November 28th

Colorado team awards announced

At the annual team banquet, a number of awards were announced. Here are some of the highlights:

Most Valuable Player – senior offensive tackle Nate Solder. Solder is a finalist for the Outland trophy (to be announced December 9th). Solder also won the Dean Jacob Van Ek award for academic achievement, and is one of 16 players nationwide to be named a Scholar-Athlete by the National Football Foundation, earning an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship.

Most Outstanding Offensive Player (the John Mack award) – senior wide receiver Scotty McKnight. McKnight becomes the first-ever three time winner of the award. With 50 catches for 621 yards, McKnight this season became the first player in Colorado history to lead the team in receiving for four consecutive seasons.

Most Outstanding Defensive Player (the Dave Jones award) – senior cornerback Jimmy Smith. Smith recorded 71 tackles, second on the team. In 775 snaps from scrimmage, Smith allowed only six completions in man coverage.

The Bill McCartney Award – junior defensive back Arthur Jaffee. Given to the most outstanding special teams player. Jaffee led the team in special teams points, including 14 tackles and eight knockdown blocks.

The Kordell Stewart Career Achievement Award – shared by senior quarterback Cody Hawkins and senior wide receiver Scotty McKnight. A new award, the Kordell Stewart Award recognizes seniors who had extensive career accomplishments and left an indelible mark on the program. Hawkins owns all of the career passing records at Colorado, while McKnight owns most of the career receiving records. Hawkins also received the Derek Singleton award, given for spirit, enthusiasm, and dedication, and was previously given the Buffalo Heart Award, given out by the fans after the last home game.

The Lee Willard Award (outstanding freshman) – Wide receiver Paul Richardson. Richardson set new freshman records for receptions (27), yards (450) and touchdowns (6).

The full list of award recipients can be found at … http://www.cubuffs.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_LANG=C&ATCLID=205038409&DB_OEM_ID=600

November 27th

Bill McCartney – “I’m going to be significantly younger than the typical 70-year old”

Former Colorado head coach Bill McCartney certainly sounds like he wants his old job back …

In an interview with the New York Times, McCartney indicated that his wife, Lyndi, who has an advanced case of emphysema, has been given a better prognosis of late. “We got home that day, and she said to me, ‘I want you to get back into coaching.’ Well, I’ve always wanted to go back into coaching. That just pushed it back into the front burner.”

McCartney also indicated that he believes that his time away from the game will give him energy in the future. “I don’t identify with the guys who have stayed in it, the Paternos, the Bowdens,” said McCartney. “In fairness to them, they stayed on that pace, and it’s a strong current that you’re in, because the workload never gets done … I’m going to be significantly younger than the typical 70-year old.”

November 26th

Bieniemy to interview for Colorado head coaching job on Saturday

The NFL calendar says that there will be a relatively insignificant game played at FedEx Field this Sunday between the 3-7 Minnesota Vikings and the 5-5 Washington Redskins.

What happens the day before, however, could have long lasting implications for the University of Colorado football program.

This Saturday, Minnesota running backs coach Eric Bieniemy will be interviewed by the Colorado coaching search committee in Washington on Saturday. As chance would have it, the Vikings’ opponent also have a potential candidate for the Colorado head coaching position. Jon Embree is the Washington Redskins tight ends coach, and Embree could be a head coaching candidate, but it may be more likely that Embree would be an assistant coach for Bieniemy if the former Buffs’ All-American running back is offered the head coaching job.

November 25th – Happy Thanksgiving!

Fearless Forecasts

The Buffs played another solid game last weekend, upping Brian Cabral’s career record as head coach to 2-0. The Fearless Forecasts posted a 2-1 record last week, although the one “L” was three quarters correct (The Buffs did out-gain the Wildcats in the first and third quarters – 91-80 and 151-122 – and were out-gained in the fourth – 159-83. Yet in the second quarter, when Colorado usually plays poorly, the Buffs were dominant, out-gaining Kansas State 151-50. As the second quarter was the turning point in the game, I’ll gladly take the “L” on that one!).

This weekend, the Buffs have a bowl bid to play for, while the Cornhuskers have a Big 12 title game berth to play for. Forecasts to keep an eye on …

1) Once again, the team which has the better rusher will win … Last weekend, the Buffs played the 9th leading rusher in the nation in Daniel Thomas, but held Thomas to 58 yards on 14 carries. Meanwhile, the nation’s No. 17 rusher, Rodney Stewart, had a career high 195 yards rushing. This weekend, the running game will again be paramount. Nebraska has the nation’s second-ranked pass defense, so if Colorado is to be successful, it will likely have to be on the ground. At the same time, Nebraska is ranked 106th in pass offense, relying almost solely on the running game to defeat its opponents. With quarterback Taylor Martinez apparently out for the Colorado game, the Buffs will likely be facing Cody Green, who is more likely to pass the ball. Still, if the Buffs are successful in stopping Roy Helu, Jr. and Rex Burkhead, Colorado has a good chance at an upset.

