Embree pleased after first scrimmage

Colorado completed its first scrimmage of spring football today on the lower practice fields in Boulder. The session was closed to the media and the public but coach Jon Embree took questions from reporters afterward and said he was encouraged by the outing. Get inside for more.

The Colorado offense ran the ball 38 times for 186 yards and quarterbacks Tyler Hansen and Nick Hirschman were efficient in the passing game. All three quarterbacks, including junior transfer Brent Burnette, threw touchdown passes.

Embree said the scrimmage was designed to mimick a game and was not situational. The offense was given the ball at the 30-yard line and asked to drive 70 yards and score. The only parts that were out of the ordinary were not including punting in the scrimmage and kicking field goals in place of extra points.

"I thought we got a lot of good work in today," Embree said. "I'll tell you what. The offense is coming along. I was very pleased with our running game up front. I don't know what we ran for, but I was very pleased with how we ran the ball. We're starting to establish our physical nature."

When sports information director Dave Plati informed Embree the offense had accumulated 186 yards on 38 carries, he said it was a nice start.

"We're getting there," Embree said. "You'd like that number to be around 250, 275. There is work to do, but it's a start."

Embree said a few defensive players suffered minor injuries, which put it at somewhat of a disadvantage.

Asked if his team has adopted the physical nature he covets quicker than he thought it would, Embree had this to say.

"I think they're realizing they're not going to hurt themselves. It's OK to hit and be hit. You're going to get up and live to tell about it. I think there is a little bit of that, and I think they're enjoying it some, too. They're kind of having fun getting after each other."

Embree said one of the reasons he wanted to start spring ball with five consecutive practices without a day off was to test who wanted to be there and who didn't.

"I'm happy the way they've responded and now we've got to pick it back up when we come back," Embree said.

Scoring Summary (S—denotes series number; QB in parenthesis)

S 2 (TH)— Rodney Stewart 2 run (Justin Castor 32 kick) 11-70

S 7 (TH)— Will Jefferson 12 pass from Tyler Hansen (37 yd. kick failed) 8-70

S11 (BB)— Alex Wood 9 pass from Brent Burnette (32 yd. kick failed) 11-70

S12 (NH)— Keenan Canty 4 pass from Nick Hirschman (47 yd. kick failed) 9-70

S15 (…..)— Justin Castor 35 FG ……

S16 (…..)— Justin Castor 38 FG ……

4 touchdowns (1 rush, 3 pass, 0 return; SY—within short-yardage situational drills) Total Plays (including 8 special teams)—95. Time—1:23. Attendance—closed.

CU scrimmage statistics

(86 plays from scrimmage, no punting)

Rushing – Jones 13-76, Ford 8-40, Stewart 10-23, Allen 4-12.

Passing – Hansen 13-19-0 161 yards one touchdown, Hirschman 7-13-0 77 yards one touchdown, Burnette 5-12-0 52 yards one touchdown.

Receiving – Stewart 5-48, Deehan 4-49, Thornton 2-49, Ford 2-23, Espinoza 2-20, Richardson 2-18.

Tackles – Rippy 15 (10 solo, two for loss), Obi 9 (eight solo, three for loss, one sack), Mahnke 6 (four solo, two QB hurries), Polk 6, Jaffee 5.

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