Spring Practice Notes

April 12th

Sefo Liufau – “I’m in a very good position. August is realistic and definitely a goal”

From cubuffs.com … Once he was able after being wheeled out of the operating room in late November, Sefo Liufau quickly became a rehab junkie. Not many days have passed that didn’t find him pushing himself (and the Colorado football training staff) to the edge of his capabilities.

Early on in the process Liufau let it be known that “testing limits” would be his mantra, his target being August camp and competing for the starting quarterback job that he’s held for most of the past three seasons. In his mind there was – still is – no reason he wouldn’t be physically ready to play.

On more than one occasion over the past six months, Liufau’s strong will interfered with the reality of his injury – a left mid-foot break (Lisfranc) that required corrective surgery and earned the reputation in the athletic world of being a difficult mend.

… Liufau quotes … “Each day I try to go in there with the mindset of pushing my foot as far as I can and have them pull the reins back on me,” he said. “I like to push my foot if it feels well – and it’s been feeling well. Sometimes I try to push it a little farther than what they want to do on that given day. That’s kind of what I’m dealing with right now.”

… “In August I fully expect myself to be ready,” he said. “I’m in a very good position and the trainers agree that I’m in a very good position. August is realistic and definitely a goal. We’ll have to wait and see, I guess.”

… On the Webb situation … “Interesting,” he said Monday when asked for his take on the situation. “You have to do what’s best for you. That’s kind of all I’ll say to that because it’s just not my decision. Whether he comes, goes, whatever he’s doing . . . for the guys here right now, we’ll focus on ourselves and getting better, being leaders and making sure this team is ready”.

Continue reading story here

 

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April 11th

… Practice No. 15 … 7:00 a.m. meetings; 8:40 – 11:00 a.m. practice … shorts/helmets …

Mike MacIntyre’s post-practice (final practice of the Spring) comments to the media

From YouTube, courtesy of BuffStampede.com:

 

If not Davis Webb …

CU Quarterback Jordan Gehrke Has Solid Spring Game” … from cubuffs.com

Senior quarterback Jordan Gehrke had a productive spring game Saturday, completing 10 of 12 attempts for 126 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

“It was my last spring game and I thought I did pretty well today and had fun out there with all my friends,” Gehrke said.

While the spring game signals the end of spring drills, it is also a learning experience to begin preparation for the 2016 season.

“Personal goals and team goals are the same: Just get to a bowl game and win, however, we do it, whatever role I play,” Gehrke said. “I’m pretty excited for this year. I thought we did some good things out there. There are a couple of things we need to work on, but for the most part, I’m pretty excited for next season.”

Continue reading story here

Steven Montez’s Spring Progress Steady, Awaits August” … from cubuffs.com

“I think I put down a good foundation,” said Steven Montez, who completed 12-of-21 passes for 75 yards (one interception) in CU’s 82-play afternoon. “I just need to keep learning and carry that into the fall.”

Montez measured most of his progress in learning to better read defenses: “Definitely the reads,” he said. “I came in shaky on reads because I didn’t know the entire playbook fully and was not really confident.

“Now I feel like I’ve got a really clean grasp of it. You can always get better, but right now I feel like I’ve got a good grasp of the playbook and the reads.”

Continue reading story here

 

From the Daily Camera … Redshirt freshman Steven Montez seized his opportunity and had a great spring. He didn’t show it so much on Saturday, but Montez was praised by coaches and teammates throughout the spring — not only for his arm and overall athletic ability but for his leadership and rapport with teammates.

Senior Jordan Gehrke had a good spring, and the Buffs are still expecting senior Davis Webb to transfer from Texas Tech and hoping senior Sefo Liufau will be fully recovered from a foot injury. Montez may not go into the season as the starter, but he certainly did what he needed to during the spring.

“We kind of play with him a little bit and be like, ‘If you don’t get the job done, we’ve got reinforcements coming in,’ ” receiver Shay Fields said. “He kind of laughs and steps his game up a lot.”

 

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April 10th

Multiple Spring Game recaps

— “MacIntyre Pleased As Buffs Wind Down Spring Drills” … from cubuffs.com

— “Woelk: Incremental Progress Adds Up To More Improvement” … from cubuffs.com

Video containing Spring Game highlights

— “Co-coordinators a good fit for Buffs’ offense” … from the Daily Camera

— “Montez hopes spring audition leads to starring role” … from the Daily Camera

 

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April 9th – Spring Game

Note: The only significant injury from the Spring Game was to offensive lineman Isaac Miller. The injury has been diagnosed as a sprained MCL. At the conclusion of the practice, coach MacIntyre told the team “it looks like Isaac will be alright” …

Spring Game statistics …

— 436 total yards in 77 plays, a 5.59 yards per play average

— 250 rushing yards on 41 attempts, a 6.1 yards per carry average (does not include two sacks for a minus-15 yards)

— 201 passing yards on 22 catches, a 9.1 yards per play average

Scoring summary – Michael Adkins (16-yard run); Shay Fields (29-yard pass from Jordan Gehrke); Diego Gonzalez (22-yard field goal); Jaleel Awini (9-yard pass from Jordan Gehrke); Dino Gordon (17-yard run); Diego Gonzalez (41-yard field goal)

— Passing

Steven Montez: 12-for-21 for 75 yards … zero touchdowns … one interception … one sack

Jordan Gehrke: 10-for-12 for 126 yards … two touchdowns … one interception … one sack

— Rushing

Phillip Lindsay: seven carries for 83 yards … long of 47 yards … three first downs

Michael Adkins: five carries for 40 yards … one touchdown … three first downs

Dino Gordon: four carries for 32 yards … one touchdown … two first downs

Patrick Carr: ten carries for 31 yards … two first downs

Donovan Lee: seven carries for 30 yards … two first downs

Kyle Evans: two carries for nine yards … one first down

Receiving

Devin Ross: eight catches for 57 yards … five first downs

Shay Fields: four catches for 39 yards … one touchdown

Jay MacIntyre: two catches for 14 yards

Justin Jan: one catch for 47 yards … one first down

Jaleel Awini … one catch for nine yards … one touchdown

… five other players with one catch

Defensive

… Two interceptions … Red-shirt freshman DB Lucas Cooper and sophomore DB Isaiah Oliver

… Two sacks … by senior LB Jimmie Gilbert and sophomore DL Michael Mathewes

… Safety … by senior OL Aaron Howard

… Tackles … Kenneth Olugbode – 8; Nick Fisher – 6; Ryan Moeller – 6; Isaiah Oliver – 5; Trent Headley – 5; Aaron Howard – 5 … six players with four

 

Coach MacIntyre speaks with the media after the Spring Game:

YouTube video of Steven Montez talking with media after Spring Game, courtesy of BuffStampede.com:

YouTube video of Phillip Lindsay speaking with media after Spring Game, courtesy of BuffStampede.com:

 

Spring Awards Announced

Here are this year’s spring award winners:

Eddie Crowder Award for Outstanding Leadership:    CB Chidobe Awuzie and TE Sean Irwin
Fred Casotti Awards for Most Improved Offensive Back:    QB Steven Montez
Joe Romig Award for Most Improved Offensive Lineman:    OT Isaac Miller
Hale Irwin Award for Most Improved Defensive Back:    S Afolabi Laguda
Greg Biekert Award for Most Improved Linebacker:    OLB N.J. Falo
Dan Stavely Award for Most Improved for Defensive Lineman:    DT Tim Coleman
Bill McCartney Award for Most Improved Special Teams Player:    P Alex Kinney
John Wooten Award for Outstanding Work Ethic:    OL Tim Lynott Jr.
Dick Anderson Award for Outstanding Toughness:    FB George Frazier and S Ryan Moeller
Jim Hansen Award for Outstanding Academics:    OG Gerrad Kough

 

— “Buffs’ Montez, O-line in spotlight” … from the Daily Camera

The Colorado football team won’t be showing off anything fancy today. The Buffaloes will host their annual spring game at Folsom Field, although it’ll be more of a practice with a little scrimmaging thrown in.

