October 22nd

Fearless Forecasts

It’s Friday, so it’s time to go out on another long – but sturdy – limb, and give out the Friday Fearless Forecasts for this week’s games. After going three-for-three last weekend (thank you, Aric Goodman, for going two-for-two!), the FFF are 15-for-18 on the season.

What’s up this week …

– Colorado will go for traditional extra points this week

Sure, if the “numbers are there”, Cody Hawkins and the extra team unit are allowed to go for a two-point conversion at any time of the game, regardless of score. However, after missing out on two opportunities last weekend, both in the first half, of a 31-25 loss to Baylor, one could surmise that the Buffs will go more conventional this weekend against Texas Tech. The cynic would say that the only reason that the Buffs are being so “clever” with the extra point is that it is the only time Cody Hawkins is on the field, and the father wanted to give his son some playing time.

The cynic could be right.

Colorado may try for two points again before long, as the Buffs play their next two games on the road. Away from Folsom Field, the head coach won’t have to hear the boos from the stands if the next two-point conversion fails. While still at home, though, it says here that Colorado will go conventional this weekend.

– Fox Sports will be disappointed that it chose Iowa State over Colorado … again

Last weekend, FoxSports decided to show the Iowa State/Oklahoma game instead of the Colorado/Baylor game. The Buffs and the Bears went down to the final play, with the Bears prevailing, 31-25. Meanwhile, over on FSN, Oklahoma was mauling Iowa State, 52-0. This weekend, Fox had the choice between Iowa State v. Texas and Colorado v. Texas Tech. Which game do you think will be closer?

Granted, Oklahoma was the draw this past weekend, and Texas is the draw this weekend. Still, absent the fans of the Sooners and Longhorns, it will be hard to hold a national audience in a blowout. Still, FoxSports must know what it’s doing. The networks are in the business to make money, and showing a blowout with a national team trumps a good game between two mediocre teams.

In a related note, did you notice that the Colorado / Oklahoma game will be shown nationally on ESPN next Saturday night ………?

– Colorado will win the “Time of Possession” battle with Texas Tech

This might not be much of a stretch, but it is worth noting, if only for the debate as to the relevance of the statistic in the modern game. Colorado is fourth in the nation in time of possession, holding the ball for almost 34 minutes per game. Texas Tech, meanwhile, is in the bottom five nationally in time of possession, keeping the ball just over 26 minutes per game. So, the math is easy – if both teams hold true to form, Colorado will have a 34/26 advantage in time of possession Saturday.

But, is that relevant? It would be easy to argue “no”. Oregon, which runs a hurry-up offense, held the ball for just over ten minutes of the first half against UCLA Thursday night, while the Bruins had possession for almost 20 minutes. The halftime score? 32-3, Oregon.

That being said, I do believe it is important for Colorado and its fans to keep an eye on this statistic. For Colorado to stay in games, especially in games against high-powered, quick-strike offenses, the Buffs must play “keep away”. If Texas Tech does not have the ball, it cannot (usually) score. The Buffs need to generate sustained drives in order to give the defensive unit the best opportunity to keep the Red Raiders out of the endzone.

Last weekend, Colorado held the ball for a season-high 36:36 against Baylor, but still lost, 31-25. The thing is, Baylor scored 31 points, and posted 543 yards of offense, having the ball for only 23:24.

Imagine what the score could have been if time of possesssion had been equal …

Good news on the personnel front

The Boulder Daily Camera is reporting that the fate of Dan Hawkins is in the hands of Colorado athletic director Mike Bohn. When asked if he would participate in the decision on Hawkins, CU chancellor Phil DiStefano replied, “No, and I don’t want anyone micromanaging me”. DiStefano said he would offer an opinion, but would not force a decision one way or the other.

This is good news for many Buff fans, as it has been widely reported that last November, when Mike Bohn was in Hawai’i with the men’s basketball team, Dan Hawkins went over Bohn’s head, and convinced DiStefano and/or Colorado President Benson to keep him on for another year. Apparently now that will not be the case.

(Note: there is a thoughtful thread on Rivals.com, in which some who are on the “inside” have put forth the notion that it was all about the big picture last fall – That Colorado was going hat-in-hand to the state legislature for funding, and didn’t want to have to explain a $3 million buyout will crying poverty. That restriction, if it did apply in 2009, will not apply in 2010).

Also in the Camera report … DiStefano said that he has not been contacted by his counterpart at Kansas about Mike Bohn taking the athletic director position in Lawrence. Bohn is a graduate of Kansas, so it has been speculated that he is on the short list for that job, but DiStefano indicated that he knew the Kansas chancellor well, and that he believed he would be contacted if Bohn were a candidate.

This is also good news for the Buff Nation. While many have questioned the effectiveness of Bohn’s hires (including me), you cannot dispute the fact that he has run a clean program, is running a department in the black despite no winning teams to bolster incoming revenues, and is able to get an average of 50,000 tickets sold for a football team which hasn’t had a winning season since 2005.

Imagine what Bohn will be able to do with the Pac-12 money and a fresh start in 2011 …

 

October 19th

Another true freshman may lose redshirt

A week after fellow defensive back Jered Bell became the first true freshman to earn a start for the Buffs in 2010, a second freshman defensive back may follow suit against Texas Tech.

Freshman safety Terrel Smith might be pressed into duty against the nation’s 6th-best passing attack if two wounded Buffs, Jimmy Smith and Travis Sandersfeld, are not able to go. Cornerback Jimmy Smith suffered a concussion against Baylor, but head coach Dan Hawkins reported Tuesday that he believed Smith would be able to return this weekend. “We expect Jimmy to get going,” said Hawkins. “We’ll see. Everybody is sort of different in how they respond (to concussions). We’ll see how the doctors monitor his progress each day.” The Buffs might also be getting back Travis Sandersfeld, but the junior safety may still be a week away. Sandersfeld, who injured his ankle in the California game, “ran around a little bit”, said Hawkins.

