"Everything's kind of slowing down right now. Everything's clicking right now," said the athletic quarterback.
His position coach, Shawn Watson, said Cox has established himself at this point as the No. 2 quarterback behind Joel Klatt.
"He's a totally different guy (from last year)," Watson said. "He's separated himself from the rest of the pack at No. 2. I'm really proud of him. I think it's maturity, bottom line."
While Cox showed great escapability Saturday, he missed on a couple of pass plays that would have really put him over the top in terms of overall performance. At the end of one scramble out of what looked like a sure sack, Cox underthrew a receiver, who could have scored. Cox ended with 52 yards on 7-of-12 passes.
Still, the sophomore's performance over the past few weeks has Watson saying positive things about the quarterback situation.
"I think we've got two guys we can win with right now," he said, referring to Klatt and Cox.
More on quarterbacks
The receiving corps was severely thinned Saturday, due to injuries. However, it was possible to get a read on how the five quarterbacks are doing. Klatt looked sharp running the offense and throwing the ball in his first two series. Later, he threw a couple of balls that he probably shouldn't have, one of which was intercepted.
As stated earlier, Cox looks like a different player from even six months ago — confident, strong and developing a sense of when the rush is closing in. He missed a couple of passes that would have been big gains, however.
Erik Greenberg was the third QB to play and seemed to struggle Saturday. Bernard Jackson was the fourth, and struggled throwing the ball on his first series. He got outside and picked up good yardage on one scramble in his second series. Jackson had the longest pass completion (and overall play) of the day, a 43-yarder to Nick Holz. However, that's misleading, as Jackson threw a floater that should have been intercepted. Instead, S Chris Russell bobbled the ball and it landed in Holz's arms. Brian White was the fifth QB to play, and may have looked the sharpest of all the quarterbacks, in terms of his throws. The offense was efficient on his two series, and that meant he didn't get as many snaps as the others.
Here's a list of who was on the field on the first play. The offense was in a two tight-end, one back set.
OFFENSE: QB Klatt, WR Judge, Monteilh, TE Klopfenstein, Wallace, C Fenton, G Daniels, Guydon, T O'Neal, Wilder, RB Purify
DEFENSE: NT Manupuna, DT McChesney, DE Ligon, Garee, LB Washington, Dawn, Iwuh, S Henderson, Brooks, C Joseph, Burl.
The biggest surprise is Henderson, who has moved to No. 1 at one of the safety spots. Keep in mind that a number of players shuffled in and out of the first units on both sides of the ball throughout the morning, including S Billingsley and DE Wright on defense, and WR Duren, RB Vickers on offense.
Team looks deeper
While there were a few mental errors Saturday, it became obvious as the morning workout wore on that this team looks better than it did a year ago this time. That's especially true of the second and third-teamers. Overall, the play didn't turn sloppy after the ones left the field, and several Buffs not running with the first team look like they will be legitimate contributors in the fall.
Asked if he thought the twos looked better than last year, Watson didn't hesitate: "Way better; it ain't even close," he said.
He went on to explain that last year, with its small class of seniors, served to develop a lot of young players who are now starting to come into their own.
"What's happening is you lose a small class of seniors, and then you've got everybody back," Watson said. "It's like having the (entire) team back. We went through this in 2001. You go through cycles because of the 85 scholarship limitations. A lot of the development has taken place."
Especially important this spring is the development of the offensive line. Saturday, the first team looked good, overall. Running backs had running lanes on the interior, and the pass protection seemed decent. Watson praised the unit's attitude and effort, and said it was much better than last season.
"The one thing that we didn't have last year on a consistent basis and that we're getting on an every down basis is attitude and effort," he said. "Our kids are playing fast and they're giving us everything they have. And when you've got that, you've got a chance."
He said there is still much work to be done in two areas — fundamental technique and assignments. But Watson was upbeat about the progress so far.
"I've got an offensive line coach that's never happy," Watson said. " He's a grumpy dude right now. And I love that. Because of Dave Borbely, we've got a chance to be really good."
Whereas a safety or cornerback has led the Buffs in tackles the past two years in a row when CU played the 4-2-5 defense, a defensive tackle or linebacker has racked up the most tackles in two scrimmages this spring. It may be too early to call this a trend, and it may in part reflect how CU's passing game has been limited with injuries, but it's a good sign that defensive players closer to the line of scrimmage are making more plays than the guys covering the back end.
RB Bobby Purify has always had deceptive strength, but looks even a little stronger. It's easy to like RB Isaiah Crawford's style. He's small, but quick and really tough up the middle. RB Brandon Caesar has nice combo skills, he's a little shifty, but also has some size. He made a number of nice runs up the middle. ...DT Matt McChesney is coming off the line of scrimmage well. ... DE James Garee is moving inside alongside the NT during third-down pass rush situations. That puts three skilled pass rushers on the field. ...LB Thad Washington had the big hit of the day, and it came early on when he leveled WR Evan Judge. Judge didn't get up right away, was helped off the field, but returned to action later. ... I'm not sure how much he'll play in the fall (maybe he will, who knows?), but WR Mike Duren looked quick and effective. ... OL Brian Daniels is a gentleman off the field, but he's got a mean streak when he puts on the pads. ...Terrance Barreau was playing center with the second team. … Whether or not he's in the starting lineup at defensive end vs. Colorado State, Abraham Wright looks like he'll make an impact on this team next season.
One player, DT MacKenzie Tilmon, (shoulder sprain) was injured and didn't return to action. It looked like eight players didn't participate because of earlier injuries, including RB Brian Calhoun knee sprain, WR Tyler Littlehales, back; WR Blake Mackey, foot; WR Stephone Robinson, hamstring; LB Chris Hollis, foot; QB Ryan Walters. WR Dusty Sprague participated as a holder on field goals, but didn't see action other than that after coming down with some kind of infection.