Notes: Productive Scrimmage, Despite Injury to Evans

An injury to junior running back Kyle Evans put a damper on an otherwise beautiful Saturday morning in Folsom Field, as the Buffaloes' conducted their first full-scrimmage of spring ball.

Evans, a former walk-on that accounted for 460 yards of offense as Phillip Lindsay's back-up in 2016, was taken to the hospital in an ambulance.

I don't know how bad Kyle got hurt,” said Buffs head coach Mike MacIntyre, adding that it is believed to be a hip injury. “It was a downer but I thought overall we got better today. We did a bunch of different situations and got a lot accomplished on that side of it.”

MacIntyre said Steven Montez “threw the ball well” during the scrum, and co-offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini said the other quarterbacks on the roster this spring – Sam Noyer, Tyler Lytle and Casey Marksberry – have been making plays consistently.

Lytle made a nice play today. Moving to his left, he threw a deep ball and hit Xavier [Cochrane] down the middle,” Chiaverini said. “Sam Noyer has made a lot of progress. All of the quarterbacks have elevated their game.”

Naturally, given his experience, Montez is “further ahead” and it would take a surprising development for him not to win the starting job. A decision on who will serve as the back-up quarterback will not be made this spring, according to MacIntyre.

We'll still keep giving them reps through at least the first half of [preseason practices] until we made that decision,” MacIntyre said. “All the guys we have can really throw it and have excellent capabilities so I feel good about the quarterback position.”

Eliot Adjusting on the Fly

To make the transition to a new defensive coordinator easier, DJ Eliot came in and decided to learn the terminology and play-calls CU had been using on defense, instead of making the defensive players learn the language he used at Kentucky.

Seven spring practices in, Eliot is becoming fluent in the Buffs' play-calling. But he did admit to one mistake during Saturday's scrimmage, which marked the first time this spring the coaches were on the sidelines instead of on the field with the players.

It was really bad. In the heat of battle, I went to an old signal and the players looked at me like, 'What are you talking about?'” Eliot said with a sheepish smile. “I didn't realize I had messed up until after they snapped the ball. But aside from that it was good. Only one mess up today for me.

As a whole we have definitely seen progress since the beginning of spring ball. Some of the new players are still a ways away so we definitely have a lot of work left but I think we're right on track. We've got the players headed in the right direction and I am excited about the future.”

Eliot's eyes lit up when asked how he has been meshing with new inside linebackers coach Ross Els, who was officially named to the Buffaloes' staff just last Friday.

He is an awesome guy,” Eliot said of Els. “He has a lot of experience and is both an excellent inside linebackers coach and does a fabulous job with the special teams. He is a great staff guy. I am so glad he's here.”

Additional Notes

*** Chiaverini praised the play of wide receivers Lee Walker and Kabion Ento this spring. Both players were in danger of getting buried on the depth chart had they not shown up and performed, prior to the arrival of three talented receiver signees. Ento had two touchdown grabs on Saturday, on a three-yard pass from Lytle and a 35-yard pass from Noyer.

Kabion has really made some big strides,” Chiaverini said. “He is a great young man that works hard in the classroom, works hard on the field and he just keeps making plays.”

*** One group that did not have a stellar scrimmage was the Buffaloes' place kickers, who also struggled at times during the 2016 campaign.

The punting was good. The field-goal [kicking] was not as good as I would have liked,” MacIntyre said.

*** After playing outside linebacker as a sophomore last fall, N.J. Falo has been working this spring at Jack, an inside linebacker position. MacIntyre admits they are not sure where he will factor in next season.

He can always go back outside,” MacIntyre said. “He understands [outside linebacker] real well but we just wanted him to get more practice at inside [linebacker].”

*** During bowl practices, Chiaverini said the Buffaloes' tempo on offense can go even faster than it did in 2016. But in order for that to happen, the offense has to be working efficiently.

You have to stay on the field, you have to get first downs and we did some of that today and then there were other times where we missed some throws and it hurt our tempo,” Chiaverini said. “It is just continuing to fine tune it.”

*** The Buffs will practice on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday next week.

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