Hawk: 'Pick Your Poison' With OU Offense

Colorado head coach Dan Hawkins spoke to members of the media during Monday's weekly Big 12 Media Teleconference. He touched on recruiting, the CU run game, his father/coach relationship with quarterback Cody Hawkins, booing fans and Saturday's opponent, Oklahoma, during the session.

Q: How much weight do you place on how a recruit or a prospective recruit does at a combine?
Dan Hawkins
: It's part of it. But certainly only a part of it. If you can get him into your own camp that's a big deal.

It's part of the equation, but you wouldn't put a huge part of your evaluation on just that.

Q: How about high school stats and game tape?
Hawkins
: Game tape is huge. Stats, not so much.

Q: So, poor stats in high school doesn't matter that much?
Hawkins
: It depends on what the situation is. It's not like you're going to look at a quarterback who threw for 1,200 yards and not favor him over a guy that threw for 4,000 – depending on the nature of the offense. There's a lot of things that go into it.

Q: I wonder, many teams who have played OU so far have either doubled Malcolm Kelly or given him help over the top. And then you've seen what Juaquin Iglesias has done in that situation. Is there a point where coaches reconsider and think maybe we've got to play this whole thing more honestly?
Hawkins
: We're trying to go a little Canadian League defense, get an extra guy on the field. Trying to see if we can work that into the equation.

When I was in high school, if you didn't have enough guys you could call the other school by Wednesday and play 8-man ball. I'm thinking maybe we'll just call Coach Stoops and say we're going 12 guys (on defense).

(Seriously), I just think you have to be able to mix it up a little bit. I mean, pick your poison, they've got a great running game and they've got a lot of targets. I think it's hard to just try and cut out one guy because they've got so many they can go to.

Q: The history of your staff, obviously, you've seen a lot of creative offenses over the years. Does OU create as many defensive problems of teams you've seen?
Hawkins
: They definitely spread you out and they're doing a nice job of creating mismatches and putting you in a bind at times. Getting you in space.

They've got very good athletes. Their quarterback's doing a nice job of being efficient and spreading the ball around. They're tremendously gifted.

Q: You've got to feel pretty good about how your defense is rounding into shape.
Hawkins
: Yeah, they've been doing a nice job. Now, that being said, we haven't played anybody like Oklahoma. That's a whole different animal there.

Q: Fans at Nebraska and at Arkansas this past weekend booed their own teams. What's your take on fans booing – is it one of those things where it's not called for? Or is one of those things where if we're not doing well, go ahead and express your feelings?
Hawkins
: You know, there's the argument that says, ‘Hey, you paid (for your seat), and you have the right to say anything you want to say, or do anything you want to do.' I don't necessarily agree with that. I just think at some point we have to have a little poise, at some point we have to have a little class. Remember what the whole thing's about. It's probably part of the nature of the whole beast, but if you're not happy with what's going on, don't come to the game, or leave.

It's like my Grandmother used to tell me, if you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything at all. But I understand that sometimes those values are a little old fashioned, and people don't take with them to the ballpark anymore.

Q: If there are times you've been booed, did you hear it or is it one of those things where you completely blocked out?
Hawkins
: You know, sometimes I have and sometimes I haven't. Sometimes people have said, ‘Did you hear the crowd booing?' And you had no idea because you were so locked into what was going on. But then there's other times that you do.

I guess the thing you think about is the kids playing the game and how hard they're trying to do things right. That's the thing you feel most bad for. It's one thing to boo a coach, but get a bunch of kids out there trying to play their hearts out and people are booing them — I would hope discretion is the better part of valor. If you don't like it, just leave. Don't buy a ticket.

Q: Now that you've been in Boulder going on your second year, do you have a different attitude about altitude?
Hawkins
: I think it has a little bit of affect, but… I'm one of those guys, whether it's heat or altitude, I think you can sometimes make too much of it. I know at Boise, we played at Wyoming, which is 2,000 feet higher than here. And we played.

I think there's a little bit of an affect when guys come here, but I don't think it's overwhelming. I don't think it's a huge, determining factor in what goes on.

Q: You guys played at Tempe this year, was the heat a factor?
Hawkins
: It was a little bit of a factor. But our collapse came in the last part of the second quarter, and that had nothing to do with the heat, that had to do with us. It kind of wore on them a little bit as the end of the game came around, but it was over by then. So I don't think that was a huge part of it.

Q: Mack Brown just talked about the sign in the visitor's locker room. Can you talk about it?
Hawkins
: In our locker room? I don't think there's one in there. I've never seen it.

Q: I think he said there's a sign that warns you that you're playing at 5,000 feet.
Name
: I've never seen it. I think I've been in the visitor's locker room once.

Q: I understand that before you coached Cody you used to wrestle him under the name of Bad Medicine. Can you tell me about that?
Hawkins
: Well, you know how parents do. My dad's kind of an old rodeo guy. I would ask (my kids) if they could ride Bad Medicine, and so they'd get on my back and I'd get down on the ground and buck ‘em off. They'd hang on for dear life.

Then they thought it was fun, so they'd go, ‘Hey, is Bad Medicine in town?'

If I was well rested, I might say, ‘I heard Bad Medicine might be coming.' (Or if I wasn't well rested) I'd say, ‘Bad Medicine's sick and he didn't make it to this rodeo.'

Q: Does that speak to how you really were the dad first not just the coach to Cody?
Hawkins
: Totally. And I've always felt like that. I always just tried to be Dad. I learned that a lot from my father. You know, sometimes you'd have a friend whose dad was an agent or he'd try to be a coach or try to influence the coach. My Dad was always just Dad. He didn't try to evaluate your performance, or tell you to work out or not work out. So I always tried to do that with my own kids.

If they had interest, great. If they didn't, that was fine too. I was more concerned that they just did something. I had no idea (Cody) would be this into football. And it was probably between his freshman and sophomore years he just really started getting into it.

Q: Is it harder to be Dad now that he's the quarterback at Colorado?
Hawkins
: No, I really try to be (Dad). If and when he ever comes out to my house, I don't ever talk about the game unless he wants to. I try to talk about school and how's his roommate, how's everything else going?

Q: I wonder if you can talk about the way your running game played last week. It was a big turnaround from the last couple weeks.
Hawkins
: Yeah, I think a lot of it had to do with just small things coming together. We played a couple of our freshmen in there, as well. I think our mentality is getting a little bit better, I think our running backs are getting a little bit more assertive. That being said, too, you're playing Florida State and Arizona State and your numbers aren't so good.

No disrespect to Miami (Ohio), but those other teams are pretty good up front, and I think that has something to do with it, too.


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