2) Colorado will have to have a non-offensive touchdown to win … This is going out on a limb, but the numbers suggest it might be necessary. Nebraska over the past two seasons has given up only 12 touchdowns in 13 home games, with the opposition held to an average of under ten points per game. These numbers do not sugggest the Buffs will be able to put together a series of 11-play drives – it will take  a bit of luck for the Buffs to win. That being the case, seven points from the defense or special teams would go a long way towards helping secure a win. Problem is, the Buffs only have one non-offensive touchdown all season (Michael Sipili’s fumble return for a score against Iowa State), while Colorado opponents have three such scores (two by California; one by Kansas).

3) Cody Hawkins and Scotty McKnight will take the top spots on the only career records which have eluded them to date … The two seniors already own most of the passing and receiving career records at Colorado, incluiding the record for the most touchdowns between one quarterback and one receiver (15). Still, there are three records out there for the pair to set, and all three will likely fall on Friday. Scotty McKnight set the career reception record back in the opener against Colorado State, and set the new touchdown record for receivers last weekend against Kansas State. All that is left is the career yardage record. Scotty is currently in third place, but is only 28 yards behind Rae Carruth and 36 yards behind Michael Westbrook (2,548). He should get past both receivers on Friday. Cody Hawkins has two records within reach. Already the career record holder for attempts, touchdowns, and interceptions, Cody needs just ten completions to set the new standard in that category (666 by Joel Klatt), and needs 130 passing yards to claim that title as well (7,375, also by Joel Klatt).

Hawkins, like the team itself, has undergone a renaissance of sorts of late. He has played extremely well (12 touchdowns, only two interceptions in his past four games), and was given the Buffalo Heart Award at the conclusion of the Kansas State game. There is nothing Hawkins, and the rest of the senior class, would like more than to have one more game to play.

It will take a great effort to accomplish such a goal, but the Buffs, for the first time in a long time, seem like a team which has the talent and confidence to get it done …

November 24th

Niles Paul out / Green the starter?

Senior wide receiver Niles Paul, the Cornhuskers’ leading receiver, suffered a foot injury in practice Tuesday, and will not be available for the game against Colorado on Friday. Paul had 39 receptions for 516 yards and one touchdown in 2010.

There are three wide receivers, a junior and two sophomores, listed behind Paul in the “z” receiver spot on the Nebraska roster. None of the three have recorded a catch so far this season. 

After Wednesday’s practice, Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini indicated that sophomore Cody Green will be the likely starter for Nebraska against Colorado. Green has been the backup to Taylor Martinez, who has an ankle injury on one leg and a toe injury on the other.

All Time All-Big 12 Team

With the Big 12 reduced to ten teams after this season, the Associated Press did a poll of 20 beat writers from across the region, putting together an All-Time All-Big 12 Team.

The only Colorado player to make the team was kicker Mason Crosby, selected as the top kicker by 12 of the 20 writers. Next closest was tight end Daniel Graham, who received seven votes to the eight votes for Missouri’s Chase Coffman. Guard Andre Gurode was also a runner-up, garnering eight votes to finish fifth in the voting for four guards/tackles. The only other Colorado players to receive votes were: guard Chris Naeole (2 votes); linebacker Jordon Dizon (1 vote); and linebacker Matt Russell (1 vote).

In all, 25 selections were made (including kicker, punter, and all-purpose back). Oklahoam led the way with seven selections for the All-Time team, followed closely by Texas with six.  There were three players from Nebraska, with two each from Oklahoma State and Kansas State. Joining Colorado with one selection were Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Missouri, and Baylor. Overall, of the 25 players, 18 were from the Big 12 South and only seven from the Big 12 North. Shut out from the list were Kansas and Iowa State.

November 23rd

Buffs left to prepare for three quarterbacks

Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez did not practice on Monday, with his left foot in a boot. The left foot, which has a toe which was stepped on during the Texas A&M game last weekend, though, is not the greatest concern. Martinez also aggravated his ankle sprain during the game, an injury which has slowed Martinez the past several weeks. “He’s okay, though,” said offensive coordinator Shawn Watson of Martinez’ toe. “Really his issue is his right ankle”.

If Martinez cannot go against Colorado, Watson said that Cody Green would start against the Buffs. However, senior Zac Lee might also be an option. Lee has not played in the past three games, nursing what has been described as a hand injury. Lee “looked really good Monday,” said Watson. “It’s good to have him back in the mix.”

Another injured Cornhusker, tailback Roy Helu, did practice on Monday. Helu suffered a calf injury against Texas A&M, and did not play in the fourth quarter.

