All summer CU players and coaches raved about what was supposed to be a much-improved offensive line. Two games, eight sacks and one banged-up quarterback later, there seems to be little difference from 2009.
“Those guys are great guys and want to win just as much as I do; they’ll get better,” said CU junior quarterback Hansen, who hyper-extended his knee on a touchdown run during Saturday’s game.
Hansen said the knee is fine and he does not even plan on wearing a brace for the Hawaii game.
A group one year removed from allowing 44 sacks, and limiting a run game that finished last in the Big 12, has a lot of work to do.
At his weekly Tuesday press conference, coach Dan Hawkins addressed the fact that the offensive line has work to do. But he said it is not time to blowup yet.
“There’s a time and place for yelling and screaming,” Hawkins said. “And there’s a time and place for teaching. We’ve got good kids and they want to do the right thing.”
Hawkins also emphasized how impressed he has been with his defense thus far. The 52 points put up by Cal is somewhat misleading, considering the Bears defense outscored the Buffs offense with two return touchdowns and created four turnovers in total.
Colorado is in for a test this week as Hawaii hung 588 yards against an always-talented USC defense.
“They’re [Hawaii] probably as dynamic right now as they’ve ever been,” Hawkins said.
Hawaii is led offensively by junior quarterback Bryant Moniz and senior All-WAC wide out Greg Salas. Moniz is quick with his legs and has yet to turn the ball over in the air.
Hawkins mentioned how the defense has been put under pressure by an offense that could maintain possession of the ball against Cal.
“It’s hard because you’re hanging in there and hanging in there,” Hawkins said. “It’s just hard to keep answering the bell every single time when you’re not getting much from the other end.”
To help, CU will count on the little back that could, junior Rodney Stewart, whose longest rush of the season is only 10 yards. A good amount of prolonged runs can also help the offensive line get some confidence back.
“They’re sick of whether it be guys in the locker-room or people from the outside saying it’s their fault,” said senior receiver Scotty McKnight. “It’s never solely on one position, but I think that did get under their skin a little bit. They want to let Tyler feel comfortable in the pocket and let the team know they’re going to do a good job.”
Hawaii’s defense has yet to force an interception and has registered one sack in two games. This first game at Folsom presents a golden opportunity for the offensive line to recuperate from the beating Cal gave them. Hawaii head coach Greg McMackin said in his weekly presser that he expects to get the brunt of CU’s anger.
“If I’m Colorado, I’d be really upset and embarrassed [after the lopsided loss to Cal] and try to play my best ball,” McMackin said. “They have some good players and they’re playing at home.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Michael Krumholtz at Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org.