October 21st

Participation of Oregon stars still undetermined

According to Ken Goe of the Oregonian, it is unlikely that Oregon star running back LaMichael James will be on the field Saturday, trying to extend his streak of 200-yard rushing games to four games.

“As best I can discern from standing outside of Oregon’s practices, James won’t have taken a meaningful practice repetition since before dislocating his right elbow on Oct. 6 against California”, wrote Goe.

“With backup Kenjon Barner in the lineup, the Ducks (5-1, 3-0) don’t fall off much, if at all. Barner put up 171 yards rushing last week against a pretty good Arizona State defense.

“The Ducks have De’Anthony Thomas and Tra Carson in reserve. And let’s face it, Colorado (1-6, 0-3) isn’t the toughest test Oregon will face in the last half of the season.”

Ouch … but he’s not inaccurate.

As for quarterback Darron Thomas, the Buffs may see the Ducks’ quarterback Saturday.

“Quarterback Darron Thomas is a different story”, believes Goe. “There are conflicting reports about whether Thomas has practiced this week, and if he has, whether he has been repping with the first offense.

“Thomas left last week’s win over Arizona State with some sort of left knee problem. But if he is physically ready to play, I think he will.”

Then again, unless the unthinkable happens and Oregon gets into trouble against the Buffs, a prudent coach would want to rest his stars for upcoming battles against Washington and Stanford.

But “prudent” isn’t a word often associated with Oregon head coach Chip Kelly …

October 18th

Jon Embree Press Conference Quotes

On If He’s Ever Experienced This Many Injuries To A Team – “No I have not. Injuries are part of it and I just figure that at some point it is going to even out for us. Unfortunately, it will not be this year. At the same time, we did some things early in camp – whether it was scrimmaging guys and knowing the nature of our schedule without a bye, it was important that we were ready to play and had guys that were in a situation that had some kind of comfort level when they got thrown into a game. We have played 13 freshmen. I met with the freshmen yesterday, I told them that I was proud of them and how they have handled this because some of the guys have had to burn their redshirt a little later than you would probably like, like a Woodson Greer. Malcolm Creer is looking at that, but at the same time they are excited about playing and they were prepared. Woodson has played well when he’s been thrown in there so late into the season. I’m proud of those guys, and it’s part of the game, but that is ok. We just keep competing and keep fighting and that is one of the things that I talked to the team about, ‘The other team is not going to feel sorry for you, so we’re not either. We are going to go out and compete. We are going to go out there and whoever is representing the University of Colorado on the field, do it to the best of your abilities. Play with great effort and we’ll see what happens.’”

On Keeping The Defense’s Spirits Up – “I tell them to focus on today and then focus at the task at hand. It is what it is. We can’t control that, we have to worry about what we can control. That is effort, that is being assignment sound, that is playing as fast as we can play and that is when an opportunity comes to make a play, try and do it. You are not going to get, ‘Woe is me,’ and I’m not going to let the guys on the team walk around and sulk about it either. We have a great opportunity this week. We get to play Oregon, and that is how we have to look at it.”

On What The Defense Can Do To Be Assignment Sound This Week – Practice. All we can do is practice. From assignment sound, it was more technique. Sometimes we would get caught in a situation of just trying to do our job, instead of knowing how to do our job. We have to be better technique wise, and again, just turn it loose. I think sometimes you get to where you don’t want to make a mistake. You are never going to play a perfect game. You are going to make mistakes and you can still have success, so let’s do if full speed ahead instead of making mistakes going at half speed.”

On The Linebacker Position and Maybe Moving Some Freshmen Up – “No, I don’t know. We are going to look at that. There are a couple of different things that I’m sure we are going to evaluate with coach (Greg) Brown and coach (Brian) Cabral to try and get the best 11 out there, but we haven’t settled on what we are actually going to do.”

On Possibly Pulling Malcolm Creer’s Redshirt In A Game – “We told him that we are bringing him up and we are preparing him. If it happens, it happens. If the situation presents itself where he doesn’t have to do it, then that is what we’ll do. He is all for it, we have had good conversations with him and he is excited about the opportunity.”

On Trying To Keep Malcolm Creer’s Redshirt – “Yeah, I believe that is what you try to do, but at the same time, I don’t know how long Speedy (Rodney Stewart) is out, hopefully it is not very long, but who knows. So you have to prepare him and at some point you have to decide to get him in there so that he has some game action, so maybe his first time isn’t in there in a disaster situation. Those are all different things that we have to look at as a staff. I trust (offensive coordinator) Eric (Bieniemy) and his judgment and like I said, Malcolm is all in. So we’ll see what happens.”

On Injury Update – “Shawn Daniels, I don’t think so. Daniel Munyer, possibly. P-Rich (Paul Richardson), probably not. Travis Sandersfeld, could be. Josh Hartigan, yes.”

On If His Team Can Be More Physical Up Front – “I’ll have to answer that one on Saturday. I don’t know. Will Pericak and Conrad (Obi) and Curtis (Cunningham), Nick Kasa, they have their work cut out, so we’ll see if we can do it for 60 minutes and get after them. They do a great job, you can say ‘Beat them up,’ but Auburn and LSU also ran with them. You are not going to play you in a phone booth. You can’t say that you are going to beat them up and play between the hashes. You have 53 yards of width that you have to try and defend with them. And they try and create one-on-one matchups and put you in a situation where if you make a mistake, with they’re speed it’s over, the band is playing. You have to be very technique sound and assignment sound. Those teams, they got them physical, but they were able to run with them too.”

