Barnett Talks About What He Expects From CSU

Following Tuesday's practice, CU head coach Gary Barnett spoke about what he expects to see on the field from the Colorado State Rams. The two teams face off Saturday at Folsom Field (1:30 p.m., TBS) in the Rocky Mountain Showdown. Also inside, some notes from Tuesday's practice.

Barnett is 3-3 vs. the Rams since becoming CU's head coach in 1999.

When asked what he expects from the Rams on Saturday, Barnett said:

"I expect them to be a team that wants to run the football. That plays into their hands as a throwing team. When they can run, they're really a good throwing team. Because they throw the ball down the field, and they take away all the underneath coverage with play action and with their run threat.

"If we have to bring a bunch of guys up to stop the run, we'll be on an island back there in the pass game. That's where they want us.

"So we've got to be able to stop the run with seven guys. That's what it boils down to. And that's hard to do."

Barnett also spoke about CSU's defense: "I think we'll see a lot of pressure (from CSU's defense), just like you always do from CSU. They're a three-deep, pressure-you team; they try to get you behind on first down. That's what we're going to see."

Notes
Colorado practiced its final day in full pads before the CSU game. …Freshman cornerback Gardner McKay's paperwork was finally cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse Tuesday, and he was deemed eligible, as Gary Barnett had said he would be. A CU official said Tuesday afternoon that McKay would have to sit out two practices – Tuesday and Wednesday – as a penalty for his high school getting his transcripts to the Clearinghouse past their deadline. However, McKay was allowed to practice Tuesday. Barnett said because McKay had not practiced since Aug. 22 while awaiting the Clearinghouse's word, he had already served the penalty. He will be eligible to play Saturday if called upon. …Meanwhile, junior safety Dominique Brooks tried to practice Tuesday, but Barnett said he struggled, the result of a high-ankle sprain that's not fully healed. It appears he's still doubtful for the CSU game. …Although tailback Kevin Moyd is listed No. 3 on the depth chart, Barnett said Lawrence Vickers would back up Hugh Charles and Byron Ellis Saturday if need be because Moyd, a true freshman, isn't ready.

Hot water
Barnett was not pleased after Tuesday's practice when he learned that two CU players had said something to a reporter that, when printed, reportedly drew some ire of CSU players.

In a story about the intensity of the CU-CSU rivalry by B.G. Brooks that appeared in Monday's Rocky Mountain News, Gardner McKay was quoted: "I didn't know how big (a game) it was. Then, in camp, each and every day, we had a speech by one of the coaches.

"One of them said, 'It's like playing your little brother from across the street.' I know it's a big game. I learned that very, very quick; it went right to my head."

Sophomore Alonzo Barrett added in the RMN story, "Every year, freshmen get in camp, hear coaches talking about it, saying they're our little brothers and we have to keep them in line and everything. . . ."

Barnett said he hadn't read the story when asked about the quotes Tuesday after practice. After a reporter explained the nature of the quotes, Barnett grew miffed.

"I don't think (trash talk) is good for anybody," Barnett said. "I don't want our guys doing it, and I'm sure Sonny (Lubick) doesn't want his guys doing it.

"Neither one of those guys (McKay and Barrett) have played a lick in those (CU-CSU) games hardly. So they had no right to say anything."

To read the full story in the RMN, follow this link: RMN Story


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