Colorado Preview

Colorado heads to Tempe this weekend with a little revenge in mind. Arizona State came away with a 21-3 win in Boulder a year ago, which only added to the frustrations of then new skipper Dan Hawkins. Fast forward a year later and the Buffaloes appear to have benefited from a year of tribulations. Hawkins brings in a hungrier squad, albeit younger, that will be ASU's toughest non-conference foe.


Head Coach: Dan Hawkins
2007 Record: 1-0
Last Week: Colorado took down in-state rival Colorado State in overtime, 31-28.

*Projected Starters

WR Patrick Williams, Jr.
WR Scotty McKnight, RS-Fr.
LT Tyler Polumbus, Sr.
LG Wes Palazzi, RS-Fr.
C Daniel Sanders, Jr.
RG Devin Head, So.
RT Edwin Harrison, Sr.
TE Riar Greer, So.
QB Cody Hawkins, RS-Fr.
TB Demetrius Sumler, RS-Fr.
FB Samson Jagoras, Sr.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Cody Hawkins' 60-0 record, which dates back to sixth grade, as a starter is impressive. Hawkins rallied his Colorado teammates in the second half last week and led them to their first win of the season, only the third victory under second-year skipper Dan Hawkins. The younger Hawkins completed 18 of 31 attempts for 201 yards and 2 touchdowns in his debut. The signal-caller was sacked only once and appears to be a capable leader of the offense if given time in the pocket.

Invited walk-on receiver Scotty McKnight made a great first impression last Saturday against the Rams. The redshirt freshman caught 8 passes for 106 yards a touchdown. McKnight will join Williams, who had 5 receptions in the Colorado State game, as a starter this week. Tight end Riar Greer is developing into a solid option through the air after leading the Buffaloes in receiving as a redshirt freshman in ‘06 with 261 yards and 3 scores. Dusty Sprague, Cody Crawford, and Alvin Barnett fill out the depth at receiver. Former defensive back Cha'pelle Brown was moved to offense to help bolster the group while reserve quarterback Bernard Jackson can also line up at receiver with his athleticism.

Tailback Demetrius Sumler will get the start this week if senior Hugh Charles isn't ready to play. Charles injured his hamstring last week, which opened the door for Sumler, a redshirt freshman, to rush for 85 yards and 1 touchdown on 16 attempts for the Buffaloes. Charles was the team's leading rusher last year, netting 779 yards on the ground. Senior Byron Ellis rounds out the depth and may get some carries depending on the injury situation.

*Projected Starters

DE Maurice Lucas, Jr.
DT George Hypolite, Jr.
NT Brandon Nicolas, Jr.
DE Alonzo Barrett, Sr.
LB Jordon Dizon, Sr.
LB R.J. Brown, Jr.
LB Brad Jones, Jr.
FS Ryan Walters, Jr.
SS Daniel Dykes, Jr.
CB Terrence Wheatley, Sr.
CB Benjamin Burney, Jr.

Brandon Nicolas and George Hypolite, both juniors, return as starters at the two defensive tackle spots this season. Nicolas, a Notre Dame transfer, collected 5 stops last week against the Rams while Hypolite was active as well in gathering six tackles and a sack. Both tackles figure to get a significant amount of playing time as the depth behind the two juniors is relatively unproven with sophomores Taj Kaynor and Jason Bruce. At defensive end, the Buffs are rebuilding in a way after losing All Big 12 first-teamer Abraham Wright, who had 11.5 sacks in 2006. Maurice Lucas and Alonzo Barrett are slated to start this Saturday. Lucas, a junior, had a fine start to the season last week after registering eight tackles, including 2 quarterback sacks.

The linebacker unit looks to be one of the strengths again for Colorado despite losing a starter from a year ago in Thaddaeus Washington. Senior Jordon Dizon has a nose for the ball and is one of the more talented linebackers the Devils will face this year. Dizon is on a tear lately, collecting 22 tackles and forcing a fumble in the rivalry game last week, which is a nice head start in eclipsing last years total of 137 tackles. Juniors Brad Jones and R.J. Brown can also pack a punch alongside Dizon. The two combined for 14 stops in week one. Sophomore Michael Spili figured to be in the mix after finishing up last season strongly but his suspension has opened the door for reserves Jeff Smart and Jake Duren.

Keep an eye on Terrence Wheatley, the talented cornerback out of Texas. The senior has sub 4.4 speed and apparently has an axe to grind with former secondary coach and current ASU defensive coordinator Craig Bray. Wheatley says he "didn't always see eye to eye" with Bray while he was coaching in Boulder, which looks like it may have given him some added motivation for this Saturday's game. Despite any side stories to this contest, Wheatley's performance on the field is enough to warrant attention from the opposition after recording 11 pass break ups and five interceptions a year ago. Free safety Ryan Walters also joins Wheatley as a returning starter in the secondary. Walters matched Wheatley's 57 tackles in 10 starts last season. Strong safety Daniel Dykes collected nine stops last week in his first action as a Buffalo. The junior sat out last year after transferring from Idaho.

P Matt DiLallo, So.
PK Kevin Eberhart, Sr.

PR Chase McBride, Sr.
KR Terrence Wheatley, Sr.

The Buffs lost a familiar face in All-American place kicker Mason Crosby. Kevin Eberhart must fill some big shoes this year but the senior wasn't all nerves in his first action of the season. Eberhart connected on 3 of his 4 attempts last Saturday with his only miss coming from beyond 40+ yards. Punter Matt DiLallo is back after getting a season full of reps as a redshirt freshman last fall. DiLallo averaged 43.7 yards per punt in ‘06.

Terrence Wheatley showed a few glimpses last week of what he's capable of if given just a small amount of room to run. The speedy corner returned three kickoffs for an average of 45 yards per return. His longest went for 68 yards. Chase McBride also had some success returning 3 punts for an average of just under 21 yards each.

Sun Devil Source Top Stories