Fans who show up will get to see the Buffs run behind Ralphie for the first time this year, but they won’t get to see much of the revamped offense the Buffs have worked on all spring. “In the spring game, it’s always really vanilla,” co-offensive coordinator Brian Lindgren said.

— “O-Line On Stage As Buffs Set For Spring Finale” … from cubuffs.com

Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre has some advice for fans who will be watching Saturday’s Spring Game scrimmage finale at Folsom Field:

“I’d be taking a look at the young offensive linemen that have been doing really well in camp this spring,” MacIntyre said after Friday’s practice. “It will kind of be their first time on stage, so to speak, and they’ve been having really good camps. That’s a place that will be worth watching.”

— “Outside linebacker Derek McCartney eager for season” … from the Daily Camera

This spring hasn’t exactly gone as planned for Colorado’s Derek McCartney.

Still, the junior outside linebacker will exit the spring feeling like it was productive for himself and the rest of the Buffaloes’ defense.

“Honestly, I feel really good about what’s happened,” McCartney said. “We got a lot better, a lot of guys have gotten a lot of reps, which is really good. I’m excited for the season. That’s what you’re really working for.”

McCartney’s spring began with him missing the first few practices after donating peripheral blood stem cells. After returning, he was full-go for a few practices before coming down with mononucleosis, which his prematurely ended his spring.

“For me, it was kind of unfortunate,” he said of his shortened spring. “I didn’t get as much time as I had hoped on the field, but I definitely got a lot of film time and understanding of the defense. I definitely got something out of spring. There’s not really enough ever, but I definitely got something out of spring.”

Continue reading story here

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April 8th

… Practice No. 13 … 7:00 a.m. meetings; 8:40 -11:00 practice … pads, no tackling …

— “At Whatever Spot, Awini Is Simply Glad To Be A Buff” … from cubuffs.com

“It’s my last year,” Awini said. “I want to get CU back to where when I was little, watching them when they were winning the Big 12 and going to BCS bowl games. I want to bring that back in my final year.”

— “Co-Offensive Coordinator Brian Lindgren believes Buffs have tools to be high-scoring offense” … from the Daily Camera

About a week ago, Colorado co-offensive coordinator Brian Lindgren saw the Buffaloes’ offense start to click.

“We really started to see some gains just last week, right after we got back from spring break,” Lindgren said. “The end of the week last week we did some good things and kind of made some strides and it felt like the guys were grasping some of the things we were trying to get across to them.”

… “We’ve had some success at times and there’s been a lot of learning this spring,” he said. “I’ve seen some success and the guys are having some confidence, and that’s a good thing.

“We’re nowhere close to where we need to be, but at times in practice, I think those guys have seen what we can be — the potential of what we can be.”

 

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April 7th

Stair climb challenge to take place before Spring Game

From cubuffs.com … The Colorado Buffaloes and UCHealth are presenting the first-ever UCHealth Stair Climb Challenge, which will take place Saturday at Folsom Field ahead of the Spring Game.

Those interested can come to Folsom Field at 11 a.m. to register.  The event will begin at 11:15 a.m. and entrants will be entered into a grand prize drawing for a $150 CU Bookstore gift card, a stainless steel CU branded cooler and four tickets, four field passes to see Ralphie run and one parking pass to the UCLA game on Nov. 3.

The challenge is to promote health and wellness and contestants can climb 2,500, 5,000, 7,500 or 10,000 steps to be entered into the grand prize drawing.  The winner will be announced during the spring game.

Following the Stair Climb Challenge, the football team will take the field at Noon to begin drills and Ralphie will run at 1 p.m. followed by the scrimmage.  At 2 p.m., enjoy an open house and self-guided tours of the brand new Champions Center and Indoor Practice Facility.

 

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Mike MacIntyre interviewed on KKFN

Here is a link to the interview with Schlereth and Evans Thursday morning.

– “Olugbode likes what he sees with Buffs defense” … from the Daily Camera

Spring Game Preview – defense –  from Neill Woelk

Neill Woelk at cubuffs.com has put together a unit-by-unit preview of the Spring Game:

A year ago, Colorado opened spring drills one day after new defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt had been hired.

It was, to say the least, a hectic spring. Leavitt not only had to teach his players an entirely new defense, he also had to introduce the new scheme to the defensive coaches. At times, it meant a coaching staff that was barely ahead of the players.

“We were having to teach the defensive coaches everything and get on the same page while also teaching our players,” Leavitt said. “We definitely didn’t profit from it as much as I would have liked.”

This year, however, it’s a different story. Players know the defense and know what’s expected of them. For the most part, CU coaches had the defense installed this spring after just a few practices, and as Mike MacIntyre said Wednesday morning, “we’ve just been reppin’ it and reppin’ it” since.

Saturday, CU fans can see just how far the defense has progressed when the Buffs host their spring game scrimmage at Folsom Field. Here’s a position-by-position look at the defense heading into the weekend:

Continue reading story here

Spring Game schedule

Saturday’s spring session at Folsom Field is scheduled to begin at noon and will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks. The first hour will be dedicated to position drills ad workouts, with Ralphie scheduled to run at 1 p.m., followed by a full scrimmage.

“The first thing you want is to come out of it healthy,” MacIntyre said. “The second thing you want is to be productive. I’d like to see execution, physicalness and be able to accomplish some situational stuff in our scrimmage.”

After the scrimmage, a “selfie session” will be held for fans on the field, and attendees will also have the opportunity for self-guided tours of the Champions Center and IPF.

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April 6th

… Practice No. 12, Wednesday, April 6th … 7:00 a.m. meetings; 8:40 – 11:00 a.m. practice … pads 50/50 …

Mike MacIntyre Wednesday post-practice comments to media

From YouTube, courtesy of BuffStampede.com:

Devin Ross hoping for breakout season

From cubuffs.com …  For Devin Ross, this could be the year.

So far this spring, at least, all signs are pointing in the right direction.

Ross is CU’s exceptionally talented receiver from Bishop Alemany High School in Altadena, Calif. In two seasons with the Buffs, he’s shown flashes of the kind of play he’s capable of producing. He’s been close — tantalizingly, excruciatingly close — to that breakout year that he and his coaches know is is just waiting to happen.

… “Tons of ability,” said CU co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Darrin Chiaverini. “I think his ceiling is huge. He just has to continue to work and be confident in those abilities. He’s got good ball skills, good eye-hand coordination, all those things. I’ve seen some flashes that I’ve really been impressed with. Now he just needs that confidence in himself.”

Continue reading story here

CU looking for more involvement from tight ends / H-Backs

From cubuffs.com … When he arrived at Colorado this winter, Darrin Chiaverini’s offensive background might have suggested that the Buffs’ tight ends and others of their species – H-Backs, fullbacks – were headed for extinction.

After all, Chiaverini’s previous coaching stop was Texas Tech, where the spread offense is run at a blur and too many receivers is never enough. Oh, tight ends aren’t obsolete in Lubbock, Texas; in 2013, junior Jace Amaro was a unanimous All-America selection at the position and set seasonal records for yardage and yards per game before turning pro.

… “We’re recruiting more tight ends than we are fullbacks, let me put it that way,” said Gary Bernardi, who this spring moved from coaching CU’s offensive line to the tutelage of the tight ends. “We’re adding and diversifying our offense. I wouldn’t say we’re changing it that much; we’re trying to find ways to be more explosive.”

Added Bernardi about the future of his position: “Finding the right guys to recruit is relatively important. If George (Frazier) wasn’t as good an athlete as he is, going out to recruit a 6-3, 260-pound tight end might not be the biggest priority. But a guy who can do a lot of things and has those capabilities, that’s what we’re looking for. That’s how I look at it.”