On What Is The Team’s Identity Now – “We still want to be able to try to run the ball. We show flashes every game. Offensively, we show flashes every game of being able to run it. We need to get consistency. Our identity hasn’t developed because we haven’t been consistent on what we want to do. We flash, whether it is a quarter or a half, we have to get better at that. We took a stop back in our pass protection. We were sacked five times or something like that last week and I thought we had been doing pretty well on that front. Right now, for our identity, it is really about consistency and what we are trying to do, be it run the ball, be it play physical. I thought we took a step back tackling last week a little bit. Part of it could be because guys are beat up, you maybe don’t go in there with the same intensity as you do when you are feeling good. We have to continue to stay the course, we have to continue to work on getting better and work on being consistent. That is the first step in a program I think is have consistency in what you do, then wins come and then through recruiting, you improve to where you are winning consistently, not just winning here-and-there. Then you get to a point where you have a different mindset, a different set of confidence and then you have a chance to play for championships.”

Of If There Is A Tendency To Not Go As Hard In Practice If The Team Is Playing 13 Straight Games “No, we have to go. When you are dealing with college athletes, there is a fine line of not going because as I told you, if we don’t work on tackling or work on certain fundamentals in blocking and technique, we are not guys that are going to show up and all of a sudden do it on Saturday. So you have to keep work it, and unfortunately some of the things that you have to work and improve on, there is no easy way around it. Yeah, we don’t have some things that might help us, but we knew that coming into the season. The way we practice, we are not full pads this week, but we’ll be in shells and practicing at full speed. We won’t necessarily be cut blocking like we did last week, but you can’t shut it down and say, ‘We’ll let’s get them there Saturday,’ and you get there on Saturday and you can’t run, block or tackle.”

On Appealing To The Team’s Pride With Being An Underdog – “I don’t feel like I have to appeal to my team’s pride. I feel that they have enough pride in what they do. They have enough professionalism, so to speak, to understand that they have to show up and compete. When you are a competitor, it doesn’t matter, you go there and do the best you can and you do it at the maximum effort. That is what you do as a competitor, that is what you do when you have pride in the fact that your representing a program that your family is watching, your friends are watching. If you don’t have enough in you to go and compete, then shame on me for letting you stay on this team. I felt like our staff, we have done a good job, I feel like our leadership council has done a good job of keeping things going the right direction and looking forward to the next game. We had a good practice yesterday. I expect to have a good practice today. I expect it to be a lot of energy. I told the coaches that we are going to be up-tempo in everything that we do and keep getting after it. Like I said, there is no, ‘Woe is me,’ it is what it is and let’s go, let’s go play. Some of these guys only have six chances to ever play football again. As an ex-football player, as an ex-athlete, you will miss that day when you don’t get to compete. You will miss that day when you can’t play anymore. If that is not enough to go out there and play your heart out, then you probably shouldn’t have been here in the first place.”

On If He Is Seeing Any Improvement – “I do in different areas. I have seen improvement, but again, getting all  of the improvement in the right areas in one game. That is what we need to do. I think offensively, we did some good things last week. Again, the running game was moving in the right direction. We had some opportunities that we missed early, I think we were pressing a little bit in the stand point that we were struggling on the other side, feeling like you had to do it every time you had the ball. I think some things uncharacteristically done on the offensive side, but when we settled down and just played, I thought we did a pretty good job. I have seen improvement on that side of the football and in a few areas; if we didn’t have as many sacks, that would have made me feel a little bit better. Defensively, we took a step back. We are getting better at penalties. Our coverage units are getting better at special teams. You can see where having more starts is showing up, but we are also getting some guys dinged too, but you have to do it now. Yes, there are small – I don’t want to say victories – but there are weekly improvements, there are.”

October 17th

Star linebacker lost for the season

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse …

Junior linebacker Doug Rippy, one of the few stars of the much-maligned Colorado defense, has been lost for the season with torn ligaments in his knee.

Rippy will undergo season-ending surgery “in the near future,” according to the athletic department.

Rippy was injured in the second half of Saturday’s loss at Washington. He is Colorado’s leading tackler this season with 62 tackles and three quarterback sacks.

Rippy’s cousin Rodney Stewart suffered a severely-sprained knee in the same game. That injury is expected to keep the CU running back out of action between two to four weeks. Stewart is the Buffs’ leading rusher with 473 yards and is the second-leading receiver with 28 catches for 435 yards. His 1,169 all-purpose yards rank 14th in the NCAA this season.

CU will also be without wide receiver Kyle Cefalo this Saturday against No. 9 Oregon. Cefalo scored a touchdown against Washington, but suffered a knee sprain late in the game. Cefalo had two catches against Washington, giving him eight on the season.

Buffs now have four players who are out for the season: Blake Behrens (shoulder), Jered Bell (knee) and Tony Poremba (concussion) are all out for the year. Offensive tackle Jack Harris (broken ankle) is likely out for the season, but has a chance to return in November.

Who else is out for the Oregon game?

Wide receiver Paul Richardson and defensive backs Brian Lockridge and Travis Sandersfeld.

According to cubuffs.com, Colorado has thus far in 2011 lost a total of 59 games to injury by players who figured in either the two-deep or prominently on special teams, or just under 20 percent of the possible 308 (seven games times 44). That projects to be the second-highest figure in the last 25 seasons at the school.

Unfortunately, most of the above players would not be eligible for a medical red-shirt. Players are eligible for a medical redshirt so long as they appear in fewer than 30 percent of a team’s games and do not play past the midway point of the season. Anyone on the above list who made as far as the Ohio State game, therefore, would not be eligible to apply for a medical redshirt.

Any good news?

Senior linebacker Josh Hartigan, held out of the Washington game, is probable for the Oregon game. Senior offensive lineman Shawn Daniels, who has yet to see the playing field this fall, may also be available.

One Reply to “Colorado Daily – Oregon”

  1. I’m not sure of the rules, but it seems that the majority of the players listed are eligible for medical redshirts.

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