Buffs Brewing 'New Attitude'?

In the wake of Saturday's loss at Kansas, the Buffs went through one of their toughest conditioning practices of the season Sunday. That followed what some players termed a "pretty intense" team meeting. Also inside, news on freshman quarterback Cody Hawkins' playing status.

• The coaches and players held an intense meeting Sunday before practice. It wasn't about "calling anybody out or dog cussing anybody," freshman quarterback Cody Hawkins said. "We were just talking about the level we need to get to. We're not getting there right now and so we're going to change things up and guys are going to work harder. Guys who don't want to do it the coaches' way and the Buffalo way can get the heck out."

He added, "I think the team's getting a whole new attitude right now. We're changing things up quite a bit. I think we'll be ready on Saturday."

Hawkins went on to say that players are working hard and have been all fall. But one of the things the coaches are stressing is to work smart and efficiently in addition to working hard.

"We always try to be a real detail-oriented team but we really haven't seen the consequences, other than the losses in the loss column," he said.

There were consequences Sunday. Typically, Sunday practices are devoted to giving reps to younger players, as well as some tough conditioning work for the players who did play on Saturday. This Sunday's practice had some extra work involved. All the players did conditioning work at the beginning of practice. Then as the younger players scrimmaged, the veterans went up the hill to Folsom where they went through bear crawls and ran stairs.

The youngsters joined them after their scrimmage and the entire team ran stairs for a solid 20 minutes.

Head coach Dan Hawkins stopped short of saying he's looking for a "new attitude." He said he's looking for more assertiveness from his team, who currently has a 1-8 record. He said the team is undergoing an "attitude adjustment."

• As for Cody Hawkins' playing status: The plan is still to redshirt the freshman. However, that could change with an untimely injury to starting quarterback Bernard Jackson, now that backup James Cox is out for the remainder of the season with a broken thumb.

Patrick Devenny has moved back to quarterback from tight end. If Jackson were to suffer an injury, Dan Hawkins said a decision about who to play at quarterback would depend on the nature of the injury and the game situation. "If we felt like Pat could come in and finish the game, we'd do that," Hawkins said.

Cody Hawkins said he prepares each game as if he might play. But the possibility is a little more real now.

Jackson has struggled in the passing game most of the season. The past two games have been particularly difficult in that area. Asked if he wanted to play this season, Hawkins said:

"It's really tough to play in this situation. I'm such good friends with Bernard. And there's so many things we need to do as a team to get better. It's not just the quarterback position. In the situation we're in right now, to waste a whole year, and especially with the new mentality the guys are going to bring in…playing right now, I think that would be kind of selfish of me. But I want to be unselfish, too. If the team needs me to play, I'll be up to it."

• One former Colorado Buffalo quarterback who had to pull off his redshirt in an emergency situation was Darian Hagan. As a true freshman Hagan was the backup holder to Jeff Campbell in 1988. When Campbell broke his hand, Hagan had to play.

Hagan said Sunday he didn't mind losing his redshirt year. But he had one regret. Back in that era team policy was that players had to get in for 100 plays in order to earn a letter. Hagan played only 99. The following season, though, then-assistant coach Gary Barnett gave quarterback Vance Joseph a varsity letter even though Joseph played in just 69 games.

Hmmm. Didn't Barnett hire Joseph as an assistant before he finally hired Hagan as an assistant when Barnett was head coach in Boulder?

• Senior safety J.J. Billingsley, recovering from a knee injury, practiced in pads Sunday.


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