Spring Game – 2013

April 13th – Spring Game          Black 17, Gold 16

Game story from cubuffs.com … Colorado’s first spring football game under Mike MacIntyre ended Saturday fairly close to how the Buffs’ new head coach wanted – crisp, competitive and with all of his players well fed at the end of the day.

Let them eat steak.

But it took an unexpected tweak from MacIntyre in the fast-paced game’s final two minutes to assure that everyone (not just the winners) dined later on the same entrée.

After leading a 90-yard drive that pulled his Black team to within two points with 1:38 to play, quarterback Nick Hirschman was given the ball back at midfield – a MacIntyre decision – with a chance to direct a game-winning drive.

Hirschman complied, pushing the Black squad to the Gold 6-yard line, where Justin Castor kicked a 26-yard field goal on the game’s final play to give the Black squad a 17-16 win at Folsom Field.

I made it happen that way,” MacIntyre said afterward. “The Gold team was mad at me, but I wanted to have it happen that way. They all get to eat – that’s one good thing. I wanted to see everybody compete and keep fighting and that’s one thing we really did . . . it was great effort on both sides.”

Hirschman said his Black squad’s unanticipated late takeover at midfield resulted from the coaches not wanting to risk injury with an on-sides kick attempt. “It was cool that Coach ‘Mac’ allowed us to take one from the 50 in and have a chance to win the game . . . I didn’t know what was going on, but he said, ‘Offense is back up’ so we went back out there.”

Said Gold quarterback Connor Wood of the Black team being offered its final chance to win: “Oh, man . . . well, we all get steaks. I think (MacIntyre) was just trying to get everyone the same meal. The loser was supposed to get hot dogs.”

His late set-up aside, MacIntyre said, “Overall, I thought the effort was very good. We saw a lot of plays, saw the DBs making some plays, saw some good runs, saw the quarterbacks do some good things.”

AND THEN THERE WERE TWO: The QB competition has narrowed from six at spring’s beginning to two – Hirschman and Wood – as the Buffs head toward August camp. That pair, both juniors, and redshirt freshman Shane Dillon will be joined by incoming freshman Sefo Liufau, who will be given a chance to compete before a starter is named.

Hirschman completed 16-of-27 passes for 219 yards and two touchdowns Saturday, while Wood was 11-of-16 for 205 yards and one TD. Dillon’s duty was fairly limited, likely giving MacIntyre and offensive coordinator/QB coach Brian Lindgren a more comprehensive look at Hirschman and Wood. Dillon completed three of six passes for 38 yards.

Lindgren said Hirschman and Wood “had their times (Saturday), but we’re still not where we want to be. I think those guys are making improvements and learning the system. I think they’ll tell you the same thing – we still have work to do. We missed some opportunities in the passing game, either (being) off in the throw, a dropped pass – and we have to make those plays.”

More specifically on the top two QB competitors, Lindgren said he was “really pleased with the development of Connor Wood. The last three weeks of spring he did a lot of things we asked of him. He started to make decisions and was able to throw the ball with some accuracy. I don’t think he’s anywhere where he needs to be for the first game yet, but I was pleased with him.”

Of Hirschman, Lindgren added he was impressed with Hirschman’s “competitiveness and the way he handles himself on the field . . . guys respond to it. And it was nice to see him in that two-minute drive at the end, take them down, manage the clock and get us in field goal range.”

Hirschman called his morning in the stadium enjoyable and productive: “I thought it went well . . . spring games are always a good time, everybody gets pumped up, great atmosphere. I love seeing guys making big plays and celebrating with them. That’s why it’s fun to me.”

Wood came away with the higher QB rating (197.0 to Hirschman’s 151.8) but said any talk of separation between the two must come from the coaching staff: “You’ll have to ask coaches that – that’s the best answer I can give. I think we both did well in the offense. That’s all the coaches have asked us – be consistent.”

But Wood did say he believes it is good for the Buffs to have a pair of leaders at the position – as well as on the team – heading into the summer. “Nick and I will be leading the charge,” Wood said. “It’s good to let the guys on the team know . . . it’ll be good for us in the summer.”

Wood also said the second half of spring drills “really showed the coaches we would compete between positions and between offense and defense. It makes it more fun. Practices go by so much faster, they don’t drag. We’re having fun out there and people are getting better – especially in this last week and a half it’s been great.”

full article at cubuffs.com

pdf file of Spring game statistics

Game Statistics

TeamBlack (Hirschman) … 50 plays for 261 yards (5.2 per play) … 3-for-13 on third downs … 15 rushes for 36 yards – Gold (Wood) … 36 plays for 294 yards (8.2 per play) … one-for-eight on third downs … 14 rushes for 67 yards – Three total penalties for both teams (all on defense) – Two turnovers.

