Williams Off To Strong Start

There's a noticeable chill in the air around Dal Ward. Not only has a cold front settled into Boulder, but Colorado players are a little more serious these days. Inside, BSN speaks with redshirt-freshman receiver Patrick Williams about his play over the first two games and about the quietly confident posture the team has adopted in its preparations for Miami. Also, some brief practice notes from Wednesday.

Patrick Williams has played beyond his years in CU's first two games, the first two of Williams' career after he suffered two broken hands last fall and redshirted. Williams is tied with teammates Dusty Sprague and Joe Klopfenstein as CU's leading receivers with six catches. Three of Williams' grabs have gone for 10+ yards, and his long was a key 22-yard reception in the 4th quarter vs. CSU which helped set up Mason Crosby's game-winning field goal.

Q: What's it been like for you to get out on the field and play against guys in different uniforms after not doing that for a year?
Patrick Williams:
It's been fun. Like you say, it's been a whole year since I've competed against somebody other than my teammates. So it felt good to go bump around with somebody in a different uniform and make plays and help the team.

Q: What's it been like to go out in front of the fans at Folsom Field? Has it been easy to put the crowd out of your mind, or a challenge?
PW:
I have to admit the first few plays, it was kind of hard. I had been out there before on kickoff return and it was all right. But lining up at receiver and knowing that you have a potential to catch a ball on the play, or you have to get your man on the play – it's exciting. I was wide-eyed the first few plays. But after a while, it was just like practice to me.

Q: What have you learned in the first few games?
PW:
You can't play slow. It's not practice. You're not going to get a do over. If your opportunity comes, you've got to make that play or you might not get another chance to get your number called or to get your team in the end zone.

Q: You were an option quarterback in high school, right?
PW:
We were primarily an option team. But we dropped back occasionally.

Q: I know you've been playing receiver for over a year now, but what has been the biggest challenge for you going from being an option quarterback to a receiver?
PW:
Of course, just catching the ball. It's very often that we drop back and throw a pass in this offense. But it's helped me (being a former quarterback) because I know the kind of timing that needs to go on to get the ball. So I know I need to play that much faster to help Joel (Klatt) and the offensive line out.

Q: I know you broke both of your hands last fall, but I never learned how you did that. How did you?
PW:
My left one, I was going up and was about to catch a pass and the ball hit me, and it kind of hurt. And Lorenzo (Sims) came and smashed it again. About two weeks later I was running a slant and (my right pinky finger) got caught in Terrence Wheatley's face mask.

Q: Now you've got Miami coming up. What have you seen on film that stands out about them, and might present a challenge?
PW:
You've gotta play fast. They've got a lot of athletes. They fly around, they fly to the ball. They play with passion, with spirit. We're going to have to play fast.

Q: How looking forward are you to going and playing that game on the big stage, national TV and all?
PW:
As a little kid, when you're walking off the practice field and you're talking with one of your friends, you're like, ‘Who you gonna be?' ‘I'm gonna be Miami.' ‘I'm gonna be Florida State.' That's what you dream about. That's what you come to college to do. The big games, you get to be on national television, to get your name out, you get the chance to knock off a ranked team. It's an opportunity for us to go out and show people what we can do.

Q: Talking to some of the guys about Miami after the New Mexico State game and earlier this week, I don't get the sense you all are intimidated or in awe of the Miami mystique. There's a confidence. Do you feel that?
PW:
I feel it. You have to be that way. There's no reason to even get on the plane and go over there if you're not going to play with confidence, and play with passion and the skill that we have. If we're not going to be confident, we might as well stay out here and scrimmage against each other.

They're gonna give us their best shot, and they're gonna expect to get ours.

Wednesday Practice Notes
Nobody who didn't practice Tuesday was able to go Wednesday. Gary Barnett reiterated that he expected everyone back in time to practice for and play at Miami Sept. 24, except he sounded less positive about starting guard Brian Daniels than he had Tuesday.

"Daniels is the only one we'll have to get clearance on and we won't know until maybe Tuesday morning," Barnett said. "Everybody else should be back, barring any set backs."

Brooks' ankle still hurting
Barnett said again that even though safety Dominique Brooks was out of suspension, he probably wouldn't be physically able to play vs. Miami because he's still recovering from his high-ankle sprain.

DBs making lots of stops
Unlike last season, when four of the top five tacklers on the team were linebackers, four of the top six tacklers through two games are defensive backs. Barnett said that was more due to the fact CU played a passing team in New Mexico State and that Colorado State threw the ball a lot in CU's first game.

"We haven't played a running team yet," Barnett said. "CSU wanted to, but they only ran it (34) times."