With spring practice underway, players voice confidence in line’s ability
Going into spring football this year, the Buffs needed to answer some questions about their offensive plan.
The Buffs averaged only 16.3 points per game last season and scored only 20 touchdowns, which landed the team last in both statistical categories for the Big 12 Conference. CU averaged only 118.5 passing yards per game, which was also last in the Big 12 Conference.
Junior quarterback Nick Nelson talked about what he has seen with the Buffs’ passing game this spring.
“I think the team is doing a great job. Guys aren’t dropping too many balls. All the quarterbacks are most of the time making the right reads and everything,” Nelson said. “I think the passing game from what I’ve heard has improved a lot since last spring.”
Nelson transferred to CU and is competing for the starting position with redshirt freshman Cody Hawkins.
“It’s really between them two. They’re really doing a great job coming along. I don’t really have a favorite right now, but they are both doing good,” said Hugh Charles, a senior tailback.
However, the battle between Nelson and Hawkins will continue.
“Me and Cody are still battling. It’s probably still 50-50 right now. He’s done a great job. He’s a good guy and everything,” Nelson said.
The competition for the starting position is allowing both quarterbacks to improve, and Nelson said he is picking up things well this spring.
“Competition just makes anyone better because you got to up your level that much more in order to beat the guy,” Nelson said. “All in all, we’re both doing a great job competing and we’re both getting better because of it.”
As for the running game, the Buffs are looking mostly to maintain consistency. The Buffs were fifth in the Big 12 Conference in rushing yards per game, averaging 172.9 yards per game.
“Coach Grimes is really trying to emphasize for the offensive line to get a push, give it all they got and make a pocket,” Charles said.
Charles said for the most part, the offensive line is doing well with their assignments, but there are still some critiques with pass blocking.
Senior Bernard Jackson appears to be filling a utility this spring, playing receiver, tailback and quarterback, Nelson and Charles said. Last season, Jackson completed only 49.3 percent of his passes and threw only seven touchdowns.
There seems to be a general feeling among the players that the offense is really starting to come along this season. Sophomore wide receiver Jarrell Yates talked about the offense.
“Our offensive is a million times advanced from what it was last year. As soon as we started spring ball, we could tell right away that everybody is ready,” Yates said.
Contact Campus Press staff writer Kyle McDaniel at firstname.lastname@example.org.