Other injury updates …

… Junior defensive end Josh Hartigan turned an ankle early in the Baylor game, and missed most of the contest. The Buffs’ leader in sacks on the season is expected to be a full go for this weekend … Senior center Keenan Stevens had his left knee scoped on Tuesday. “We’re not sure how long he’ll be out,” said Hawkins. “It could be a short time. It could be a long time”. Junior Blake Behrens  is moving over from guard to backup starter Mike Iltis as center … Junior running back Brian Lockridge underwent successful ankle surgery Tuesday. He will be out for the remainder of the season.

October 18th

Buffs pick up running back for Class of 2011 …

Colorado received a commitment from Hurst, Texas, running back Kenny Farrow this past weekend. Farrow is a 5’10”, 190-pound three-star prospect, considered by Scout.com to be the 54th-best running back in the nation.

Despite the frustrating loss to Baylor, Farrow was impressed with his official visit to Boulder. “The visit was amazing! I’ve never seen anything like it,” Farrow told SuperPrep.com. “I enjoyed every minute of it. My father and I decided to go ahead and commit right after we got back home.” Farrow was even impressed with the overall program, despite the possibility of a new coaching staff come next fall. “Everybody there is so nice,” said Farrow. “It seems like they are all behind the football program 100-percent, and the coaches are real down to earth.”

To date, through eight games of his senior season, Farrow has 1,005 rushing yards, 180 receiving yards, and 17 touchdowns for a 5-3 team. Farrow had offers from new Pac-12 rival Utah, as well as Tulsa and Houston. Farrow also had interest from Baylor, Texas Tech and Kansas State from the Big 12.

The lure of a fresh start in the Pac-12 and early playing time was a lure for Farrow. “The coaches tell me that if I work really hard in the off-season, that I could see the field as a freshman,” said Farrow. “A bunch of their running backs are upper-classmen, and will be graduating soon.”

Even if the Buffs change coaches, Farrow seems to be a “strong verbal” commitment. “I’m not going to de-commit or check out other schools and stuff,” said Farrow. “The way I was raised, you don’t tell somebody one thing and do another. I’m 100 percent firm.”

Welcome, Mr. Farrow, to the Buff Nation!

… and also might get a four star safety

Note the emphasis on “might”.

Michigan Wolverine Vladimir Emilien may want to transfer to Colorado, according to BuffStampede.com. Emilien was one of the top 15 safety prospects for the Class of 2009, signing with Michigan out of Plantation High school in Lauderhill, Florida. As a true freshman at Ann Arbor, Emilien saw action in five games. This fall, Emilien was in for a total of four plays in the season opener against Connecticut before coming to the conclusion that he didn’t want to play for Michigan any longer.

Emilien took an official visit to Colorado this past weekend, and was impressed with what he saw. “I really didn’t expect Colorado to be as beautiful as it is. It is really nice,” said Emilien. “I really like it at Colorado, so I pretty much feel it is a strong possibility that I might end up there.”

So, what’s the catch?

“Their defensive backs coach, Coach Ashley Ambrose, made a really big impression on me,” said Emilien. “I told Coach Ambrose I will come … I committed there so we’ll see how the situation plays out. I am just making sure that Coach Ambrose will still be there in January.” Translation: if the Buffs change coaching staffs, and Ashley Ambrose is no longer with Colorado, don’t expect Vladimir Emilien to sign with the Buffs next February.

Even if Emilien commits, there are issues. Since he played in 2010 – even for just four plays – Emilien would normally have to sit out the 2011 season under NCAA transfer rules. Colorado, according to Emilien, will petition the NCAA to allow him to play next season.

As a junior in high school, Emilien recorded 93 tackles, but sat out most of his senior year with a torn ACL. Even with the injury, Emilien was considered the 14th-best safety prospect in the nation by Rivals.com. Emilien had offers from a number of schools, including Ohio State, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Stanford, South Florida and Wake Forest.

With the graduation of two senior starting cornerbacks, and the plethora of injuries sustained by the defensive backfield this season, Emilien would be a welcome addition to the Colorado secondary … and it wouldn’t be a bad idea to keep Ashley Ambrose around, too.

4 Replies to “Colorado Daily – Texas Tech”

  1. Irie,

    I am working on a list of potential candidates to replace Dan Hawkins, but I was saving that for the essay after the Oklahoma game next weekend, on the off-chance that there will be little else to write about next Sunday …

    S

  2. Unfotunately I am looking forward to the future to keep the interest level up…

    How about writing something about possible replacements for Hawk? Buffs in Denver tell me there is a push for Eric B….personally if we’re going that route (Mac Era) I’d rather give Cabral a shot.

    Plus for EB though…going into the Pac12 and recruiting in CA this cycle. One way or the other would like Ambrose to stay, even w/all the injuries think the secondary is better and kudos to him for getting Bell (and hopefully Smith) ready to play as rookies.

  3. Ric,

    I guess it would be a matter of semantics. Torres did play as a true freshman (as have others, including Chidera Uzo-Diribe and Ryan Iverson), but Jered Bell was the first true freshman to receive a start.

    S

  4. Question: A week after fellow defensive back Jered Bell became the first true freshman to earn a start for the Buffs in 2010, a second freshman defensive back may follow suit against Texas Tech.

    Are we just erasing Justin Torres from our collective memories?

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