Tuesday Press Conference Notes

Inside, notes and quotes from Dan Hawkins' Tuesday press conference, where the coach covers lots of issues surrounding the Buffaloes as they prepare for Saturday's game at Folsom vs. Arizona State.

• On Saturday, Hawkins will be across the field from his former boss, Dick Koetter. Koetter was head coach at Boise State when Hawkins was hired to coach tight ends and special teams there in 1998.

"He had an influence on me in a lot of ways," Hawkins said of Koetter. "He really was the guy that taught me about Division I football. …He's extremely smart, he's extremely bright, he's extremely organized."

• CU offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Mark Helfrich was passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Arizona State last year. Hawkins said it's hard to gauge if that's more an advantage for CU or for the Sun Devils. He said advantages in situations like that sometimes get over stated.

"He knows some of their personnel…but you can over think that, and you can get into paralysis by analysis to some degree," Hawkins said. "It's not like we're having big meetings where he's telling Ron Collins what to do on defense."

• Arizona State's defense is playing better through two games than it did in 2005. Bill Miller took over as defensive coordinator just prior to the 2005 season and his unit is molded more to what he wants, it appears.

"They've really changed," Hawkins said. "They've changed personnel and they've changed how they do some things. They're not the same defense they were last year. I think Bill's basic nature is to attack, like most defensive coordinators these days. And they do play that way. They're an aggressive unit."

• Junior wideouts Stephone Robinson and Dusty Sprague haven't played as much through two games as many assumed they would. Hawkins on Tuesday reiterated what's become obvious about the new staff. They aren't playing guys on reputation or from evaluating film of what they've done in the past. Both Robinson and Sprague had nagging injuries during fall camp that kept them out of full contact at different times. And they simply missed the opportunity to impress coaches. Blake Mackey – who was still perhaps feeling the effects of knee surgery in August— could be in that category, too.

"We're looking for guys to emerge and emerge consistently. Through no fault of their own, those guys have been hurt at one time or another which has hampered their progress," Hawkins said.

"For guys that have been here for a while, that's always sort of tough because you have a certain identity with the (former) staff. Then the reality is when you get (a new staff) in, you have to reestablish that identity."

• Three walk-ons have been added to the roster: LS Austin Bisnow, S Bret Smith and WR Clayton Cammon.

• The Buffs are on national television for the second-consecutive week. The CU-ASU game will be broadcast on TBS (5 p.m. mountain time kickoff). Hawkins said the national television exposure is good for recruiting.

"Anytime you get exposure it's good for people to see your uniforms and what you look like and what your players look like and how you handle things," he said. "All that is a positive step for any program."

Asked if he and the staff were continuing to emphasize recruiting, Hawkins said, "Oh yeah. That's always front and center."

• Hawkins said he's confident that the Buffs' offensive line is strong and physical enough to be successful. But there's been breakdowns in recognizing the defensive front at times during the first two games which have led to quarterback pressure or poor run blocking.

• The coaches expect this to be as talented a team in the passing game as they'll face this year. ASU quarterback Rudy Carpenter, who Helfrich coached, led the nation in passing efficiency in 2005. He's currently No. 4 in the nation in that category.

• Redshirt-freshman Matthew DiLallo will continue as the team's punter. They still may use Mason Crosby in some situations.

• Injuries: The only two players now listed on CU's injury list are cornerbacks Gardner McKay (ankle) and Vance Washington (knee). Both are listed as day to day. McKay, who injured his ankle in the opener, will try and practice Tuesday to see where he's at. No doubt they could use the extra pair of legs this week against the Arizona State passing game.

• In what will likely be a weekly mantra, Dan Hawkins said the team is still working on small things, including communication — getting the right calls made, techniques, changes and adjustments.

"That's probably the biggest area we need to work on," he said. "I think that will solve a lot of things mentally and physically."

Hawkins said the team communication got much better from game 1 to game 2, and said he expects it to continue to improve.

• Hawkins made it clear he's not been "pleased" with any aspect of the team's play so far. But he gave some props on Tuesday to the defensive line, which has played a big part in stifling the Buffs' first two opponents' running games.

"I think we're doing a good job of moving those guys around and not ask them to hunker in there and take on double teams," he said. "Ron's done a good job of keeping those guys pretty active up there and getting them in and out of some things that have helped."

• Asked what kind of impact Brian White's departure was going to have on the team, Hawkins simply replied, "We're going to push forward."

When the reporter re-phrased the question, and asked what will his leaving say to the team, Hawkins said it again, "We're going to push forward."

BuffStampede Top Stories