Solder Could See More Action Vs. OU

Tight end Nate Solder made his first career catches in the win over Miami (Ohio) Saturday. The 6-8, 270-pound redshirt freshman figures to be part of the game plan again when Oklahoma comes to town this weekend.

Nate Solder has been a big target since he walked on campus at Colorado last summer. Saturday, he was the target of three passes from quarterback Cody Hawkins, and Solder hauled them in for 50 total yards.

"It was a lot of fun," Solder said on Sunday.

With Solder's size, he could be part of the game plan this coming Saturday when the Buffs will try and counter an Oklahoma defense that's given up just 47 points in four games. Solder could match up against OU defensive ends in some situations.

"Historically, they've always been big, athletic guys," Solder said of the Sooners' defensive ends.

This season, OU defensive ends Alonzo Dotson, Auston English and John Williams have spent considerable time roaming in opponents' backfields. The trio has combined for 13 sacks and seven tackles for loss.

Of course, the Buffs will have to counter much more than defensive ends if they hope to stay with the Sooners, who are ranked No. 3 in the AP and Harris polls, No. 4 in the Coaches' poll.

"They've got a lot of good everything," Hawkins said on Sunday, adding, on tape, the Oklahoma team is as impressive as any he's prepared his Buffaloes for since coming to Colorado prior to last season.

• Colorado is coming off a 42-0 drubbing of Miami (Ohio). It was an impressive display, in which the Buffs dominated nearly ever aspect of the contest. Asked Sunday if the next step for his ballclub is beating a ranked team, one the Buffs aren't supposed to beat, Hawkins said: "We've won four games the last two years. We're just trying to win a football game against anybody."

• True freshmen offensive linemen Kai Maiava and Ryan Miller saw their first action Saturday. It was the first time any players had substituted along the offensive line this season. On Sunday, Hawkins downplayed the situation when asked if the two rookies would now be part of a regular rotation along the line.

He said people had perhaps made too much of the fact the Buffs had played just five offensive linemen in its first three games, noting that's typical of a college team.

"Everybody plays five offensive linemen," he said. "I've been coaching 25 years, and that's all you ever play. You hardly ever rotate unless you have an injury situation."

Hawkins said o-line coach Jeff Grimes would continue to play who he thinks are the five best linemen on Saturdays.

"Then you've got to adjust from there — if somebody's hurt or somebody's struggling, you make an adjustment," the head coach said.

Against the RedHawks, Maiava played when starter Devin Head was temporarily banged up. Miller was inserted when starter Edwin Harrison lost a shoe on one play. Both rookies appeared to play well when they were in the game.

Hawkins said earlier in September coaches didn't want to burn a freshman's redshirt for a handful of plays. Despite Sunday's take from the coach, it would be a surprise if Maiava and Miller rode the bench the rest of the way.

• Hawkins planned to speak with sophomore linebacker Michael Sipili this week about his situation after Sipili was suspended from school the rest of this semester, the result of a disciplinary measure handed down by the school's Office of Judicial Affairs on Friday. The measure came in the wake of Sipili's involvement in an off-campus altercation over the summer.

• Hawkins said the Buffs will face a little bit different Oklahoma team than the one they lost to in Norman in 2006. OU no longer fields a former wide receiver at quarterback. Hawkins said freshman OU signal caller Sam Bradford — who's completed 78 percent of his passes and thrown for 1,067 yards and 14 touchdowns — has done a nice job "managing the game, making decisions and throws…and being very, very efficient."