Continue reading story here

 

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April 5th

… Practice No. 11, Tuesday, April 5th … 7:15 – 10:00 practice … pads 50/50 …

Mike MacIntyre post-practice comments to media

… No new injuries … some players sick on Monday; others banged up …

From YouTube, courtesy of BuffStampede.com:

 

Spring Game Preview – offense –  from Neill Woelk

Neill Woelk at cubuffs.com has put together a unit-by-unit preview of the Spring Game.

The offense … With five practices remaining and the annual Spring Game on tap Saturday, the Colorado Buffaloes are on the verge of wrapping up their fourth spring under head coach Mike MacIntyre.

Overall, CU’s coaches have been happy with the progress they’ve made — but to a man, they’re each offering the standard “We have a long ways to go” qualifier.

A year ago, the Buffs were installing a new defense under a new coordinator, Jim Leavitt. This year, they’re revamping their offensive playbook with new co-coordinator Darrin Chiaverini on board.

Here’s a position-by-position look at the Buffs offense and what to look for in Saturday’s Spring Game:

Continue reading story here

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April 4th

Practice No. 11 canceled … will be conducted Tuesday

From cubuffs.com … There will be no spring practice today – Coach MacIntyre wanted to pass on practicing due to mounting injuries …

… The practice will now take place on Tuesday, (7:15 to 10:00 a.m.) with practice No. 12 on Wednesday, as previously scheduled …

… In case you are wondering … The NCAA allows 15 practices over 34 days (not including spring break). The first practice was conducted on March 1st. If “Spring Break” is defined as a week, that would give Colorado until April 11th to conduct its 15 practices, and a final practice has already been scheduled for next Monday the 11th. If you define “Spring Break” more liberally, the Buffs would have a few extra days to squeeze in an additional practice …

CU 2016 Spring game

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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April 3rd

… No practices this weekend … Next: Practice No. 11, Monday, April 4th … 7:00 a.m. meetings, 8:40 – 11:00 practice … pads 50/50 …

Defensive lineup changes have Tim Coleman at defensive tackle and N.J. Falo at outside linebacker

From cubuffs.com … As the Colorado Buffaloes coaching staff continues to search for the right combinations on the defensive line and at linebacker, two Buffs may have found a home.

Up front, junior Tim Coleman has made the move from outside linebacker and is having an outstanding spring on the interior.

Meanwhile, sophomore N.J. Falo has also had a solid spring at outside linebacker, making the move there after spending much of last year playing inside ‘backer.

Both are hoping the moves are permanent.

“I love it,” Coleman said. “It’s a place I can just play and react and get after the ball. It’s an instinctual thing and it just gives me the chance to play and not have to think so much about so many different things.”

… “It’s where I feel comfortable,” Falo said. “When I first started playing football as a freshman in high school, I played outside linebacker. It’s what I know and it come more natural to me because it’s what I first learned.”

Continue reading story here

 

Offensive line coach Klayton Adams on the offensive line – “It has to be like one piece of steel; five guys”

From the Daily Camera … In his first spring as Colorado’s offensive line coach, Klayton Adams is seeing a lot of good individual effort from his players.

Individual success is not what Adams and the Buffaloes are striving for, however. As the Buffs head into the final stretch of spring ball, Adams wants to see more growth as a line unit.

“I think generally the attitude that they’re going to show up and work is good,” Adams said. “Overall, we have to be a more cohesive unit and we have to be mentally tougher. Until we get there, none of this stuff we do is going to matter. The scheme is not going to matter. The fundamentals and the mentality of being an offensive line are what makes you look good”.

An all-conference center at Boise State years ago, Adams understands the cohesive nature of the offense line. For him, it’s been quite a change from the past three years, when he coached CU’s running backs and tight ends, where he was trying to develop great individuals.

“It has to be like one piece of steel; five guys. (Offensive line) is so much different than any other position in that way, because really, it’s one position,” Adams said. “It’s like one player with five people and 10 legs.”

Continue reading story here

 

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April 2nd

… No practices this weekend … Next: Practice No. 11, Monday, April 4th … 7:00 a.m. meetings, 8:40 – 11:00 practice … pads 50/50 …

With departure of Evan White and injury to Jaisen Sanchez, CU down to three scholarship safeties

From the Daily Camera … Already short-handed at safety, the Colorado football team got even thinner there this week when sophomore Jaisen Sanchez suffered a torn ACL.

For now, the Buffaloes are not making any personnel changes to adjust to Sanchez’s injury.

“We’re very unfortunate that Jaisen got hurt, but we also can move some guys around,” head coach Mike MacIntyre said.

Sanchez’s injury leaves just three healthy safeties on scholarship – senior Tedric Thompson and juniors Afolabi Laguda and Ryan Moeller. Laguda, however, has practiced all spring in a cast because of a broken hand, and Moeller is still working his way back after a season-ending injury last season.

In addition to those three, the Buffs have used cornerback Nick Fisher as a safety and nickel back this spring. Senior cornerback Chidobe Awuzie is a versatile player who can line up at corner, safety or nickel.

“We just kind of rotate those guys around,” MacIntyre said.

Junior college transfer Kyle Trego will add depth once he arrives in the summer.

Continue reading story here

 

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April 1st

… Practice No. 10, Friday … 7:00 a.m. meetings; 8:40 – 11:00 a.m. – Scrimmage not conducted … closed … pads

Coach MacIntyre post-practice comments to the media

YouTube video courtesy of BuffStampede.com

 

— “Buffs hope new digs impress top recruits on junior day” … from the Daily Camera

“It’s huge, beyond measure,” said CU co-offensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator Darrin Chiaverini. “When you can get elite players around the country to come to your facility on an unofficial visit and see this place, even if they don’t end up (playing) here, they go back and tell their friends, ‘Man, you gotta go see Colorado; that place is unbelievable.’ ”

… “It’s going to be a big weekend,” Chiaverini said. “We have some really, really big names. I can’t talk about them, but there’s some really, really big names and I’m hoping we’re going to have some big news this weekend.”

— “Buffs Update: Ben Kelly Hoping To Cook Up Something Special” … from cubuffs.com

— (Just for fun) … Ben Kelly’s kickoff return for a touchdown sparks CU comeback win over Wyoming

Photos from CU’s practice on Wednesday … from the Daily Camera

Steven Montez making the most of his opportunities this spring

Steven Montez Continues To Turn Heads In Buffs’ Spring Drills” … from cubuffs.com

Quotes from the article:

… “I feel like I’ve made a ton of progress,” Steven Montez said earlier this week after perhaps the offense’s best practice of the spring. “I’m out here to play, make plays, get some wins and see if I can earn the starting job. I’m studying the playbook, looking at defenses — everything I can to learn as much as I can.”

… “I think I’m picking it up,” Montez said. “The offense moves really fast, but I’m getting a lot of help learning it and I’m spending a lot of time studying.”

… “Steven’s done some good things,” head coach Mike MacIntyre said. “It’s going kind of fast for him, but he’s able to make plays with his feet and he’s able to do things. He’s been throwing the ball well. You always want it faster, but I have been pleased with his progress.”

… “I’ve been very pleased with his progress,” co-offensive coordinator Brian Lindgren said. “They key for him, with Sefo’s injury and Davis Webb not being here yet, has been his ability to get a lot of repetitions. He’s grown from it every day. He’s made a lot of mistakes, but he’s learned from them and grown from them. The defense has thrown a lot of different looks at him and he’s done a nice job of picking up the offense. He’s more comfortable with it and he’s more comfortable with the speed of the game.”

… “No question, he has by far exceeded my expectations,” co-offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini said. “He’s going to be a really, really good football player when his time comes, whenever that may be. I’ve really been impressed with his development this spring. He’s got some football savviness to him, which is impressive, and it’s been fun to watch him as a young kid learning the game at this level.”