Moten cleared of domestic abuse charges

Freshman defensive back Josh Moten was arrested in October on two charges – violation of a protective order and third degree assault. On Tuesday, those charges were dropped. A spokesman for the Boulder County District Attorney’s office, without getting into specifics, acknowledged that the decision not to prosecute indicates a lack of evidence to prove the state’s case beyond a reasonable doubt.

Moten was suspended indefinitely from the team upon his arrest. There was no immediate word from the University as to Moten’s status with the team.

 

November 22nd

Rodney Stewart Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week

For the second week in a row, the University of Colorado has a Big 12 Player of the Week. Junior running back Rodney Stewart has succeeded his quarterback, Cody Hawkins, with the honor. Against Kansas State, Stewart rushed for a career-high 195 yards, had 49 yards receiving, and threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Toney Clemons on a halfback option.

Stewart becomes just the third Buff to be honored as a Big 12 POTW this season. Stewart joins Hawkins and linebacker B.J. Beatty, who was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts in the win over Georgia.

Nate Solder an Outland Trophy Finalist

Colorado senior left tackle Nate Solder has been named one of three finalists for the 65th Outland trophy, given annually to the nation’s best interior lineman. Solder joins Wisconsin offensive tackle Gabe Carimi and Florida State offensive guard Rodney Hudson on the finalist list.

Solder is the first Colorado finalist for the Outland trophy since 1990, when Joe Garten was the national runner-up.  The winner will be announced on December 9th as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards show on ESPN.

“It’s Nebraska Week”

“I’m very excited about this week”, said interim head coach Brian Cabral, who pointed out that usually Colorado and Nebraska have a bye week before playing one another, but this year it’s a short week of preparation. “I don’t know how you get ready in less than a full game week,” said Cabral. “I don’t know how you prepare for that challenge. But our coaches have a plan to prepare, and we’ll see whether or not we can get it done.”

This year will mark the 26th time Cabral has been on the opposite sideline from the Big Red, and he is already in full “Nebraska Week” mode. He jokingly scolded a reporter who wore a red sweatshirt to the press luncheon (it should come as no surprise to many Buff fans that it was John Henderson from the Denver Post). Cabral also reminisced about what it felt like to win in Lincoln. “Anytime you sing that fight song in Lincoln, those are lasting and memorable moments,” said Cabral. “I have experienced a Super Bowl (victory). I have experienced a national championship. Winning in Lincoln is just about as good as that.”

Injury update – The only significant injury from the Kansas State game was suffered by safety Deji Olatoye. The red-shirt freshman suffered a fractured forearm, but still might be available for the Nebraska game.

Childress out as Minnesota Vikings head coach

ESPN is reporting that Brad Childress has been fired as the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings. Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier has been appointed as the interim head coach for the Vikings, who are 3-7 on the season.

What this means for running backs coach Eric Bieniemy is anyone’s guess, but it would certainly seem to open the door for Bieniemy to explore other coaching opportunities. Childress last week confirmed that the Vikings had been contacted by the University of Colorado for the purpose of interviewing Bieniemy.

The Colorado head coach search committee meets for the first time this week …

“The Greatest 18 Hours of football in Bozeman History … “

Sorry, a little off topic, but I just had to share. So began the story in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Sunday. This past weekend, the Bozeman Hawks completed an undefeated season with a 28-7 victory over Helena in the state championship game. The win was the first championship for Bozeman since 1917 (no pity party for Bozeman, thank you, for the long drought in football. The Great Falls Tribune awards an All Sports Trophy every year to the school which accumulates the most “points” in every sport. Bozeman was winning the trophy so often they had to reconfigure how the points were to be awarded – football has just not been Bozeman’s thing).

Less than 18 hours later, Montana State defeated Montana, 21-16, in the annual “Brawl of the Wild”. The victory was sweet on a number of levels. Montana State clinched the Big Sky Conference championship along with a bye in the FCS playoffs (a No. 4 seed, thank you very much). The win also kept the Grizzlies from earning a playoff spot for the first time since 1992.

It was a great weekend to be a football fan in Bozeman … and in Boulder!!

4 Replies to “The Colorado Daily”

  1. If we win in Lincoln NE this week why change anything , why not just leave it as it is and go into recruiting with a strong 3 game win streak and maybe a bowl win. Why change sure it would be nice to have Coach Mac and EB back in the fold but if we are winning then we are good.

  2. The other issue for Eric might be the labor issues in the NFL. There is still a decent chance of a lock out in the NFL for at least part of next year. If that happens, assistant coaches likely get paid less. Maybe Bienemy would prefer the certainty of a job at CU.

    I kind of like the idea of Mac as head coach with EB as OC and as Head coach in waiting, but no one knows how Eric would handle that. Maybe an option is EB as head coach but Cabral as well paid assistant head coach. I think Eric needs an experienced hand around his first couple of years.

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