Quarterback Nick Nelson sparked the CU offense during the scrimmages. He appeared more settled down in this practice than in recent outings. Nelson completed two consecutive passes during one drive, then Hugh Charles took a handoff and ran 44 yards for a touchdown. On another drive, Nelson avoided a sack and dumped the ball off to TE Tyson DeVree, who had a nice gain.
Nelson went 5 of 9 for 45 yards. Cody Hawkins, meanwhile, was 4 of 8 for 59 yards. Charles led all rushers with 69 yards on six carries.
Bernard Jackson mostly played wide receiver during the scrimmage portions of practice. His number was called on several plays, but he was always well covered and didn't earn a reception.
Safety D.J. Dykes had three tackles and forced a fumble.
• Cody Hawkins carried off two offensive linemen's pads after practice. He said he was doing it because the linemen are working hard this spring and they deserve it.
He went on to say he thinks the offense "is making an unbelievable amount of strides even from where it was in the fall. Instead of guys just seeing what X is doing or what Z is doing, they're seeing the whole big picture and they know what their role is."
• Though their ranks are thin — only five offensive linemen have been able to participate fully this week — Hawkins is pleased with how they're playing. "I think it's been fine. I think it's been really good. The execution's definitely better than it was," he said. He added that going through a spring with such low numbers has its positive side. It's toughening up the linemen.
"The good news/bad news about having only five o-linemen: The bad news is it's hard on them. The good news is it's hard on them. I think those guys have a great mentality going. I think Tyler (Polumbus) and Edwin (Harrison) and those guys have got their horns out and are much more physical, much more aggressive."
• The team will reconvene after spring break. The next practice is scheduled for April 1. Good time for a break? "Yeah," Hawkins said. "Our guys have done an awesome job. They've been very fired up. But we got this (bad cold) going around. It's pretty nasty. Some have it worse than others, but if you listen, they're all coughing. Shoot, poor Devin Head — tonight it was a matter of survival. That guy must have thrown up five or six times."
• DE Drew Hudgins and S Ryan Walters did not participate in Thursday's practice, and haven't since both were dinged up Saturday. Hawkins said they could've practiced Thursday, but since spring break was looming they were held out to be cautious.
Nelson: 5-9-45 yards