (6,481). Relegated to the sidelines, it appeared as if Hawkins would have to settle for No. 3 all-time. Now, with starter Tyler Hansen out for the remainder of the year with a ruptured spleen injury, Cody Hawkins will resume his assault upon the record books. Already the all-time leader in touchdowns 48 and interceptions, Hawkins needs 213 yards passing against Oklahoma to pass Stewart for second on the all-time list. With it appearing, both from how the Colorado offense was run in the second half against Texas Tech, and from some of the comments from the coaches and players this week about strategies for taking on Oklahoma, if Hawkins does not get to the 213-yard mark against Oklahoma, it will indeed be a long night for the Colorado offense …

October 28th

Hansen leaves the hospital

After spending four days in the hospital for a ruptured spleen, junior quarterback Tyler Hansen was released from the hospital Thursday. From the hospital, Hansen traveled to the Buffs’ practice facility to meet up with his teammates before they left for their road trip to Norman to play the Sooners of Oklahoma on Saturday.

Buffs do well off the field

Senior offensive tackle Nate Solder was named as a finalist for the William V. Campbell trophy, also known as the Academic Heisman. Solder was named as one of 16 finalists, each of whom will receive an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship. The winner will be named later this fall. If Solder wins the award, he will become the second Buff to do so, joining former offensive lineman – and Rhodes Scholar – Jim Hansen in 1992.

Solder has already graduated with a degree in biology, and has participated in many charitable activities. Solder has also traveled abroad to do charitable work in Italy and Guatemala.

Former Buff Jeremy Bloom is also doing good works off the field. The former Olympian and Colorado wide receiver has a Foundation has a non-profit foundation, Wish of a Lifetime, which recently honored a group of World War II veterans by granting their wish to visit the World War II memorial in Washington D.C. http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/world-war-ii-veterans-lifetime-visiting-wwii-memorial/story?id=10258654.

The Wish of a Lifetime Foundation is a Colorado based 501(c)(3) which grants a wish of a lifetime to deserving seniors. “For many years I have wanted to start a foundation that would change the lives of others forever,” say Bloom on the Foundation’s website. “I wanted this foundation to be known for its purpose and impact on others. It was with tremendous honor to name my foundation after my own eighty three year old inspirational grandmother”. Here is a link to the Jeremy Bloom website … http://www.seniorwish.org/

Congratulations to these two exceptional Buffs!

October 27th

General Hospital

Members of the Colorado training staff have been working overtime the past few weeks, as the number of able bodied players continues to dwindle. The number of players who are now “out for the season” on the injury list has now grown to six. Joining cornerback Vince Ewing (out since fall camp), offensive lineman Shawn Daniels (injured against CSU), defensive back Parker Orms (injured against CSU), tailback Brian Lockridge (injured against Georgia), and safety Anthony Perkins (injured against Missouri), is quarterback Tyler Hansen (injured against Texas Tech). All of the above, with the exception of Hansen (spleen) suffered knee, ankle, or foot injuries.

Seven Buffs are injured, but are likely to be able to see action before the end of the 2010 season. Mostly likely to play this weekend is defensive end Josh Hartigan, who sat out the Texas Tech game with an ankle injury, but who is listed as “probable” for the Oklahoma game. Other possibles for this weekend are: Offensive tackle Bryce Givens, who started the game against Texas Tech, but was in for only 24 plays before spraining an ankle; and free safety Travis Sandersfeld, who suffered a slight fracture in his leg against Cal, and has been getting closer to playing time ever since.

Those out for at least the Oklahoma game include linebacker Jon Major, who suffered a sprained MCL against Texas Tech. Major was the Buffs’ leading tackler on the year, and will be out at least 2-3 weeks.

Also on the “2-3 weeks” timeline include:  Wide receiver Dusty Ebner, who has been out with an ankle injury since fall camp; center Keenan Stevens, out with cartilage damage to his knee since September; and cornerback Paul Vigo, who suffered a leg fracture in the Hawai’i game.

And so it goes …

 

October 26th

Hansen gets to keep his spleen

It was was described as a “procedure”, Buff quarterback Tyler Hansen remains hospitalized. According to the release by the University, “…Hansen underwent a procedue to address the injured part of the area in relation to a reputured spleen he was hospitalized for … Hansen had a CAT Scan earlier in the day to assess the progression of the healing of the injury, and this procedure was not unexpected. It will likely extend his stay in the hospital for a couple of days.” Hansen did not have any part of his spleen removed during the operation.

