Will coaches keep tinkering?

Left tackle Nate Solder produced 18 knockdown blocks in a win over Hawaii last week. The offensive line played better overall and after a big win, players sounded happy to be running the ball. How much will coaches continue to tinker with the lineup? Get inside for more.

"We'll see. You know me, I don't like anything to be settled," coach Dan Hawkins said when asked whether the offensive line was settled after three games. "I think you have to continue to keep playing and play well and give guys opportunities to earn shots."

Colorado has used three different starting lineups on the offensive line so far this season. The latest edition was easily the most successful producing 252 rushing yards, but that might have had something to do with Hawaii featuring a young defensive front.

Junior Mike Iltis took over at center before the last game and performed well. Junior Ethan Adkins has been up and down at guard over the past two years but keeps fighting his way back into the lineup whenever coaches take him out. He remains the starter at left guard for now.

"Mike played pretty well in there, did a nice job," Hawkins said. "I thought Ethan stepped up. Obviously, our O-line particularly in the second half, was pretty dominant."

Nate Solder might be the only player on the line who is untouchable as a starter. Solder had a bad game against Cal, but redeemed himself against Hawaii.

Ryan Miller is solid in the running game, but needs work as a pass blocker. He doesn't have quick feet and that becomes a problem at times.

Hawkins has been impressed with redshirt freshman David Bakhtiari who has started all three games, the first of his college career, at right tackle. Bakhtiari is holding off a healthy Bryce Givens in the competition for playing time.

"He's doing a nice job he really has," Hawkins said. "He's stepped up and played well, been pretty consistent and a smart guy. Athletic strong, so he's done a real good job.

"He'd kind of fended off a fierce battle with Bryce there and we'd still like to have some opportunities to get Bryce back in the mix as well, but David has done a really good job."


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