Cox Hopes Bowl a Showcase

Despite light snow and chilly temperatures that hovered at 17 degrees during practice, the Colorado Buffaloes went back to work outside Saturday. They are preparing to face Clemson in the Dec. 27 Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando. Inside, junior quarterback James Cox talks about his role as starter in the place of the injured Joel Klatt.

Interim head coach Mike Hankwitz said he liked his players' focus Saturday as they went after each other in pads and shorts despite the cold weather.

"It went well," Hankwitz said. "The players pushed hard through it. (The weather) was brisk, but I liked their attitude. There were no complaints and they worked hard."

The team continued working on its game plan for the Tigers, and continued to blow the rust out after the 13-day layoff following the loss to Texas in the Big 12 Championship.

"There are some things you've got to get back focused doing and working on (like) fundamentals – attack and pad level," Hankwitz said.

Senior Joel Klatt continues to sit out practice after suffering a concussion vs. Texas. It's yet to be determined if Klatt will be cleared to play by CU's medical staff. In his place, James Cox is working with the No. 1 unit. Cox has one start under his belt (2004 vs. Iowa State) and played in mop-up duty this fall.

Cox said Saturday he hopes to play well in the bowl game in order to impress his eventual coaches.

New coach Dan Hawkins was at the Dal Ward Center Saturday. He has said he will interview everyone on the CU staff. However, speculation is that he will offer the offensive coordinator job to Mark Helfrich (Arizona State) and the defensive coordinator job to Bob Gregory (California), both of whom have worked with Hawkins previously.

Here's what Cox had to say after Saturday's practice.

BSN: Tell me about practicing in weather like this. Are you guys able to get some stuff done?
James Cox:
Yeah, we're able to get some stuff done. We've got to be out there – we've been off the field for two weeks. Coaches gave us a lot of time to get all our off-field stuff done. So we know we've got to be out there. It's not something that's fun, but it's got to be done, so we get out there and do it.

BSN: What did you guys work on today?
Yesterday was our first real (bowl) practice. So we're still just game planning and installing different things that we plan on working against (Clemson).

BSN: How much have you looked at Clemson, and what do you know about their defense?
I know they've got a really good defense. They've got a really athletic defense. They have one of the Thorpe Award finalists (Tye Hill) at corner. They have a really fast secondary. We're just going to have to get after them.

BSN: With Joel Klatt's situation up in the air….tell me if I'm wrong, but it's my sense he won't play. Is that accurate do you think?
He probably shouldn't be playing (in the bowl game), but he's such a competitor and he wants to be out there on the field. So it's kind of in limbo right now.

But I plan on starting, I plan on being ready to go.

BSN: I know you probably don't like to get the start under these kind of circumstances, but what's that mean for you?
It's exciting for me because I plan on previewing what I want to do next year. So I want to go out there and play the best I can and put a lot of points on the board, and show the coaches that are going to be coming in that I can lead this offense.

BSN: What was your impression of Coach Hawkins yesterday in that meeting?
He seems like a real player's coach. Real energetic and fun. He seems like he wants the best for us on and off the field. He wants us to get our degree and graduate when we're off the field. And when we're on the field, he wants us to win.

BSN: How familiar are you with what the Boise State offense has done over the past few years?
I know they had one of the top three offenses the last four years, so I know they spread it out and move the ball down the field. He told us that he likes the power running game, then to spread it out, throw it down the field and open it up. So I'll be looking forward to it.

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