Tuesday Practice Notes

Inside, notes from Tuesday's practice.

• The Buffs practiced in full pads Tuesday. For the second practice in a row, head coach Dan Hawkins was positive about the progress the team is making.

"We're getting better. We're making progress, making some plays. And we continue to add stuff in," he said after Tuesday's session. "We've got to keep pushing, keep leaning on them, doing the little things. But we're making strides."

• The Buffs worked for at least two periods on punting Tuesday. One positive from inconsistent longsnapping is that the punters are getting experience getting the ball off against pressure. Matt DiLallo had some good kicks, and Mason Crosby had to jump for a snap, avoid the rush and still got off a 45-yard bullet on one punt.

• Hawkins continues to dispel any notion that "Hawk Love" might not have a tough side to it. On the contrary. At one point in Tuesday's practice, Hawkins adopted a pretty intimidating "angry football coach voice" and went off on one player for only going half speed during a KOR drill. Hawkins' displeasure soon turned to others and the players involved quickly understood the need to pick up the pace and intensity in the drill and made the adjustment.

• The Buffs will try and hit the 80-play mark in Saturday's scrimmage. "We're going to get 10 plays or a drive and then do a little special teams (and then repeat the process)," Hawkins said. "We're going to try to get 40 plays in the first half and 40 in the second half."

• Starting tailback Hugh Charles has been working a lot as a kickoff return man. Asked about his philosophy on using first-team skill position players in special teams situations, Hawkins said, "We're going to use our best players on special teams. I've never shied away from that. I think it's amazing if you've got a great chance to get a guy (with the ball) in space that you don't put your best guy out there. We'll put our best guys on special teams. We've always kind of done that."

At tailback, Charles had the play of the day when he cut back, broke a tackle and outran the defense for a 45-yard touchdown scamper in an 11-on-11 situation that pitted ones vs. ones.

• Hawkins pointed to the offensive line when asked if there was one position that had stood out in camp. "The group that's starting to come around is the o-line, just because you're talking about five guys that have to be on exactly the same page on every single play in order for you to get something done," he said.

• He also mentioned the two quarterbacks who have battled atop the depth chart the past two weeks, Bernard Jackson and Brian White.

"You have totally different styles, and that's fine," Hawkins said. "I want B-Jack to run. If you have Michael Vick you wouldn't tell him not to scramble; that's part of his game, that's what makes him good. By the same token, White has to make plays with his arm. In a sense, we can go with whatever guy's style is the best."

• As they did Monday, the Buffs ended practice with a little fun. This time 11 offensive skill position players played defense, while 11 linebackers and defensive backs took over the offense for three plays – all from the 4 yard line. Some of the notables in the matchup included quarterback Bernard Jackson lining up beside receiver Patrick Williams as defensive tackles, and safety J.J. Billingsley snapping the ball to safety Ryan Walters, who played quarterback.

Walters tried to run option on the first play, and was quickly dropped. Stephone Robinson got to Walters in the backfield on the second play. Then Walters tried a pass and found Terrence Wheatley in the end zone on Play 3. It's wildly obvious that the players really enjoy this kind of action, which combines fun with a great sense of competition.


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