Better injury news … The Buffs may be getting back two of their defensive backs in the near future. Junior Travis Sandersfeld, who suffered a fracture in his ankle in the game against California in week two, could be available this weekend against Oklahoma. Meanwhile, red-shirt freshman defensive back Paul Vigo, who took Sandersfeld’s place in the lineup the following week against Hawai’i, and suffered a broken leg, could be available as soon as the Kansas game next weekend.

 

October 25th

Injury update

“Tyler is doing well,” reported CU head coach Dan Hawkins said of Tyler Hansen during his weekley Big 12 media teleconference. “His blood levels and all that kind of stuff are great … He’s being monitored to see how that whole process heels up, but he’s doing as well as could be expected.”

Senior Cody Hawkins will be the starter against Oklahoma, and for the remainder of the regular season. If anything should happen to Hawkins, only true freshman Nick Hirschman and walk-on freshman Justin Gorman remain on the depth chart. Burning Hirschman’s red-shirt would not be preferable, especially if Hawkins is only dinged up for a few plays. If that should be the scenario, Colorado coaches are not ruling out using another player, such as wide receivers Scotty McKnight or Kyle Cefalo, who both played quarterback in high school, as an emergency backup.

As for starting linebacker Jon Major, who was leading the team in tackles before suffering a strained MCL againt Texas Tech, Hawkins said that Major, “will be out for awhile.” The plan is to try rehabilitation first, “to kind of let it heal on its own, and see if it takes,” said Hawkins. If the knee doesn’t show sufficient progress, “they’ll have to go in there and tack it down (with surgery)”. Backing up Major at the “Will”, or inside linebacker position, are red-shirt freshman Liloa Nobriga, junior transfer Evan Harrington, and junior Patrick Mahnke.

“It’s football,” said Hawkins of the injuries, which have hit the defensive side of the ball particularly hard. “It’s why you’ve got to have backups … At this point of the season, there’s going to be guys beat up.”

Best not to have too many witnesses …

In a move which should come as no surprise, no television network picked up the Colorado/Kansas game for next weekend. The game which will likely decide which team will finish last in the Big 12 North will pit Colorado (3-4, 0-3) against Kansas (2-5, 0-3). Not that Colorado fans can be pointing any fingers of late, but the Jayhawks are really struggling this year. Kansas has lost all three of its conference games by wide margins (55-7 to Baylor; 59-7 to Kansas State; and 45-10 to Texas A&M). Kansas finishes the season against ranked teams in Nebraska, Oklahoma State, and Missouri, so the next two weeks (at Iowa State; home to Colorado), will determine whether the Jayhawks finish 2010 the same way they did 2009 (KU lost its last seven games of 2009 – starting with a loss to Colorado – after starting the season 5-0 and ranked).

The Colorado / Kansas showdown will start at 12:00 MST.

 

October 24th

Hansen out for the rest of the season; Major also lost?

Tyler Hansen was hospitalized Saturday night after the Texas Tech game. Upon examination, it was discovered that Hansen had suffered a ruptured spleen. Hansen spent the night in the hospital, and could be there for several more days. Team athletic trainer Miguel Rueda reported that while the decision to remove Hansen’s spleen has not been made, Hansen “is not out of the woods yet.” Hansen is definitely out for the remainder of the 2010 regular season, but could be sufficiently healed by December should the Buffs qualify for a bowl game.

Another injured starter is linebacker Jon Major. The sophomore injured his knee against Texas Tech, suffering a sprained MCL. Major is the Buffs’ leading tackler on the season, taking over the No. 1 spot after safety Anthony Perkins, who held the distinction until he suffered a season-ending injury against Missouri. There is no word yet as to how long Major will be sidelined, but it is looking like Major may also be lost for the year.

Other injuries of note … Defensive end Josh Hartigan was listed as questionable with a sprained ankle, but did not play against Texas Tech … Offensive tackle Bryce Givens received his first start of the season against the Red Raiders, but also suffered an ankle injury and did not return … Free safety Travis Sandersfeld, out since being injured against Cal, remains listed as day-to-day, but did not play against Texas Tech … cornerback Jimmy Smith was listed as questionable after suffering a concussion in the Missouri game, but did play, registering five tackles.

 

Hansen will be out for the remainder of the 2010 season ….

More on Colorado injuries, including those suffered by Byrce Givens and Jon Major, later today …

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