 

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March 31st

— “Linebackers Christian Shaver, N.J. Falo on move in new roles” … from the Daily Camera

— “Ranking the 2016 Pac-12 football schedules: USC faces toughest slate in Pac-12 (CU the 2nd-toughest)” … from PacificTakes

CU running backs taking turns impressing coaches

From cubuffs.com … While much of the attention this spring has been directed toward the ramped-up speed of the passing game, there’s another part of the Colorado Buffaloes’ offense that has been very quietly making some significant headway.

Say hello to the running backs, a group that has made solid strides.

Wednesday’s practice was a perfect example. While the passing game produced a number of big plays in what was almost certainly the offense’s best practice this spring, the running game also piled up some big yards in several full-contact drills. Donovan Lee broke a 50-plus yard run to the end zone, Patrick Carr had several nice gains that included a burst into the end zone on a goal-line drill, Phillip Lindsay hammered out some tough third-down yards and Michael Adkins II also had a powerful run into the end zone in a red-zone drill.

“They’re all doing well,” head coach Mike MacIntyre said of his running backs. “I would say the three top ones right now, in no direct order — they’re all making plays out here, but the three that are making plays continuously are Phillip, Carr and Lee. They’re making the most plays every day.”

Much of the buzz this spring around the Buffs — and understandably so — has been generated by CU’s incorporation of some of the Texas Tech “Air Raid” scheme via the arrival of co-offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini.

But it’s worth remembering that the Red Raiders also ran the ball quite well last season, finishing 40th in the nation last year in rushing (191.3 yards per game) and boasting the nation’s 17th-leading rusher in DeAndre Washington (1,492 yards and 14 touchdowns).

To put that into perspective, figure this: the last time the Buffs finished with that many yards on the ground, or had a rusher who hit that total, was 2002, when Chris Brown’s 1,744 yards helped the Buffs to 3,136 yards on the ground.

Continue reading story here

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March 30th

… Practice No. 9, Wednesday … 7:00 a.m. meetings; 8:40-11:00 a.m. practice … closed … pads, 50/50 …

Mike MacIntyre post-practice comments to the media

YouTube video courtesy of BuffStampede.com:

 

Defensive back Ryan Moeller trying to get back into the lineup … but Jaisen Sanchez lost

It has been confirmed that that sophomore defensive back Jaisen Sanchez has been lost for the season with a torn ACL.

Sanchez will have surgery on April 14 and is expected to miss the entire 2016 season. Sanchez played all 13 games last season, mostly on special teams. He played seven snaps on defense. …

Here is a tweet from Sanchez:

“Though I’m not sure what’s ’bout to happen next…… I asked for strength from the Lord up above

.. and this from teammate Leo Jackson III: “Another fallen brother. Pray for a speedy recover my G.

The Buffs have practice today, so look for an update (around noon) after coach MacIntyre meets with the media …

— “Ryan Moeller on the move again in bid to regain starting job” … from Daily Camera

More than five months after a moped accident ended his sophomore season prematurely, Ryan Moeller still doesn’t feel like his old self.

The Colorado free safety is getting there, however.

“I’m working towards being back and being back by the end of spring ball,” he said. “That way when we get into fall camp, it’s all cylinders.”

Continue reading story here

 

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March 28th

… Practice No. 8, Monday … 7:00 a.m. meetings; 8:40 – 11:00 practice … closed … pads, no tackling …

— “Buffs get back to work with a few additions, position changes” … from the Daily Camera

Noteworthy … Inside linebacker Kenneth Olugbode, offensive lineman Jonathan Huckins, outside linebacker Derek McCartney, and wide receivers Bryce Bobo and Justin Jan were all back practicing on Monday after being out or limited with injuries during the first half of spring ball …

Defensive line coach Jim Jeffcoat: “We need all of those guys to be in the best shape of their life”

From cubuffs.com … In terms of overall defense, the Colorado Buffaloes took a big step forward last fall.

In Jim Leavitt’s first year as defensive coordinator, the Buffs improved significantly in scoring defense and total defense (from 11th to sixth in the Pac-12 in both categories). They also took big strides in interceptions, improving from 124th in the nation to 24th.

But to take another step forward this year, they’ll need to improve up front. The Buffs were ninth in the Pac-12 a year ago in rush defense and tied for 10th in quarterback sacks — and both areas have been points of emphasis this spring.

What’s become clear thus far in spring drill is that playing time is up for grabs in the interior, where the Buffs lost one starter, Justin Solis, to graduation. Starters Jordan Carrell and Leo Jackson III are back, but if anything has become clear in spring drills, it’s that the competition is wide open.

“We’re a lot farther along than we were a year ago, because they understand the defense and we’ve had a year to work with it,” defensive line coach Jim Jeffcoat said. “But the one thing we have to make sure they understand right now is that conditioning is big. We need all of those guys to be in the best shape of their life if we’re going to get where we want to go.”

Continue reading story here

Coach MacIntyre’s post-practice comments to the media

From YouTube, courtesy of BuffStampede.com

 

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March 27th

… Practice No. 8, Monday … 7:00 a.m. meetings; 8:40 – 11:00 practice … closed … pads, no tackling …

Davis Webb uses his spring break to get to know Boulder and his CU teammates

From the Daily Camera … As more than a foot of snow fell on Boulder this past week, Davis Webb was dreaming of being here.

Webb isn’t necessarily wishing for a winter wonderland, but the future Colorado quarterback is itching to get on campus, regardless of the elements.

“I wish I was there right now,” he said as a dust storm kicked up where he sat in Lubbock, Texas. “You go to Boulder and see the flatirons … it’s a little more scenic view in Boulder than it is in Lubbock.”

From March 13-17, Webb spent the majority of his spring break in Boulder, watching practices and film, spending time with coaches, and getting to know his future CU teammates, on the field and off.

… Webb is still free to choose another school, and plenty of coaches have called to try to change his mind, but he tells them all no and remains focused on CU.

“I love the Buffaloes and I want to be the quarterback for the 2016 season,” he said.

Some Davis Webb quotes from the article:

— “I was in the facility really from 6:30 to 6:30,” he said. “I was up there all day, just trying to get a hold of the offense while I was up there. It was really a business trip, not really a spring break for me. It was fun.”

— “I feel like this offense fits the things I do the best, which is throwing the football and distributing to the guys in open space that can run,” said Webb, who threw for 5,557 yards and 46 touchdowns in 23 games with Texas Tech.

— “I feel like I’m throwing the football the best I ever have,” he said. “I feel like I’m stronger than I ever have been. I’m just ready to be somewhere that I’m going to compete and get a chance to play.

“This is the year I feel most prepared to play Division I football. Now it’s just time to go do it and compete my butt off.”

Continue reading story here

 

—–

March 16th

… Practice No. 7, Wednesday … 7:00 a.m. meetings; 8:40 a.m. scrimmage (closed) …

Mike MacIntyre post-scrimmage talk with media

From YouTube, courtesy of BuffStampede.com:

 

– “Montez, Buffs making progress at midway point of spring drills” … from the Daily Camera

– “Steven Montez Makes QB Strides; Webb Takes A Closer Look” … from cubuffs.com

Quotable Quotes:

 – Steven Montez: “Definitely, I’ve made great strides, learned a lot. It seems that seven practices have gone by really quick …  I’ve tried to be a sponge in meetings and soak it all up and then come out in practice and apply what we’ve learned.”

Davis Webb, in town on spring break: ““(Darrin Chiaverini) told me I just had to keep working, that success is never a straight line, it’s very squiggly,” Webb recalled. “But at the end of the day, he said hard work can get you to the top. That’s a good outlook to have. I really respect ‘Coach Chev’ and that’s why I came here. I wasn’t coming on blind faith, I knew him and knew I would be given a chance to compete here.”

