Q&A with Hugh Charles

Inside, starting tailback Hugh Charles divulges what he's learned the past two weeks, looks forward to the Miami game, and talks about a new-found passion, golf.

Only one Colorado running back has rushed for over 100 yards in each of his first three career starts. Marcus Houston did that as a true freshman in 2000. Sophomore Hugh Charles has the opportunity to equal that mark Saturday vs. Miami after getting over 100 in CU's first two games, the first starts of Charles' career in a CU uniform. He currently leads CU with 206 yards on 36 carries (5.7 ypc).

BSN spoke with Charles Wednesday afternoon.

Q: Three weeks ago you'd never started a college game. Now you've got two 100-yard games under your belt. What have you leaned the most the past two games?
Hugh Charles:
I've learned to focus mentally on the game. My preparation before any game is to focus mentally on my assignments, the team's formation, how they line up and how I'm going to hit my hole.

After the game, when I lay down at night, I start thinking about the next game. Once one game is over, I just throw it behind me, win or lose, and start thinking about the next game.

Q: So when you're laying down to go to sleep at night, you're not replaying what you did in the game?
HC:
Right. I'm thinking about the next game, thinking about getting better and improving.

Q: What about Miami. What is it they do that will be a challenge?
HC:
The one thing that stands out is their speed, and how they run to the ball. They go hard every play.

My mentality is to run hard every play and to find those holes. There's going to be a hole every time, I've just got to find it.

Q: You kind of answered this, but how can you guys counteract that speed?
HC:
We know their system, we know their defense, and we know how they're going to play against our offense. It's just getting on our blocks fast – that's the key. And then LV (Lawrence Vickers), when we go with the two-back, he's going to have to hit the hole as fast as he can to block the linebacker.

Q: Obviously, you've got a lot of speed yourself. Is that going to be a factor do you think?
HC:
Yeah. I'm pretty sure my speed is going to be a factor. Once I find the hole, I'm going to have to burst. Their defensive ends run hard to the ball. I've got to be aware and keep all my pressure points on the ball so I don't fumble it. Because they come behind and try to get it out.

And that secondary, they're tremendous too with their speed and tackling ability. But as long as I hit the hole hard, I have no worries.

Q: What about your own game day preparation before you kick off. Anything special this week?
HC:
Not really. I'm just going get all the rest I can get, and just be mentally focused.

Q: Who do you room with on the road?
HC:
Byron (Ellis).

Q: So do you guys talk about the game a lot the night before?
HC:
Not really. I stay to myself. The night before, I'll watch a movie before I turn in, and just relax.

Q: What about the fact that it's at the Orange Bowl, a big-time place, it's going to be on national television — how do you keep yourself from getting too big-eyed before kickoff?
HC:
Coach Barnett and the other coaches have been talking about that. How to not let it distract us. I don't know really how to avoid it other than to just stay focused.

Q: I know that you've got your pilot's license, you were a competitive weightlifter in high school and you barefoot water ski. Is there anything else?
HC:
I'm looking to be the next Tiger Woods. I love to golf. If I'm up for it after this game, I'll go golfing Sunday. Any spare time I get, I like to golfing.

Q: Which courses to you go to around here?
HC:
I go to Highland Hills, I go to The Ranch.

Q: What's your handicap?
HC:
I don't know. I haven't figured that out yet. I've been persistent about going the past four weeks and I'm really finding my swing now.

Q: Do you find that a relaxing thing? Golf?
HC:
Yeah, I do. I enjoy being outside. I don't like to be at home playing video games.