Practice Notes

CU coach Gary Barnett knew that junior <!--Default NodeId For Joel Klatt is 1221025,2004--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:1221025]>Joel Klatt</A> would start at quarterback vs. <!--Default NodeId For Texas A&M is 372,2004--><A HREF=http://tamu.TheInsiders.com>Texas A&M</A> directly following Colorado's win over <!--Default NodeId For Iowa State is 364,2004--><A HREF=http://iowastate.TheInsiders.com>Iowa State</A> Saturday. He made the decision public Monday. Also inside, notes from Monday's practice.

Klatt was benched in favor of sophomore James Cox last week, but replaced Cox late in the second quarter of that game after Cox threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown.

Barnett also said Monday that senior running back Bobby Purify's status for Saturday's game at A&M was the same prior to last week, when he didn't practice with contact but started and played most of the first half against Iowa State.

Kyle Field Fun
Texas A&M's Kyle Field has the reputation of one of the most difficult places for opposing teams to play. CU has had success there, winning both times the Buffs have visited (1996, 2000).

Asked Monday if any of the Colorado players on the current roster had been with the team when CU beat A&M in 2000, Barnett figured only fifth year seniors Matt McChesney and Sam Wilder made the trip.

Several Colorado players, however, are familiar with the Texas A&M game day traditions, as CU has 17 players on its roster from the Lone Star state.

CU linebacker Akarika Dawn grew up 100 miles from Texas A&M, and has attended games at Kyle Field. The Aggies fans have a tradition of standing for the entire game.

"They've got one section going this way, and the next section going the other," Dawn said. "They choreograph it to where everyone is swaying a different way. It looks like the stadium is about to fall over.

"They make noise for no reason."

Barnett said the Buffs are used to playing in hostile environments, however.

"We played at Florida State last year," he said. "We play in big arenas."

He said the team will most likely try and simulate the noise they'll encounter in Texas by playing taped crowd noise at Thursday's practice in Folsom Stadium.

Jackson Punt Return Status
Out of nowhere, redshirt-freshman Bernard Jackson had earned himself a shot at punt returner prior to the North Texas game. But Jackson suffered a dislocated elbow on his only attempt in the win over UNT.

He has been able to participate in practice since last week, but punt return coach Brian Cabral said Jackson wasn't well enough last week to earn another look at returner.

He said Monday there was a possibility Jackson was well enough to get a look for Saturday's game at Texas A&M, but he didn't for sure know yet.

Redshirt-freshman Stephone Robinson is ninth in the Big 12 (66th in the nation) in punt returning, averaging 7.8 yards per return.

Washington's Maturation Process Earns Him PT
Sophomore linebacker Thaddaeus Washington earned a starting spot the past two games at inside linebacker, where he's rotated with Jordon Dizon and Akarika Dawn, and Walter-Boye-Doe this past Saturday. Washington has responded by leading the Buffs in tackles each of the past two weeks. He has 34 total tackles on the season, and 18 in the past two games.

"I'm having a lot of fun playing, just being out there with the guys," Washington said Monday.

Washington drew the start the past two games in part because he's the team's most physical linebacker, and is good against the run — an aspect that Oklahoma State and Iowa State featured.

Linebackers coach Brian Cabral also said he's seen Washington finally understanding the kind of effort necessary every week. That maturity has earned him playing time.

"He's improving in every way," Cabral said. "One, his effort is improving. His understanding of the game is improving. His understanding of what it takes to play is improving. He's just slowly maturing, basically."

Crosby's 60-yarder is 2004's Longest
CU SID Dave Plati did some research Sunday and discovered that Mason Crosby's 60-yard kick vs. Iowa State is the longest in NCAA Division I so far this season. Crosby's four 50+ yarders are the most this season.

In all, Crosby has two of the three longest, and three of the top seven longest field goals in 2004.