– Co-offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini: “The offense “still has leaps and bounds to go but I’m seeing some progress from practice one to practice seven.” He added that receivers Shay Fields, Devin Ross, Lee Walker and Jay MacIntyre have shown “flashes. They’re showing up and making some plays.”

– Praise for linebacker Rick Gamboa: “He is ‘steady Eddie,’ ” MacIntyre said. “He made some nice plays today, a lot of tackles . . . we’re trying not to get him in too much, take every snap.”

But, added defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt, Gamboa “is our guy . . . (he) had an unbelievable day. Unbelievable. He’s a good football player.”

 

—–

March 15th

… no practice … next Practice No. 7, Wednesday … 7:00 a.m. meetings; 8:40 a.m. scrimmage (closed) …

Ralphie wins Mascot Madness competition

From CBS Sports … We here on the college football side like to get in the March Madness spirit by coming up with some brackets of our own. Last year, we searched for the best helmet in college football (you ultimately voted for LSU over Navy). This year, we’re going to determine the sport’s best mascot.

In creating our bracket of best FBS mascots, we ran into a bit of a snag in determining what to do with live animal mascots. Instead of mixing plush mascots and live animals, we decided to break them up and do a 16-mascot bracket to figure out which of the live animal mascots is the toughest — not necessarily the best, because they’re all very good animals that we love and do not want to make a decision like that in good conscience. Also, please realize there were some tough cuts here (Navy’s Bill the Goat in particular), including a bunch of horses.

… Ralphie, a No. 1 seed, beat out a No. 8 seed, Reveille from Texas A&M and a No. 4 seed, Cam the Ram from Colorado State, to make the Final Four. There, Ralphie took out Tom the Tiger from Memphis and Tusk the Razorback from Arkansas.

 

—–

March 14th

Practice No. 6 … 7:00 a.m. meetings; 8:40 – 11:00 a.m. practice

– “‘KB’ Adjusts To New Surroundings, Life In The Buffs Lane” … from cubuffs.com

– “Dino Gordon moving up in running back rotation” … from the Daily Camera

Mike MacIntyre post-practice comments

From YouTube, courtesy of the Daily Camera

Notes from Monday’s practice

From cubuffs.com … Monday was an NCAA-mandated non-tackle day, but Wednesday will be a full-contact/full-tackling practice. It also will mark the first major spring scrimmage and will be the last practice until the team returns from spring break on Monday, March 28. MacIntyre said he would be focused on the performances of young offensive and defensive linemen and how the team executed with no coaches on the field (they will watch from the sidelines or press box). “When the coaches aren’t out there how do they handle it, how do they react?” MacIntyre said. “You always see a few things (to be corrected).” . . . . The Buffs were schedule to practice outdoors on Monday, but high winds in the Boulder area forced them inside their new indoor practice facility (IPF). MacIntyre called the indoor work “great, a lot was accomplished.” . . . . Redshirt freshman Tim Lynott, Jr. is seeing extended work at center, and MacIntyre said the 6-2, 300-pound Lynott “is doing well. It’s all still a little new to him; he’s got to think a little more when (defensive) fronts start moving around. He had a good day (on Monday).” . . . . CU’s defense has been under Jim Leavitt’s tutelage for a full year now. The improvement is obvious, said MacIntyre: “The whole defense is in, now we’re just ‘repping it, repping it, repping it.’ They’re very astute now, especially the older group, understanding nuances you have to have in formations, sets. They’re doing good job of moving forward.” . . . . Former CU assistant Greg Brandon, now the head coach at the Colorado School of Mines, attended Monday’s practice. He’s acquainted with about half of the Buffs’ current staff . . . . Business as usual birthday: MacIntyre celebrated No. 51 Monday

 

Defensive lineman Nathanial (Blake) Robbins arrested on multiple charges

Senior defensive lineman Blake Robbins was arrested for assault, burglary, arson, domestic violence … too many charges to list here (see charging information, below).

Innocent until proven guilty, but it appears safe to say that Robbins will not be on the field for the Colorado football team this fall.

A junior college transfer from Georgia Military College last spring, Robbins was on the field for 65 snaps over four games last fall, recording seven tackles.

CU press release on the topic …

ROBBINS SUSPENDED INDEFINITELY: MacIntyre confirmed that senior defensive tackle Blake Robbins has been suspended indefinitely from the football program due to an altercation over the weekend that resulted in his arrest and charges filed against him.

“I am deeply troubled by these allegations,” MacIntyre said.  “They don’t represent the values of our university or football team. I’ve indefinitely suspended Blake Robbins from all team activities. I also offer sincere apologies to the victims in this case, including two Boulder police officers. We have a strong and collaborative relationship with the Boulder Police Department, and I am very disappointed in the Blake’s alleged conduct.”

Here is a link to Robbins’ CU roster biography.

Booking information, from Boulder County:

Charge Information: 18-3-202 FIRST DEGREE ASLT Arrest Date: 03/13/2016

Charge Information: 18-3-202 FIRST DEGREE ASLT Arrest Date: 03/13/2016

Charge Information: 18-4-202 BURGLARY FIRST DEGRE Arrest Date: 03/13/2016

Charge Information: 18-3-302 SECOND DEGREE KIDNAP Arrest Date: 03/13/2016

Charge Information: 18-2-101(4)… CRIMINAL ATTEMPT: FE Arrest Date: 03/13/2016

Charge Information: 18-4-203(2) BURGLARY SECOND DEG- Arrest Date: 03/13/2016

Charge Information: 18-3-203 SECOND DEGREE ASLT Arrest Date: 03/13/2016

Charge Information: 18-3-203 SECOND DEGREE ASLT Arrest Date: 03/13/2016

Charge Information: 18-4-501……….. CRIMINAL MISCHIEF $1 Arrest Date: 03/13/2016

Charge Information: 18-4-103(3) ARSON SECOND DEGREE- Arrest Date: 03/13/2016

Charge Information: 18-9-306.5. OBSTRUCTION OF TELEP Arrest Date: 03/13/2016

Charge Information: 18-3-204 THIRD DEGREE ASSAULT Arrest Date: 03/13/2016

Charge Information: 18-3-204 THIRD DEGREE ASSAULT Arrest Date: 03/13/2016

Charge Information: 18-9-111(1)(A) HARASSMENT (PHYSICAL Arrest Date: 03/13/2016

Charge Information: 18-3-204 THIRD DEGREE ASSAULT Arrest Date: 03/13/2016

Charge Information: 18-8-104 OBSTRUCTING A PEACE Arrest Date: 03/13/2016

Charge Information: 18-8-103 RESISTING ARREST Arrest Date: 03/13/2016

Charge Information: 18-4-501…….. CRIMINAL MISHCIEF UN Arrest Date: 03/13/2016

Charge Information: 18-6-800.3 DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Arrest Date: 03/13/2016

Charge Information: 18-4-501……….. CRIMINAL MISCHIEF $1 Arrest Date: 03/13/2016

 

—–

March 12th

… no practice … next: Practice No. 6 – Tuesday … 7:00 a.m. meetings; 8:40 – 11:00 a.m. practice … pads (50/50)

Notes and quotes from Friday’s scrimmage

– “Isaiah Oliver Brings Elite Athleticism To CU Secondary” … from cubuffs.com

Quotable Mike MacIntyre … A third of the way through spring drills, MacIntyre said the Buffs have shown “great effort and intensity . . . we’ve had guys making plays … A lot of time in spring you see improvement by the whole team, but you’re trying to put guys who haven’t played much in positions and have them play more. You want to see where they fit (and) I see improvement there.”