QuarterbacksNick Hirschman – 16-for-27 for 219 yards and two touchdowns; one sack … Connor Wood – 11-of-16 for 205 yards and one touchdown … Shane Dillon – 3-of-6 for 38 yards; three sacks … John Schrock – 2-of-4 for 13 yards … Stevie Joe Dorman – 0-for-3.

Running backsTony Jones – 4-for-43, including a 30-yard touchdown run … Christian Powell – 3-for-18 yards (one rush for 18 yards; two for zero total yards) … Josh Ford – 8-for-13 yards, long of nine … Malcolm Creer – three-for-11 yards, long of eight

Wide receiversPaul Richardson – 5-for-169 yards, including an 85-yard touchdown pass from Connor Wood … Christian Powell (RB) – 2-for-69 yards, including a 52-yard touchdown pass from Nick Hirschman … Jeff Thomas – 3-for-52 yards, including a 33-yard touchdown pass from Nick Hirschman … D.D. Goodson – 4-for-41 yards; long of 19 … Alex Wood (FB) – 4-for-21 yards; long of nine … Keenan Canty – 4-for-35 yards; long of 21 … Josh Ford (RB) – 2-for-42; long of 33.

Defense … John Walker (DB) – 8 tackles (all unassisted) … Woodson Greer (LB) – 6 tackles (five unassisted) … Lowell Williams (LB) – 6 tackles  (three unassisted) … Kirk Poston (DL) – 5 tackles (three unassisted) ….. Sacks (4) – Paul Vigo (LB) (2); Josh Tupou (DL); Chidera Uzo-Diribe (DL)

Special Teams … Justin Castor (2-2 PAT’s; 26-yard field goal) … Will Oliver (2-2 PAT’s) … Darragh O’Neill – five punts, 45.2 average; one blocked (by Addison Gillam) … D.J. Wilhelm – five punts, 34.0 average, three inside 20-yard line … Kickoff returns Josh Ford – 2-for-35 yards … Marques Mosley – 1-for-22 yards … Keenan Canty – 1-for-18 yards … D.D. Goodson – 1-for-12 yards … Punt returns – Keenan Canty – 2-for-minus-5 yards.

Mike MacIntyre … CU Spring game – “Time to get off the pencil (depth chart) and onto a pen” …

Second half notes …

– Numerous dropped balls or overthrown passes to open receivers. If CU is going to throw long this much this fall, they had better start completing a few of them …

– The first score of the second half didn’t come until the last play of the third quarter, with Connor Wood hitting Paul Richardson for an 85-yard touchdown to give the gold team a 16-7 lead (Brandon Brisco defending).

– The only turnover of the second half came on a tipped ball. Stevie Joe Dorman tried to hit fullback Alex Wood, but the ball was tipped, and picked off by sophomore defensive back Marques Mosley.

– Aided by a pass interference penalty call, the black scored on a drive late, with Nick Hirschman hitting a wide open Jeff Thomas for a 33-yard touchdown (Kenneth Crawley defending).

– The Hirschman-to-Thomas touchdown came with less than two minutes to play. There should have been a kickoff (or at least an onsides kick), but the ball was given back to the black team. Nick Hirschman then led the black team down to the seven yard line, with Justin Castor kicking the winning field goal with five seconds left to play … 17-16, black.

First half notes …

– The first score came on the first drive by the gold team (Connor Wood at quarterback), with Tony Jones going up the middle untouched for a 30-yard touchdown midway through the first quarter.

– The black team responded on its next drive, with Nick Hirschman connecting with Christian Powell on a swing pass which turned into a 52-yard touchdown, tying the score a 7-7 with 1:24 left in the first quarter.

– The only score of the second quarter came on a blocked punt, with wide receiver Justin Gorman blocking a Darragh O’Neill punt. O’Neill batted the ball out of the end zone for a safety, and a 9-7 lead at the half for the gold team.

– Only one turnover in the first half, with a fumble by D.D. Goodson recovered by linebacker Addison Gillam.

– The only injury of the first half was to sophomore offensive lineman Jeromy Irwin, who suffered a sprained ankle. With only ten healthy offensive lineman to start with, Marc Mustoe was forced to play for both teams.

April 12th

…. Here is a link to the black and gold rosters for the Spring game (the “Black” team will wear white jerseys and black helmets. The “Gold” team will wear the traditional home black jerseys with gold helmets) ….

Notes from the Spring game roster

– Quarterbacks … Nick Hirschman will lead the black team, with Stevie Joe Dorman and John Schrock to back him up. Connor Wood is the starter for the gold team, backed up by Shane Dillon. With Dillon part of the top four, but Dorman and Schrock not, look for Hirschman to have the best opportunity to show his stuff during the Spring game, with Wood to be spelled by Dillon.

