Hankwitz, Cox Postgame Comments

Colorado interim head coach Mike Hankwitz and quarterback James Cox addressed the media following the Buffs' 19-10 loss to Clemson in Tuesday's Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando.

Colorado interim head coach Mike Hankwitz
In general

"Well it's a bittersweet moment. I was extremely proud of our team, the way they fought and competed in the most difficult situation, amidst all the distractions, all the things that happened. I was extremely proud of that.

"I was disappointed that we couldn't stop them there at the end when we needed to and give us a chance to win.

"I'm proud of the coaching staff and the way they conducted themselves in an even more difficult situation, and I'm proud of the players. It's just one of those disappointing things to come that close, to fight that hard, but I give Clemson a lot of credit. They're an excellent team. We knew that coming in. With 10 points, they could've been a 10-1 team. They've got a great blend of youth and experience, and my hats are off to them."

On CU's inability to throw
"When a team's one-dimensional, it's a lot easier to defend. We thought (starting QB James Cox) would relax a little. It's his first time in that situation. We thought he'd relax and be able to throw it more effectively and he wasn't able to get out of his tense, you know, stressful situation for him. Yeah, it makes it easier to defend."

"It's not the easiest situation for a quarterback to have his first start amidst all the things that we've been through. The injuries we had to our offensive line...I mean, that's a difficult situation. I'd have liked for (Cox) to have more experience going into it, but that's the hand he was dealt. Sometimes you do that, you try to hard. You press, because you want to do so well, but you hurt yourself unknowingly."

On Clemson running back James Davis
"In our league, we've had some pretty excellent running backs, but he did an excellent job tonight, and he's got a great future. A young guy like that, I believe he was ACC newcomer of the year …He made our guys miss tonight."

On the positives to come out of the game
"We didn't have a turnover. We got an interception. (John) Torp, our punter, punted extremely well. He had a 68-yard punt, which I believe is a bowl record. I think the players should be able to hold their heads high. It wasn't a win. It wasn't what we came to do, but it's hard to explain all the distractions and all the turmoil and all the things that have happened and the effect it could have on those kids. For them to come out and play like they did, I'm extremely proud of them."

In general
"I just game out and I pressed too hard, I was trying too hard, and I wasn't myself tonight, and that's frustrating to me because I know I can play a lot better than that. I feel like I let my team down in the first half, and in the second half, things just weren't there."

On having a sense of relief for the end of this tumultuous season
"I don't want to say a sense of relief. We played real hard this entire year, and we want to go out, especially for our seniors and our coaches, go out with a win. It was tough. We played a real tough game and everybody fought hard, but it didn't work out for us.

On the close game giving a sense of redemption after the blowout losses
"It's hard to say redemption when you don't win, because that's what we're all about. We're all about winning. There's obviously some things that we can take away from the game, things that we did well. Our defense played awesome. The second half, we started moving the ball a little bit better. We could take some things away to learn from this."

On Clemson's defense
"We knew that they had a great defensive line, and that's how they got pressure, and then they started bringing a little more pressure with their (line)backers. It's nothing that we weren't prepared for. There were things there in the first half, and I couldn't hit the receivers. In the second half, they were getting pressure, and it was hard to get any drop back, because they were getting pressure up field. It just made it tough on us."

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