From cubuffs.com … While MacIntyre wouldn’t single out players for their performance through five practices, he did mention linebacker Christian Shaver, who moved inside Friday to compensate for the temporary loss of Ryan Severson (mild concussion symptoms). MacIntyre called Shaver “a utility guy, very bright, very willing. He’s had a very good spring.”  . . . . Defensive back Afolabi Laguda wore a cast on his left hand Friday and sat out contact drills. MacIntyre said Laguda “cracked little bone in his hand; he can go, we just had it padded up.” Laguda is expected back at full participation following spring break (first practice back is Monday, March 28) . . . . Defensive end Derek McCartney, who missed two days of work last week after donating blood marrow for the “Be The Match” program, was in pads Friday for the first time this spring. He had spent the previous two practices in shorts. MacIntyre said McCartney “played about half the day . . . to the naked eye, he did some good things. I’m pretty sure he was a little rusty but he’s extremely bright.” . . . . MacIntyre attended Wednesday’s Pro Timing Day and said his seven players who worked out for NFL scouts “did an excellent job. They competed well against the clock.” The former Buffs who participated were tackle Stephane Nembot, fullback Jordan Murphy, tailback Christian Powell, receiver Nelson Spruce, long snapper Wyatt Tucker-Smith and defensive backs Ken Crawley and Jered Bell. MacIntyre was particularly pleased for Bell, a sixth-year player who missed two seasons with ACL injuries but was timed in 4.46 seconds for his 40-yard dash. “It was good to see him run well,” MacIntyre said. “I think he has a chance to play somewhere. He’s a phenomenal young man who’s fought through a lot of things. It was fun seeing him do that.”

 

CU offers junior college linebacker

From the Daily Camera … Considering Colorado’s shortage of scholarship linebackers these days, the Buffaloes could really use Jordan Kunaszyk.

While Kunaszyk isn’t available this spring, the Buffs are hoping he’ll be on the field in Boulder this fall.

An inside linebacker from American River College (Calif.), Kunaszyk is on an official visit to CU this weekend and attended Friday’s practice.

The 6-foot-3, 227-pound Kunaszyk received a scholarship offer from the Buffs on Friday night. CU has a need for depth at inside linebacker and Kunaszyk has the ability to come in immediately and help.

“I’m sure they want to see what type of character I have and everything has been going great,” said Kunaszyk, who will return to California on Saturday. “I’m optimistic about the opportunity. They have a need for inside linebacker and I think I’ll be a good fit here.”

California extended a scholarship to Kunaszyk on Wednesday and he said he’s hoping to take an official visit to Berkeley next week.

Continue reading story here

 

—–

March 11th

… Practice No. 5 … 7:00 a.m. meetings; 8:40 – 11:00 practice …

Buffs bringing the “nasty” to spring drills

From the Daily Camera … It didn’t matter that it was practice. Steven Montez saw the goal line and went for it.

During Friday’s practice, the Colorado quarterback ran the ball on a goal-line situation and dived for the end zone, taking a hard hit from one of the Buffaloes’ defenders in the process.

Montez, a redshirt freshman, got up and started jawing at the CU defense, and a little lighthearted pushing and shoving ensued.

“We’re going to get after defenses this year, and we need toughness,” Montez said of that play, which resulted in a touchdown. “That comes from everybody. We just need nasty, including the quarterback. We need nasty people everywhere.”

Continue reading story here

 

– “George Frazier eager to show what he can do with ball in his hands” … from the Daily Camera

Mike MacIntyre post-practice comments

Quarterback Steven Montez, defensive lineman Brett Tonz, wide receiver Kabion Ento have a good scrimmage as Buffs are now one-third of the way through spring practices.

From YouTube, courtesy of BuffStampede.com:

 

—–

March 9th

… Practice No. 4 … 7:00 a.m. meetings; 8:40 – 11:00 a.m. practice … first practice with tackling (50/50)

Reminder … Practice No. 5 on Friday … 8:40 – 11:00 a.m. (pads, no tackling) will be one of only two practices this spring which will be open to the public (the other being the Spring Game on April 9th) …

– “Nick Fisher working to find his niche at nickel” … from the Daily Camera

– “Shay Fields’ Spring Goals Centered On Improving, Adapting” … from cubuffs.com

NOTABLE: In pads for the second day, the Buffs had a nearly 30-minute scrimmage on Wednesday that MacIntyre termed productive. “It went well, we got after it,” he said, adding that offensive and defensive coaches likely would have mixed reviews about the work. “I saw good things on both sides.” . . . . With long-snapper Wyatt Tucker Smith graduated, that duty is being shared by junior Chris Hill and redshirt freshman J.T. Bale. MacIntyre said both “have the ability to do it; we’ve been putting them under pressure and under a lot of different things. They’ve done well so far.” He added that game-day anonymity is a very good thing for a long-snapper: “When you don’t hear the long snapper’s name and don’t really know it, it’s sad for them but great for everybody else.” . . . . Yes, there’s a place for George Frazier in the Buffs’ revamped offense. MacIntyre said the 6-2, 260-pound junior will be used in a similar role as last season – at tight end, H-back and fullback. “The same things as last year,” MacIntyre said. “His use depends on the game . . . but he’ll play on special teams and will definitely be out there.” . . . . Chiaverini says Texas Tech transfer QB Davis Webb “knows this offense better than any of us. He’ll be like a coach on the field.” Webb arrives on campus this summer. Plus, Chiaverini said incumbent starter Sefo Liufau, who is recovering from a Lisfranc (mid-foot) injury, is spending spring practices signaling in plays. “So he’ll understand it. We’re going to be pretty good when this thing comes together.” . . . . Former Buffs coach Bill McCartney attended Wednesday’s practice.

 

Jim Leavitt settling in for second spring practices

From ESPN … Last spring, Colorado defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt was playing catch-up.

He was hired the night before the Buffs started spring practices so he had to introduce himself and his scheme, meet his own position coaches (none of whom he knew) and try to get players to buy in to his system … all in 15 practices.

A year later, it’s a bit less difficult. The players and coaches know him. The scheme is understood and the buy-in has been there. After all, it’s hard to deny what Leavitt brought to Boulder.

In 2014, the Buffs were the 111th-best defense in college football. They gave up 39 points a game. Only Cal was worse than Colorado in the Pac-12 in either of those statistics.

Continue reading story here

Leavitt quotes … “We’ve got a bunch of guys that are trying to pull together,” Leavitt said. “We don’t have any big-name guys. … Honestly, that’s probably the one thing, that’s the thesis of our defense, you’re going to name names for the other schools but for us it’s collectively our guys playing together and playing as one.”

… “I’ve been a part of a number of great stories,” Leavitt said. “Certainly Kansas State was and South Florida was and certainly getting back to the Super Bowl with the 49ers when I was with [Jim] Harbaugh there was a pretty good run. … Now, Colorado’s the next one.”

 

—–

March 7th

… Practice No. 3 … 7:00 a.m. meetings; 8:40 – 11:00 a.m. practice … first practice in pads (no tackling)

– “Buffs’ Awuzie Aims For More Game-Changing Plays” … from cubuffs.com

Quotable Chidobe Awuzie … “I feel like there were a couple games last year that we lost that some people looking at it probably wouldn’t blame it on me, but I blame myself. I had opportunities to make plays. If I drop a pick or if I get to a guy and I’m not able to get the ball out, that can change the game. I need to start making those plays to change the game in our favor. I feel like we could have won two or three more games if I would have made a few of those plays.”

The 6-foot, 205-pound Awuzie might be a little too harsh on himself, but those high expectations of himself have also helped turn him into one of the Pac-12’s premier defensive backs. The fact that he is a senior has only increased his drive.

“You realize that every practice is the last time you’ll practice on that day here,” Awuzie said after Monday’s workout, the Buffs’ third of the spring. “I know I’m not going to go through spring ball again. I think everyone here has a sense of urgency, but I think for the seniors, we know that whatever we’ve done in the past probably wasn’t good enough. We’ve got to find a way to be great.”

