Gary Barnett: What an exciting game. Just a classic college football game. It's the way rivalry games are supposed to be played.
CSU was just really steady. Other than the picks, which helped us, they were a hardnosed, tough football team. I thought they played really courageously here. I've got to say the same thing about our club.
We overcame so many of our own mistakes out there, it's amazing we could overcome all those and still win the football game. We've got to address that sloppy play that put us in those situations. We had tremendous momentum there early in the game, and we had three straight penalties.
It took our momentum away and Colorado State was really good and took advantage of it.
In the end it comes down to a heckuva football game, and that's why Mason Crosby is an All-American.
We made a boatload of mistakes, but I'm really, really, really proud of this football team for the way they hung in there and kept making plays. I think we had four picks, all at critical times. We were able to convert a couple plays. Then the little guy, Hugh Charles, showed why I'm so excited about him. We have to no straighten up that sloppy play, enjoy this victory and get on with it.
But we saw enough out there to know that if we fight like that and eliminate some mistakes, we can be a pretty decent team.
Give the Rams hard, they fought hard.
Q: Were you giving Justin Holland different reads?
GB: Not really. We're just so much further along in our secondary coverage. And we had a couple pressures that we thought worked early, but then we weren't able to get to him at the end, and he was able to move the ball. I'd have to look at it and see how many (interceptions) were his mistakes and how many were where we had the right coverage. But it was a big change from last year. He's a heckuva player.
Q: Do you attribute the mistakes to nerves?
GB: I don't know. I've got to go back and say it's the lack of scrimmaging perhaps, not having officials out there (in practice). If you don't scrimmage, you don't know what the consequences are (for mistakes). I've got to take that and say I rolled the dice on it and blew it.
Q: Did it appear Hugh Charles got stronger or more comfortable as the game wore on?
GB: I think more comfortable is the word. He started seeing things. You can see how strong he is, and he runs pretty low. He made some plays in there and kept his feet. I just truly believe he's going to get better as he keeps playing.
Q: Is Brian Daniels OK? And after he left, did it take a while to adjust?
GB: Brian's absence certainly affected us. We've got eight linemen, really, and we ended up plying all the them. It was really hot. We were pretty strong there at the end, and Greg Finnegan, his conditioning work during the summer, it really paid off. I thought those guys, for not playing a lot, Edwin Harrison and Daniel Sanders and Gary Moore, did a great job.
Q: At what point were you willing to send Crosby out there?
GB: Across the 50. But on that last drive, I would've sent him out there wherever it was.
Q: More on the kicking game
GB: We don't take it for granted. John (Torp's) punting was good as well. If we could've fielded that squib kick cleanly, I think we might've taken it to the house. But we did a great job with that. It's 35-percent of the game. We spend close to that in practice on it. Every once in a while it pays off, like today.
Q: Has a team ever had so much respect for a kicker as yours does for Mason Crosby?
GB: Our team's had respect for Mason since the first day he got here and started kicking 60-yarders in practice. They just stand and watch him kick in practice. He's an unbelievable weapon.
Q: How important was the two-point conversion?
GB: You look at the final score and it was critical. We discussed it and at the time in the game, I thought it was the right thing to do. Especially when you've got Mason and you know that if you can get across the 50, you've got a chance to tie it up.
Q: Any irony in the squib kick? (CU lost to Nebraska in 2000 after a bad squib kick)
GB: I've got to tell you, Neill (Woelk). I was going to squib the last one, and I thought of all the nasty things you've written about me and about that squib kick…(laughter). So I kicked it off. I gotta tell you, it affected me.
Q: How big was Joe Klopfenstein's game?
GB: Our plan was to use our playmakers. We look at him as one of those guys. He and Hugh and Lawrence , we had to get the ball to him. Our opening drive, it was beautiful the way we mixed things in and got the ball to the right guys.
He's a heckuva player, and he's going to open up Quinn (Sypniewski). Quinn had a great day, and a couple great catches. It's nice to have two guys like that.
Q: You had questions about your wide receivers coming in. How do you feel now?
GB: I think we got one under our belt. To see Patrick (Williams) catch the ball and go up the field like he did on the last series, he's going to grow up, and Alvin's going to grow up. Evan Judge did a good job. We're going to be a team that disperses the ball all over the place.
Q: Did you hesitate at all to go for it on the fourth and goal from the 1 in the first half?
GB: No. You're down there, you better get it in. If you're going to be a team that's going to play in this conference, you better get it in from one yard. We had to assert ourselves there.
Q: You've had some great games with CSU. Where does this one rank?
GB: Best one this year. (laughter). Oh, gosh. There's just no substitute for winning, no matter who it is. I have all the respect in the world for Coach Lubick and their guys and the way they play. To win at home, no matter who it was against, was sweet.