Colorado's players were given two days off before a strength-and-conditioning session on Tuesday and a full practice on Wednesday morning.
“This late in the season is a good place to have it,” Buffs head coach Mike MacIntyre said of their bye. “It is interesting, though, I have never been through a bye week like this where we play on a Thursday. Really, in a way, we kind of have an extra reprieve the next week, too. That will help our guys keep recovering.”
Colorado will host UCLA at Folsom Field next Thursday at 7 pm, a game that will be televised nationally on FS1. The Buffs will then travel to Tucson to play the Wildcats on Nov. 12, so they will play just one game over the course of a 20 day stretch between the Stanford and Arizona contests.
It is quite the change from last season when, because of the Hawaii road game, the Buffaloes played 13 straight weeks without a bye.
“We have to stay in rhythm on offense. You get concerned about getting out of rhythm so the way we practice will keep us in rhythm,” MacIntyre said. “We have to keep working to get ready for UCLA defensively because they kind of changed their offense. Earlier in the year, they were running more and now they are throwing it 70 times a game. … And then of course we have to keep working on our special teams stuff.”
The Buffs' veteran group has not shown any signs of complacency through eight games, and MacIntyre does not anticipate it being an issue as a result of the break in action. Colorado remains tied for the Pac-12 South Division lead.
“They have everything in front of them they always dreamed of and they worked so hard to get here. They don't take it for granted,” MacIntyre said. “[Being in the Pac-12 South race] is not a common occurrence [here]. Ask me in about three years [if my players are getting complacent] and if I am having to stay on them harder... I hope it is a common occurrence then. These guys are staying on each other, which is awesome.”
Additional notes -
*** Utah, the other co-leader in the Pac-12 South right now, is set to host undefeated Washington this Saturday afternoon. MacIntyre was asked if they will be doing any scoreboard watching this weekend.
“It is a great question, it is human nature to do so but you can't watch scoreboards,” MacIntyre said. “It doesn't matter what happens this weekend, it really doesn't. If we keep winning the games that we have to play, then we'll take care of ourselves and that is what we need to do. We don't need to hope anybody else does anything.”
*** In all three of Colorado's previous games against UCLA under MacIntyre, the Buffs were competitive against the Bruins. But they lost all three. Colorado lost to UCLA in triple-overtime in 2014 and the Buffs had a fourth quarter lead over the Bruins last fall.
“They were some unbelievable football games and it'll be another great game next Thursday. I just hope we come out on top this time,” MacIntyre said.
*** Phillip Lindsay rushed for 131 yards on 12 carries last Saturday at Stanford before an ankle injury sidelined him in the second half. The junior tailback is not expected to miss any more game action because of the ailment.
“He has been getting treatment every day,” MacIntyre said of Lindsay. “He practiced today but we gave him limited reps. But it is not a bad ankle sprain at all, which is good. And he is so tough, but he felt good today.”
*** Earlier this week, senior safety Tedric Thompson was named the Pac-12's Defensive Player of the Week for his two interception performance against the Cardinal. He was the fifth Colorado player to earn conference Player of the Week honors this season, joining Lindsay (offensive), Sefo Liufau (offensive), Steven Montez (offensive) and Davis Price (special teams).
"I tell them all the time, 'The more we all get together as a team, the more everybody plays their role the best they can, then all the individual accolades will come.' So it is good to see," MacIntyre said. “Tedric has had a phenomenal season. He has played a lot of football here for us and has grown up and gotten better and better and better. It is really exciting to see how he has grown into a man, on and off the field. He is doing excellent.”