Mike MacIntyre post-practice talk with media

From YouTube, courtesy of BuffStampede.com

 

—–

March 6th

… No practice today …

… Next practice: Practice No. 3 on Monday … 7:00 a.m. meetings; 8:40 – 11:00 a.m. practice … first practice in pads, though there will be no tackling (first practice with 50/50 tackling – tackling allowed less than 50% of the practice – will take place during practice No. 4 on Wednesday)

– “Devin Ross focuses on fewer drops this spring” … from the Daily Camera

Olugbode out until after spring break … Senior linebacker Kenneth Olugbode will not participate in practices until after spring break later this month. He currently has a boot on his left leg after an ankle injury suffered in offseason workouts.

With Olugbode out, the Buffs are down to two healthy scholarship inside linebackers — senior Ryan Severson and sophomore Rick Gamboa. Junior Addison Gillam will miss the entire spring as he recovers from a knee injury.

“It seems like every spring you have a lack of depth somewhere,” MacIntyre said. “It is hindering us a little bit, but we have some walk-on guys that are stepping in there and doing things and doing well.”

 

—–

March 5th

… No practice today … Next practice: Practice No. 3 on Monday …

Rapid Fire: Buffs Picking Up Pace In Spring Ball” … from cubuffs.com

Notes … After two practices in shorts and helmets, the Buffs will don pads for the first time this spring in Monday’s practice. That will give coaches their first good look at some of their redshirt freshmen who could be vying for playing time — particularly those up front on both sides of the line. Players among those redshirts who will be getting long looks include Brett Tonz, Lyle Tuiloma and Frank Umu on defense; and Tim Lynott Jr., Dillon Middlemiss, Isaac Miller and Aaron Haigler on offense.

““They’re doing good, but we’re in pajamas,” MacIntyre said. “When you’re in pajamas out here, it’s not quite as physical. We’ll put on the pads Monday so it’s a little different world. The first two days they’re moving well, they’re stronger than they were last year. I definitely have been pleased with those guys the first couple days and we’ll find out when they get into pads on Monday.”

ESPN Spring Preview for Colorado

From ESPN

Most pressing offensive storyline: Can the Buffaloes improve offensively? Many thought a jump was coming as quarterback Sefo Liufau matured into an upperclassman during the 2015 season. But Colorado’s run game worsened, mustering only 3.7 yards per carry, and Liufau’s numbers regressed before he hurt his foot at the end of the season. The Buffaloes averaged 19.7 points per game in Pac-12 play, better than only Oregon State.

Most pressing defensive storyline: The defense took a step in the right direction last season, so now we wait to see if they can continue on that trajectory. Colorado finished in the middle of the conference when it came to most categories — a marked improvement over 2014, when they allowed a full yard more per rush than the next-worst Pac-12 team. With nine starters returning in 2016, another step forward is expected.

Heat Index (1-10 scale, measure of pressure on the head coach): 9. Mike MacIntyre has three seasons under his belt in Boulder. This past one saw progress — the Buffaloes won four games, including a conference affair, after finishing 1-11 — but now is the time to secure bowl eligibility. Colorado has been close to notching those big breakthrough wins several times now, and 2016 is the season in which they must finally get over the hump.

 

—–

March 4th

… Practice No. 2 … 7:00 a.m. meetings; 8:40 – 11:00 a.m. practice …

Coach MacIntyre’s post-practice comments

Video from YouTube, courtesy of BuffStampede.com:

 

 

CU Pro timing day next Wednesday

From cubuffs.com …

CU’s annual pro timing day is next Wednesday, March 9 from 3-5 p.m. in our new weight room and indoor practice facility.  The first hour will be weights and the second will be speed/agility drills testing.

As of now, those Buffs participating are: Jered Bell, Ken Crawley, Jordan Murphy, Stephane Nembot, Christian Powell and Nelson Spruce.

 

– “Chiaverini leads charge in Buffs’ recruiting revival” … from the Daily Camera

– “Be The Match: Buffs’ Derek McCartney To Donate Marrow” … from cubuffs.com

 

—–

March 3rd

… No practice today … next practice … Practice No. 2 (Friday) … 7:00 a.m. meetings; 8:40 – 11:00 a.m. practice …

– “New indoor facility pays off on first day of drills” … from the Daily Camera

– “WATCH: CU Buffs Steven Montez following first day of Spring Practice” … from BSN Denver

ESPN interview … Coach MacIntyre “patiently impatient”

From ESPN … Mike MacIntyre has been getting this question a lot lately: How frustrating is it that you guys are so close to getting over the hump, but aren’t quite there yet?

Even before the query is complete, the Colorado head coach has his response tee’d up.

“Sitting on ‘so close’ is a lot better than sitting on ‘far away,'” MacIntyre said, half chuckling, half serious. “That’s where we used to be, so it’s a lot better. We are improving in increments. We were so bad when we got here. We’ve come a long way. And the ‘long way’ has us right there on the verge. Now we have to get over the hump.”

Just so there is no confusion, MacIntyre isn’t resting on moral victories or accepting attaboys. He sees things in black and white and wins and losses as clearly as everyone else. But he’s also aware of what it takes to turn this Colorado program — one that had plummeted into being one of the worst in college football — into a competitive team from a Power 5 conference. This isn’t San Jose State, a school that MacIntyre turned around before coming to Colorado. And he knows it.

“I’m patiently impatient, if that makes sense,” MacIntyre said. “You have to be that way to build a strong foundation and a strong program. It takes time to do that. We’ve been progressively moving forward. … It takes a while to build. And in a power conference against well-established programs, it takes longer.”

Continue reading story here

 

—–

March 2nd

… Practice No. 1 – 7:00 a.m. meetings; 8:40 – 11:00 practice …

– “Brooks: Hagan Embraces Return To Coaching Role With Buffs” … from cubuffs.com

– “Steven Montez focused on showing he’s ready” … from the Daily Camera

Mike MacIntyre’s post-practice comments

From YouTube, courtesy of BuffStampede.com

 

 

CU Football Video posts its “Colorado Athletic Facilities”

From vimeo.com … Narrated by Joel Klatt, it will be – perhaps – the best six minutes of your day …

 

https://vimeo.com/156655806

 

—–

March 1st

Media Roundtable notes and quotes

– “B. G. Brooks: Pre-Spring Buffs Notebook” … from cubuffs.com

– “B. G. Brooks: Apsay’s Exit Could Help Accelerate Montez’s Move Up” … from cubuffs.com

– “Storylines Abound As Buffs Prepare To Open Spring Ball” … from cubuffs.com

– “Apsay’s dismissal puts spring spotlight on Montez” … from the Daily Camera

You Tube video of Coach MacIntyre’s pre-spring media roundtable

Part One:

Part Two:

 

Only two spring practices will be open to the public

In keeping with a previously established pattern, head coach Mike MacIntyre announced that 13 of the 15 allotted spring practices will be closed to the public. The only two practices which will be open will take place on Friday, March 11th (8:40 – 11:00 a.m.) and the Spring Game on Saturday, April 9th.

The first of CU’s 15 spring practices will be held Wednesday, and as usual the Buffs will have morning practices. Their first spring scrimmage is scheduled for Wednesday, March 16, with spring break beginning March 21. Practice will resume on Monday, March 28, with the Spring Game set for Saturday, April 9 (noon, Pac-12 Networks).

The Buffs will work on their lower practice fields for most of the spring, going into the new IPF (indoor practice facility) when weather dictates. That facility opened on Feb. 1.

 

Quarterback Cade Apsay; defensive back Evan White dismissed from team

In what was perhaps the worst kept secret of the spring, quarterback Cade Apsay and safety Evan White are no longer with the team. CU head coach Mike MacIntyre confirmed at the media roundtable that both players were dismissed for violation of team policies.

