Aug. 11 Practice Notes

Inside, notes from Saturday's Colorado football practices.

The four players who had been mostly held out the first week of practice were on the field Saturday. WR Alvin Barnett, OL Erick Faatagi and OL Keenan Stevens saw their first action, while Bernard Jackson took part in his second practice. The four had been concentrating on schoolwork the past week, which was the final week of summer school.

Jackson said he took his final in an anthropology class Friday. He said he should be fine academically after grades are posted — sometime next week.

Stevens still has to take a final in a class Monday morning (it's an online class, which is on a different schedule than the normal classes). He said he doesn't feel behind despite missing the first week.

Going into camp, it was thought that if Stevens, a redshirt-freshman, could win the starting center position, that would allow the Buffs to move junior Daniel Sanders to guard. That remains a possibility. Faatagi could be in the mix at guard, too.

Jackson has one more practice in shells before going full pads, while the other three have two more in shells.

Dan Hawkins talked about Sunday's scrimmage on Saturday. He understands it's the first scrimmage of the fall camp, but he wants to see some offense. (If you'll recall last year this time, the offense failed to move the ball through much of August camp).

"I'm just not used to going through a bunch of scrimmages or a bunch of spring balls without scoring a bunch of touchdowns," Hawkins said. "I would love to see some big plays and I would love to see them score. Again, defense wins championships, but doggone it, let's score some points. Let's get going.

"We are going to push the envelope a little tomorrow more than we have in the past, just because we have a bunch of young guys and I think they just need to get out there and play. They need to not be looking over their shoulder for their coach and they just need to go.

"Now that's going to lead to some issues because typically every first scrimmage you've got a little guidance going on, but we need to kind of get out there and play some football.

Hawkins said he wants to create a game tempo during the scrimmage as much as possible. And they will treat some of the pre-scrimmage activities in a game-day manner.

"We're going to wake them up," he said. "They'll get up early."

The scrimmage will take place from 10 a.m. to noon at Folsom Stadium on Sunday and is open to the public.

• TE Tyson DeVree and DT Brandon Nicolas were on sand duty (injured) Saturday. Not sure what their ailments are, but they seemed to be moving fine. DeVree probably won't scrimmage Sunday; Nicolas is more probable.

• Hawkins said as far as the quarterback competition, he's looking for which player — Cody Hawkins or Nick Nelson — can best move the offense on Sunday.

• Sophomore wide out Jarrell Yates had a nice over-the-shoulder catch with a defender hanging on him Saturday morning.

Hawkins said coaches have been stressing that the former Montbello star work to find consistency in practice. In the past, he's been up and down, up and down. They want to see a steady climb in his mentality, effort and production.

"He's done a nice job so far," Hawkins said.

• Freshman defender Nate Vaiomounga has been practicing at both linebacker and safety. He's looking like a player they can use as a rover type position.

• Matt DiLallo has been working some as placekicker on kickoffs and could be used in that position. Saturday afternoon, former Buff punter and Ray Guy Award winner Mark Mariscal was at practicing working out with DiLallo.

• Hawk Quote of the Day: Asked about emphasizing improved pass defense this camp, Hawkins said, "You guys have asked me what are your top 3 (issues to improve in camp), and when you're 2-10, you can't have a top 3. There's a top 37."

He mentioned that the team needs to get better in pass defense, and it has, indeed, been a point of emphasis this week.

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