Buffs Go For A Swim

Following the team's biggest win in years, the Colorado football team went for a swim. Actually, it wasn't a playful reward for a game well played. Sunday night's dip in the pool was a planned conditioning workout. Inside, notes from the Colorado football team.

• Members of the 3-2 Colorado football team — the squad that knocked off then-No. 3-ranked Oklahoma the afternoon before — looked as if they could use a nap as they filed in to the Dal Ward Center early Sunday evening. They had that post-swim dreariness about them.

CU strength and conditioning coach Jeff Pitman put the team through a tough workout in the water at the CU Rec Center. Dan Hawkins said it was a planned workout.

"It's a good change of pace and a good chance for them to get their blood flowing but not bang them up," Hawkins said. "As you get to this time of the season and people have a lot of nicks, it's a good way to ease up on the joints."

• Though offensive line coach Jeff Grimes hadn't yet graded the play of his offensive lineman when the coaches met Sunday, Hawkins said freshman Kai Maiava, who got his first start, played "awesome" in the win. Asked about freshman Ryan Miller, who played a handful of series, Hawkins noted Miller "did a good job of dominating that guy on the edge" on certain running plays.

• The CU defense has put together three very good games in a row. The past three opponents, Florida State, Miami of Ohio and Oklahoma, averaged under 200 yards vs. the Buffs.

Hawkins credits defensive coordinator Ron Collins and his defensive assistants for putting together some good game plans in recent weeks. That's included adding a few new wrinkles each week that gives the Buffs a strategical advantage in some instances.

And Hawkins said players are paying attention to the fine-tune details the coaches have been harping on for months — and it's paying off.

• Colorado picked up five votes in the AP Poll, three in the Harris and Coaches polls. The Sooners fell to No. 10 in the AP and Coaches polls, No. 9 in the Harris Poll.

The Sooners were No. 3 in two of those polls prior to Saturday's game. Hawkins said when a team knocks off a No. 3-ranked team, he usually throws the winner a bone. But it'll likely take wins in the next two weeks over Baylor and Kansas State (No. 24 in AP) for the Buffs to sniff the top 25.

• Several recruits were at Saturday's game. Asked if a high-profile victory like that helps in the recruiting arena, Hawkins said: "We'll see. I really think that we've had great response. We had great response last year and we've had great response this year.

"Good players want to play on good teams. For them to get a sniff of that, and get a sense that (Colorado) can do (knock off a top 5 program), that provides a lot of evidence."

• Junior linebacker R.J. Brown is still out indefinitely with a concussion.

• Fifth-year senior punt returner Chase McBride came up with a huge return at the perfect time Saturday. His fourth quarter scamper helped put the Buffs in position for the game-winning field goal. McBride was a walk-on player going into the game. He now has a scholarship. Hawkins announced it to the team in the locker room following the victory.

McBride's reaction?: "It felt great, but I was more concerned about the win and the way we played."

• Next up: a road game at Baylor. The Bears are 3-2 this season. The Bears came into Boulder and beat Colorado in triple overtime last season.

Hawkins said he doesn't think much about best wins in his career. But he counts last year's loss to Baylor among the two most painful losses he's ever been a part of. The other one was a game vs. Pacific Lutheran University when Hawkins coached Wilamette. PLU scored 20 points in four minutes to tie the game.

"There ain't no therapy for that. It's like a bad jungle virus that gets in your blood and never leaves."

After the loss in triple overtime to Baylor last year, Hawkins burned the candle at the office all night Saturday night. He didn't go home until after Sunday evening's practice.


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