Gary Barnett Postgame Comments

Ahead by just three points at halftime, the Colorado Buffaloes came out and put up 28 unanswered points in the second half and beat Big 12 North foe Kansas 44-13 Saturday. Inside, Gary Barnett's postgame press conference quotes.

Opening Comments
Gary Barnett:
There were a lot of things that occurred in that game. Some, you like; some, you don't like.

Penalties continue to be an issue for us. But I think the whole game turned around with special teams. Our punt block team – a key play was that block Brendan Schaub had. And the return by Dominique Brooks.

Dominique had a fumble return for a touchdown last year (against Kansas). And he gets one this year. And Stephone Robinson ran his only punt return back for a touchdown last year against these guys.

As big a play as there was was the fake field goal. Nick Holz almost took it into the end zone. And we were able to get on the board real fast there.

Special teams just sort of got us over a hump. To some extent we were sloppy. We let the first half get away from us. I think this was one of those situations where coaches know more than players know before the game and during the week about the opponent. I don't think we'll have that problem anymore.

I could tell in warm-ups that we were flat going into that game. We almost lost the momentum going into halftime. But we had a good heart to heart and the guys just decided that we were going to go out and play. And we made some plays. You just don't make a decision and not do anything, you go make plays.

I was proud of the way we came out in the second half and played. I liked our energy second half. A lot of guys made big plays.

The Kansas defense is very good.

Q: You got 23 points off special teams – did you see coming in where you could do some things on the field goal and punt block?
GB:
We always go in with a fake on PAT and field goal. With Mason Crosby, you don't ever want to use it. You don't think you ever have to use it. On punt block, I didn't think we could block one, really. But we wanted to put pressure on him and see if we could get him to kick the ball poorly. We had a return set up, but more than anything we challenged our punt block team. We really have been effective after the first or second game. We really challenged them this week, and they really stepped up. They put a lot of pressure on that punter all night. I was really proud of them.

The fake field goal, the timing was right to do it. They gave us the look. Even not having enough guys on the field and calling a timeout probably helped us in that situation, because I wasn't going to send it in the first time.

I did think it was there. In practice, it looked like one we could run.

Q: Does having a kicker like Crosby open up a fake more?
GB:
I think a little bit. But they had shown they were going to block a long field goal when the ball was on the hash. They were susceptible to the fake that we had. So you sit there and go, ‘should we take three points?' Because it's pretty much a given. We didn't need three. What we really needed was a touchdown.

Q: Do you feel like you know more who your team is after this game?
GB:
We're a team that's got a lot of injuries, I can tell you that. We had five guys go out with injuries. That really scares me as we proceed into the next four games. Alex Ligon went out, Walter Boye-Doe went out, then came back for a bit; Ryan Walters went out; we lost Edwin Harrison. There was somebody else, too. We're just running out of guys.

We have a team that flies around, that runs to the football. On offense, we've got some guys that make plays.

Q: Any update on those guys?
GB:
No, I won't hear until later.

Q: You said Kansas had one of the better run defenses. Was it what you expected?
GB:
It really was. We struggled running the ball. We went three straight snaps trying to get a yard and we couldn't. The Kansas defense is very, very good. We had to resort to trying to throw the ball in order to move it.

Q: How effective was Joel Klatt? He's now the career record-holder at CU for touchdown passes.
GB:
We would not be 5-22 without Joel Klatt. We would not have been 8-5 a year ago without Joel Klatt. You don't get a quarterback like that very often.

Q: Were you trying to get into field goal range at the end of the first half?
GB:
We were trying to get points on the board. We didn't know what it was going to look like. We'd like to get a touchdown. But at that point, with a 1:38, you try to get three points. It just depends on how things go. If you're able to move the ball, then you take a shot at the end zone.

Q: Does Joel take hits where you think other quarterbacks might not get up?
GB:
I watched there quarterback takes some shots. You play quarterback in today's offenses, you take more defenseless hits in that position, than any position. I think you've got to be a special breed to play at this level and to stand in there and take the shots you're going to take. You'd like to protect them, but you're playing against good players, and everybody blitzes so much more. It's part of the game. But he takes them and comes back.

I watched SportsCenter halftime Thursday and I saw all the shots Texas put on our guys – they replayed it. It made me angry. It makes me angry every time he gets hit. But it's just part of the game. He stays in there and throws the ball. He's a warrior.

Q: On that fake field goal, Crosby was down field making a block. Was that by design?
GB:
No I didn't draw it up with him down blocking. And he was mad because he didn't finish the block off. I didn't see him until after when he came off the field. He was mad and I said, ‘What are you mad about?' He said, ‘I missed the block.' He's a competitor. Mason is a good football player, so it didn't surprise me.

Q: Did you talk about penalties at halftime?
GB:
We said some things about penalties. But doggone, we put ourselves at great risk because of playing without discipline. Truthfully, in some of those situations, if I had more players I'd take those guys out of the game and sit them and play somebody else. We have got to stop doing that. It's going to beat us. It probably did beat us at Miami.

You can yell and scream (as a coach), but guys have to make decisions not to do it. If they're willing to continue to put their team at risk, then they're not great team players. It's tough. It's a fine line.

Q: Are you ever surprised by Joe Klopfenstein's big-play ability for a guy that size?
GB:
Joe is one of the top players at his position in the country. That's why he's one of the top players, because he can make those plays. Quinn Sypniewski has proved to be the same kind of player. We're just fortunate to have two guys like that.


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