Buffs Back On The Gridiron

Though the team isn't exactly sure in which bowl game they'll play, the Colorado Buffaloes began practicing for the extra game Saturday.

CU officials expect to receive an official bowl invitation at some point Sunday afternoon. Signs point to the invite coming from the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La. The Independence Bowl is scheduled for Dec. 30 (6 p.m. MT), and will pit a Big 12 team vs. an SEC team. The Insight Bowl in Tempe, Ariz., is also a possibility for the Buffs.

Junior wide receiver Patrick Williams grew up outside Dallas, Texas, just three hours west of Shreveport.

"My parents and aunt and uncle used to go to (Shreveport) all the time," said Williams, who also traveled to play Pop Warner in the western Louisiana town, too.

It may be easier for relatives of Williams and his Colorado teammates from eastern Texas to get to Shreveport than many other bowl games, but Williams said the Buffs don't have a strong preference where they play.

"I don't care personally where we go," Williams said. "I think our team as a whole really doesn't care. We're proud to be eligible and just excited for the game.

"We were blessed with another month of practice. We were blessed with an opportunity to send our seniors out on the right note, go to another town, practice, have fun."

Colorado conducted its first session of their extra month of practices Saturday afternoon on the CU practice fields. Head coach Dan Hawkins has said backups will get a lot of work during the first half of the 15 to 17 bowl practices. He said Saturday's session was a little rough. It was the first time they'd practiced since beating Nebraska on Nov. 23.

"It looked like we hadn't practiced in a while. It's understandable," Hawkins said.

If the Buffs get some publicity from a game in Shreveport, it won't hurt CU's recruiting efforts in the area, Hawkins said, who will head on the road recruiting directly after Sunday's CU practice.

"We're still down in there (in Louisiana). We're still on some guys down there," Hawkins said. "It's close enough to east Texas where it could help you in east Texas, too."

• Defensive starters Alonzo Barrett (minor knee surgery), George Hypolite (hamstring) and Terrence Wheatley (foot) were not in pads Saturday. All three are expected to play in the bowl game.


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