"Football practice is basically not fun," he said. "When you start focusing on an opponent and have an objective, it's a chance to kind of flip the switch and do something a little different."
• This will be the first time in program history the Buffs have played a non-Division I-A opponent. But Hawkins warned of overlooking MSU's talent. He said what I-AA teams sometimes lack is quality depth.
"I think people always talk about, ‘Oh, it's a (Division) I-AA team.' But there's a lot of players there," he said. "You don't necessarily have the depth, but the frontline guys (are good).
"A couple years ago in the Super Bowl there were about 30 guys in that Super Bowl that did not play on BCS teams. And I think there were 17 guys that did not play Division (I-A) football. So there's plenty of good players there. You've got an issue sometimes with the depth, but their frontline players are darn good."
Next, a reporter asked, "Is a lot of that just taking their first punch and going from there?"
Hawkins replied, "I don't like taking first punches."
• Hawkins said Friday's scrimmage (closed to both public and media) won't be about fine tuning who earns starting positions and who doesn't as much as getting game situational ready.
• Hawkins said the idea that Colorado may hold back a large portion of its playbook during the Montana State game, saving it for the CSU game and later opponents, is misguided. He said, instead, the Colorado offense will game plan according to its opponent from week to week.
"I've had people in the past tell me the (2001) Boise State playbook is on e-bay for sale," Hawkins said. "But so much of what we do is week to week. It's not like we have a body of say 100 plays and we're going to use 80 of them this week and save 20 of them. We kind of try to recreate each week.
"You have basic stuff that you do, but you're always tweaking that and massaging that a little bit.
Hawkins said CU's game plan for Montana State may look very different than it's plan for CSU, and the game plan for Arizona State may again look different.
"It just depends on what those teams do. That's kind of the nature of our playbook.
"If you got our playbook and put it on e-bay right now, every coach in America would go, ‘So what.'"
• While the first-team ground game didn't light it up in the team's first two scrimmages, Hawkins likes the running backs' progress of late.
"It's nice to see those guys come around," he said. "All of those guys have shown something. Demetrius (Sumler) is coming around. Thomas (Perez), unfortunately, got a late start, but Hugh (Charles), The Welder (Mell Holliday) and Byron (Ellis) – the big three there (have shown something). You gotta love The Welder. I'm a blue-collar guy. I love that."
• Wednesday ended the public consumption of CU practices, as scheduled. There is a polite notice hanging on the outside of the practice fields alerting fans to the policy. However, the public will be allowed to watch Sunday afternoon practices once the season begins.