Also … Conner Center, a junior offensive lineman, will not be returning this fall …

 

Loss of Apsay opens up opportunity for red-shirt freshman Steven Montez

“We’ll have enough arms out there”, said Mike MacIntyre when asked about the lack of available quarterbacks for spring. “The one good thing is that it gives Steven Montez, who hasn’t had as many reps as Jordan and Jaleel at quarterback, he’ll get a lot more reps this spring. He has a bright future . . . he just needs to get some more reps.”

Montez at a glance, according to MacIntyre: “He’s big, athletic and can throw it . . . I hope he moves up the ladder and can be ready to play; we’ll find out as spring goes. Hopefully he makes a big jump within the offense.”

The key for the 6-5, 230-pound Montez, said MacIntyre, is “just getting him repetitions of doing and seeing it and playing in it live . . . he got a little of it as scout teamer in the fall, but this will put him under more scrutiny and pressure out there.”

 

Sefo Liufau progressing, but availability for fall still not a given

From cubuffs.com … Whenever he’s asked from now until August about Sefo Liufau’s status, coach Mike MacIntyre said the report will be the same: “He keeps progressing . . . we expect him to be able to go in August but we’ll see how his foot is.”

That doesn’t mean MacIntyre doesn’t want to be asked about his three-year and incumbent starter, it’s just that complete rehabilitation for Liufau’s Lisfranc (mid-foot) injury is a time-consuming process.

MacIntyre said while progress is noticeable, Liufau told him recently, “My mind is willing to go but my foot is not always willing to go.”

Until mind/foot are on the same page, Liufau won’t be ready, and MacIntyre said the determination of what Liufau is capable of doing will be made early in August camp.

 

Coaching changes on the offensive side of the ball to provide spring intrigue

From cubuffs.com … Former Texas Tech special teams coordinator and receivers coach (and former Buffs wide receiver) Darrin Chiaverini joins the staff as receivers coach and co-offensive coordinator with Brian Lindgren. Darian Hagan is the new running backs coach, while former running backs coach Klayton Adams moves to the offensive line and Gary Bernardi takes over tight ends and fullbacks.

They’ll spend the spring installing the offense and evaluating personnel. It won’t be a complete rewrite of the CU playbook, but it will involve some significant change, as well as some scaling down. The idea will be to play faster, spread the field and get CU’s offensive players in space. It won’t all get installed in the spring, but it will be a good start heading into summer and fall.

“It’s about installing the offense, evaluating the offensive line and the receivers and seeing what we have,” Chiaverini said.

“I don’t think we’ll really know until we get out there and we get eight or nine practices in that we’ll begin to figure out exactly what the best pieces to the puzzle are,” Adams said. “But I do know we want to figure out who are the best five people we can put out there and what spots they should be in.”

Injury Report

Below is the list of CU’s injured players, and their status for spring practices.

Players who are a “Full Go”:

TB – Michael Adkins – hamstring – suffered a severe pulled hamstring in the Colorado State game and missed the remainder of the season

FS – Ryan Moeller – assorted – injured in a vehicular accident (riding on a moped that was hit by a car) on Oct. 19; missed the remainder of the season

Players who will miss all of spring practices:

ILB – Addison Gillam – knee – suffered a torn meniscus against Massachusetts (Sept. 12); underwent an arthroscope but needed additional surgery

OLB – Terran Hasselbach – shoulder – surgery to mend to an old injury

DE – Tyler Henington – ankle/leg – suffered dislocation/fracture when accidentally stepping in a hole walking home (July 25); had surgery on July 26

OT – Jeromy Irwin – knee – he suffered a torn ACL in the second quarter against Massachusetts; underwent surgery in late September

QB – Sefo Liufau – foot – suffered a Lisfranc (ligament/bone) injury in his foot against USC (Nov. 13); had surgery Nov. 20; 6-8 month rehab

DL – Blake Robbins – shoulder had postseason surgery on a chronic injury

LB – Travis Talianko – knee – he tore ligaments in conditioning workouts in late July; had surgery on July 28

 

And, in case you missed it … Attrition from last season …

Colorado had 11 seniors entering the 2015 season, but over the course of the year and in the time since, a total of nine other players decided to make the 2015 their last as they were all in position to graduate by this May if not earlier. C Vincent Arvia, OT Ed Caldwell, FB John Finch and WR/H Colin Johnson all decided during early during the 2015 season to play as fourth-year seniors even though they had a year of eligibility remaining.

Since the end of the season, DT Clay Norgard, CB John Walker, DE De’Jon Wilson, CB Yuri Wright, and OT Connor Center all scholarship players, decided to pursue their degrees and pass on their final year of eligibility, as did walk-on DE Garrett Gregory. TE Hayden Jones, also a scholarship sophomore-to-be, has left the team for personal reasons. In addition, two other walk-ons have decided to no longer play, WR Peter Lynch and DL Bryan Wyman.

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12 Replies to “Spring Practice Notes”

    1. Thanks for letting me know.
      I’m having trouble with several of the links. I have an email into my IT wizard, and we’ll see what’s going on …

  1. Not sure if anyone else saw this but there is the spring scrimmage review. Leavitt actually says he is “happy”. He is a real upbeat guy but I don’t ever recall him saying he was “happy” last year. Mostly stuff like “the guys are working hard and improving” or “they are figuring out how they need to practice” or “they are starting to understand my expectations.” I can’t ever remember him saying he was happy. Not positive it wasn’t there but I don’t ever recall him saying that. I literally jumped up from my chair when I heard that comment. If Leavitt believes we are turning the corner we may be in for a really big jump. Maybe something special. How long until football season again?

  2. So I finally watched film of Davis Webb from 2 years ago. If he is our starter next year then I do not see significant improvement from Sefo. He seems to have a better and quicker read than Sefo but I actually think he is less accurate. I am going to practice tomorrow morning. Here is hoping Montez shines……

    I will say Kingsbury’s offense for TT definitely flows better than ours has. If Chev and Lindgen can match the play calling that Kingsbury did then we will improve.

    1. I hope you’re kidding. 3 TD’s and 5 picks and sacked 14 times in limited work. Against a TERRIBLE Wazzu D that allowed 39 a game, Apsay put up three points. Only time without a TD in MM reign. UWub put up 45 against them the next week and they had zero O. 2 picks in first half against Utah as well.

  3. Hey Stuart:

    My son, Brian Mulligan, wrote the copy for the new video!
    Brian is the most recent in a long, long line of Mulligans to graduate from CU.
    Go Buffs!

    Patrick Mulligan

    1. Hey Patrick,
      Congrats to Brian – both on his work with the video and for being another Mulligan Buff!

      Also good to hear from the CU Law School Class of ’87! (Damn, we’re getting old!).

      1. Thanks Stuart:

        My youngest son, Colin, is now a Sophomore at CU, and my oldest son, Mack, will be going back to finish his degree…

        So, lots of Buffs still to go…Keep up the great work, and Go Buffs!!!

        Patrick

  4. I really enjoyed the pre-spring video interviews with Mac. Lots of info I wouldn’t otherwise get. In general, I’m all up in the cool-aid about the upcoming season after watching them. One thing did jump out that concerns me: He stumbled when asked if there was anyone to work on the kickers mechanically currently on staff. He said yes, but almost too quickly, and then his attempt to elaborate was uninspiring to me. If they don’t, would the NCAA allow them to hire a kicking mechanics specialist as an outside consultant?

    Also, wish I knew what Apsay and White did…

    1. Not sure if you saw it but Diego worked with a kicking specialist away from the team. I sense that is what a lot of kickers do. I watched in spring practice and I think his kicks are coming out higher and he was hitting dead center from both the left and right hash marks. My hope is he maintains conact with the outside kicking coach and if he develops something he can always reach out to him during the season.

      1. That’s great, thanks Rob! And yes, I’ve come to feel much more comfortable since writing that comment.

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