Scouting Justin Holland

With just five days remaining before they suit up in game jerseys and face off with Colorado State, the Buffs went through another physical practice Tuesday. Also, <!--Default NodeId For Bobby Purify is 1223510,2004--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:1223510]><b>Bobby Purify</A></b> was named to the Doak Walker Preseason watch list. We also get a couple of CU's defensive coaches' takes on CSU quarterback Justin Holland.

"It was a really, really good practice," head coach Gary Barnett said. "I had to calm ‘em down."

Goal line scrimmage situations proved to be the most competitive aspect Tuesday.

"They weren't supposed to tackle, but they were (tackling)," Barnett said. "We had a lot of contact today in full pads.

"I'd rather have it that way than the other way, having to beg them to tackle. Anytime you go on the goal line, guys get over anxious."

Barnett said coaches made some personnel moves in the punt and kick protection units, but wouldn't elaborate on what the moves were. They were prompted by the units' poor performance in Friday's situational scrimmage.

"We've addressed it with some personnel changes," Barnett said. "But some of that you can't do much about. They're not going to do it live until the game. It's just one of those situations."

Also on Tuesday, sophomore wide receiver Tyler Littlehales was back practicing at full speed after missing Monday's practice, healing from a slight knee injury he suffered in Friday's scrimmage.

Purify on Doak Walker Preseason List
For the second straight year, RB Bobby Purify has been named to the Doak Walker Preseason watch list, it was announced Tuesday. He's one of 42 players on the list. One running back will receive the award at the conclusion of the season.

Barnett said he wasn't surprised Purify was named.

"I don't know how they do those lists, but I'm sure it's a big list at this point," Barnett said. "And they probably want to make sure they've got everybody on that list that could possibly win it because they don't want somebody to win it that wasn't on it.

"But the things that (Purify has) done here would merit that kind of listing."

With Colorado's backfield filled with potential ball carriers, one major obstacle for Purify to earn postseason honors could be that he wouldn't get enough carries to warrant that kind of attention. But you never know. In 2002, Chris Brown was runner-up for the Doak Walker Award after rushing for 1,744 yards out of a backfield that shared the ball. Purify was second on the team that season with 739 yards.

Asked if CU running backs were going to share the load this year, however, Barnett said, "I don't know that we know that going into the season right now. I don't think there's any way to know if that's going to happen or not."

For his part, Purify, a fifth-year senior, said he was honored, but would rather have his name on an athletic honor list in December.

"It's only a preseason thing," Purify said. "What matters is the postseason."

Scouting Justin Holland
Colorado State starting quarterback Justin Holland will be a new face in the lineup against Colorado Saturday, but certainly no stranger to the Buffs. Holland set the Colorado state high school passing mark, throwing for more than 10,000 yards as a four-year starter at Bear Creek High School.

Now a third-year junior at CSU, Holland will try and move out from under the shadow of graduated CSU QB Bradlee Van Pelt and fulfill the promise he had coming out of high school.

But Saturday won't be Holland's first career start. That came in December vs. Boston College in the San Francisco Bowl. Holland threw for 79 yards in that game before an ill-timed interception caused CSU coaches to go to Van Pelt, who was recovering from an injury, in the game.

CU defensive coordinator Mike Hankwitz knows the Buffs won't be facing a rookie signal-caller Saturday.

"He's a guy who's studied the game and paid his dues. He's impressed us," Hankwitz said Tuesday. "I don't consider him an inexperienced guy. He's played in a lot of games in a lot of different situations. He just hasn't gone in the game when they're running the clock out or during garbage time."

In the past two seasons, Holland has played in 19 games, and completed 70-of-115 passes for 861 yards. He's thrown seven touchdowns and seven interceptions.

Holland doesn't share Van Pelt's colorful personality, and neither does he share the former Rams' running ability. Holland is a pure drop-back passer, and a gifted one.

So impressed has CSU offensive coordinator Dan Hammerschmidt been working with Holland the past three years that he told Rams Illustrated, "I really believe he can be the best passer we've ever had," over the summer.

And Colorado expects to face a quarterback in Holland that won't tuck it and run like Van Pelt often did. But that doesn't mean they're expecting a wholesale change in the CSU offense on Saturday.

"I expect them to still do what CSU always does, and that's establish a great running game," said CU defensive line coach Chris Wilson. "I don't see them changing that.

"We've played against three Heisman Trophy winners since I've been here (Eric Crouch, Carson Palmer and Jason White), and a couple first round draft picks in David Carr and Joey Harrington," Wilson continued. "They didn't throw the ball 60 times, and I don't anticipate these guys to come in here and throw it all over the field. I do expect them to set up the run game, play-action pass and do what they've always done."

Sentimental Return? Don't Bet on it
For Hankwitz, Saturday will mark the first time he's coached in a game at Folsom wearing the Colorado logo since he left after the 1994 season. But even though the 56-year old has a lot of fond memories from his first go around in Boulder on Bill McCartney's staff, he doesn't expect to get caught up in the moment of being back in front of 50,000 fans in his old stomping grounds.

"I'll be thinking more about CSU," he said. "I'm happy to be back, but I'll be thinking so much about CSU that I probably won't be thinking about that aspect of it."


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