– Offensive players of note … Black team (Hirschman) … wide receivers Jeff Thomas, D.D. Goodson, Nelson Spruce … running backs Josh Ford and Christian Powell.

– Offensive players of note … Gold team (Wood) … wide receivers Paul Richardson and Tyler McCulloch … running backs Tony Jones and Malcolm Creer.

– Defensive players of note … Black team (Hirschman) … defensive linemen Samson Kafovalu, Nate Bonsu and Josh Tupou … linebackers Addison Gillam, Paul Vigo and Lowell Williams … defensive backs Yuri Wright, Greg Henderson, Terrel Smith and Jered Bell

– Defensive players of note … Gold team (Wood) … defensive linemen Justin Solis, Tyler Henington and Chidera Uzo-Diribe … linebackers Derrick Webb, Markeis Reed, Clay Norgard, and Woodson Greer III … defensive backs Kenneth Crawley, Marques Mosley, Josh Moten and Parker Orms

– Special teams … Black team (Hirschman) … kicker Will Oliver and punter D.J. Wilhelm

– Special teams … Gold team (Wood) … kicker Justin Castor and punter Darragh O’Neill

Players of note who will not be participating due to injury or inactivity … Donta Abron (RB), Brady Daigh (LB), Sherrard Harrington (DB), Vincent Hobbs (TE), Alexander Lewis (OL), Daniel Munyer (OL), Juda Parker (DL), Gerald Thomas (WR), Kyle Washington (LB), Jordan Webb (QB)

Thursday Post-Practice Quotes

On splitting the team for the Spring game … “I split it up even. With our alignment situation, I wanted to make sure that we made it as even as we could” (Note: CU plans to have a standard game, including live special teams plays. Players and coaches chose sides Thursday with one team being led by junior quarterback Nick Hirschman and the other side led by fellow junior quarterback Connor Wood).

On having only ten offensive linemen … “Well, we’ve got ten. Florida had six, so they didn’t have one. They just practiced. So we’ve got ten guys who can go, and if there is an injury, we have an emergency deal where one guy (sophomore Marc Mustoe) will just flip jerseys and go back and forth and play both ways. They’ll talk a lot about him on television – he’ll be the ‘Iron Man’ “.

On the Spring game in terms of competition … “Big. It’s really big. They are actually going to be out there on the field, there is television, there is the crowd. The coaches will be on the sidelines. So they will be out there in a lot of situations. We’re going to do live kickoff, live punts, live special teams. Which will be good for us to evaluate all of the special teams guys.”

On putting together a depth chart after the game … “We’ll come up with one. We’ll watch the tape. Coaches are going to be in and out with recruiting. We’ve got a lot of guys going out on the 15th (Monday) and then coming back (for the final practice on Tuesday). We’ll probably have something by the end of the week.”

On the game format … “A game. Twelve minute quarters, running quarters except for the last two minutes of each half.”

What will the winners get? … “They’ll get to eat.”

On running out behind Ralphie for the first time … “I’m excited about running out behind Ralphie. I was told don’t try to keep up with Ralphie or I’ll pull a hamstring. … I hope I get to run out behind Ralphie a lot of times is what I hope. That will be fun.”

On what he is looking for from the Spring game … “I’m looking for guys who are competing and playing hard every snap. I’m looking for executing the best we can. I’m hoping there is not a lot of penalties, not a lot of turnovers. We’d like to see some defensively, of course, but you don’t want to see a lot of them offensively. So hopefully it will be a smooth game … And I’m really truly evaluating special teams extremely hard, because this is the chance we really get to see the players do that, it’s all going to be live.”

Notes … The Spring game will be televised for the first time (Saturday, 10:30 a.m., Pac-12 Networks). The Pac-12 Networks, instead of sending the regular crews to do each game from the booth at the stadium as they do in the fall, the Pac-12 Network plans to have Mike Yam, former CU coach Rick Neuheisel and Curtis Conway offer commentary on the game and each program from the studio in San Francisco. In addition, the network will have sideline reporters at each game doing in-game interviews with coaches, players, notable alumni in attendance and others. “Our goal is to showcase all the teams and provide as much as access as possible with a roving reporter who will be down on the sideline interviewing anyone and everyone that will talk to us,” Pac-12 Network coordinator producer Kyle Reischling said.

CU plans to have a standard game, including live special teams plays. Players and coaches chose sides Thursday with one team being led by junior quarterback Nick Hirschman and the other side led by fellow junior quarterback Connor Wood.

April 11th

2013 Spring Game preview from cubuffs.com


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