Barnett Praises Defense after 39-0 Win

For the first time since 2002, Colorado kept its opponent scoreless, beating New Mexico State 39-0 at Folsom Field Saturday. Inside, head coach Gary Barnett talks about the shut out win.

Opening Comments
Gary Barnett: Our goal was to get this game over before midnight, and we achieved that.

We had a great defensive plan and our kids really focused in on it this week. They took the challenge of getting better and not getting caught up and listening to the wrong people. And in almost every phase I thought we got better.

We never lost our focus; we had great energy out there. Sometimes in games like this you can get sloppy, and you can not focus. But I really felt like we did. I was really pleased defensively that we were able to shut down team that does a lot of different things to you.

Offensively, the first half, I thought we should've run the ball a little bit better. We were able to establish it a little better in the second half.

We got to play a lot of players; especially on defense. That always bodes well for the future and keeps everybody happy.

Overall, it's just a great win. We had some big special teams plays in the game; some really great offensive performances, some great catches.

New Mexico State's defense played hard and caused some problems for some of our young linemen. We only had seven guys to play with and they had to play the whole game.

I thought Lawrence Vickers had an outstanding game, and I thought Joel Klatt ran everything well.

Q: How fired up were your guys to keep the goose egg, especially there at the end when they were threatening to score?
We challenged them to be relentless the entire game. When you get down there sometimes in those situations, you just let them score. And our guys didn't. We challenged Coach Inge to block a PAT or field goal, and they had one ready and blocked it. We made a great play in the end zone.

I know the happiest guy in the place was probably Chase McBride (whose fumble set up the NMSU scoring opportunity).

But I thought they were relentless.

Q: Has Hugh Charles given you everything you've expected?
Oh I think so. And he's just going to get better when everybody gets a feel for him. He sure is an electrifying player. I hated to see that touchdown called back. He'll get better.

And it was great to see Byron Ellis get reps. He's a guy that's going to get better, as well.

Q: When you were preparing for New Mexico State, how obvious was your need to be aggressive on defense?
We want that to be our personality anyway. We didn't do much more inside than we normally do, but we played a lot different in the secondary. We played a lot of six and five defensive backs. We had a pressure we knew they couldn't block and got to them a couple times. I just think our guys did a better job of pass rushing this week than the week before.

Q: Did NMSU do anything different than you were expecting?
Not really. We had looked at some films from where Coach Mumme was before and had a pretty good idea. We were prepared. They had a blitz we hadn't seen that got us a couple times.

Q: Joel Klatt now has joined ranks with Koy Detmer and Kordell Stewart as far as being the only CU quarterbacks to pass for more that 5,000 yards. What's it like to coach a guy that's done that?
I don't think about it too much. I go from game to game. We just want him to play the best that he can and give us a chance to win. All that other stuff just takes care of itself. That's just Joel and the scheme.

Q: Was Jimmy Cottrell what you expected?
Yeah,, I thought Jimmy played a really good game. I was hoping he wasn't hurt when had to leave, and he came right back in. Yeah, he played like a warrior.

Q: What did Joel improve on this week?
I liked his aggressiveness with the ball. He turned and ran a few times when things screwed up. He got positive yards out of those plays. I thought he handled the blitzes really well.

Q: Big picture – how important is it the young guys got to play?
One, it keeps them happier at practice. They practice better. Two, you know you're going to need them. We played a couple true freshmen. Ben Burney, George Hypolite, Gardner McKay, Marcus Burton. We know we're going to need those guys down the stretch. Game experience, there's nothing like that.

Q: You mentioned establishing the run in the second half, what did you do differently?
We just had to do a little change up in formation. They were having a safety down, an extra guy in there. We just had to formation them out of it.

Q: How nice was it to see Quinn Sypniewski get a touchdown?
His first touchdown in six years. That was a great catch. A great audible by Joel, and a great catch by Quinn. Both of those two tight ends are good. We're fortunate to have them.

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