Gary Barnett Press Conference

Read what the coach had to say about the Cornhuskers and the status of RB Chris Brown.

BOULDER - University of Colorado head coach Gary Barnett held his weekly media luncheon Monday afternoon. The following are excerpts from the press conference along with notes from the Buffs' evening practice session.

On the Nebraska Game:

GENERAL--"Obviously, Nebraska is a big game for us. It's been a big game since Coach (Bill) McCartney created the rivalry since he came here. Certainly it has become a very big game here, and we have approached it that way since '99, and we will continue to approach it like that. I think it is really good for the people in this state to rally around.

"This game is really more of a matter of pride than anything else. It just comes down to two teams that want to play each other in a classic football environment. We would not treat this game any differently than if we had to win it to get to the (Big 12) Championship.

"This is a game that will be a really physical game. It may just last an hour-and-a-half. It is going to sort of be old-fashioned football. I think it will be a matter of old-fashioned blocking and tackling."

ON THE REVENGE FACTOR FOR NU--

"I think it would play a bigger part, if they were 10-1, or 11-0. It's a matter of pride right now. But they play well at home, and it's not going to be an easy task. We know that.

"Every game Nebraska plays is the biggest game on their schedule, and that's the way it has always been."

ON THE RIVALRY--

"If I were in their shoes, realistically, I could see them considering us as rather a pain in the butt and not a full-fledged rivalry."

ON PLAYING IN LINCOLN--

"Obviously, we do not have a great track record (in Lincoln). It is going to be a difficult task and we know that. It's a tough environment, but it's a fun environment. If you are a part of this game, it is a place you look forward to, even though you know it will be very tough to play in.

"I am worried that (our players) don't know how tough it is to win in Lincoln, because most of this team was not there when we played two years ago. Lincoln wants you; Nebraska wants you. That is really tough (to play in)."

ON MATCHING UP--

"To me, we are two even teams across the board, except on special teams. They have got a great return man in (DeJuan) Gross. He is really good and can make some plays. We are going to have to work hard on that this week.

"(CU punter) Mark Mariscal has got to be the All-American we think he is. He has got to give us hang time... no line drives."

ON NU's RECORD--

"They are a better football team than they get credit for. You look at games other than the K-State game, and you still see things on film that make them a pretty darn good team."

ON QB JAMMAL LORD--"He's a big, strong, real athletic guy and their offense revolves around him carrying the ball."

ON CU RUNNING THE BALL--

"It is all just going to come down to hard blocking. We got them to over-run things last year, but they will not make the same mistakes again. We got our (backs) in the secondary and they did not make tackles there, but I don't think that will happen again this year."

On RB Chris Brown:

ON HIS PLAYING STATUS--

"Chris is day-to-day right now. I don't feel great about his chances, but we'll see. Chris wants to play, and if Chris can play we will let him. Right now, he is day-to-day, up to the game, hour-to-hour. He's a game time decision."

On Coming Back from a 1-2 Start:

ON THE SO-CALLED EARLY BULLSEYE--

"We had it on early and I think it slipped off. We sort of took that shirt off after the USC loss. I don't think we have felt like we have had the bullseye, though. Maybe it was just in the eyes of the public. I think since the S.C. game, we have felt like we have had to fight for our respect. It is sort of an unsaid feeling the kids have now.

"We had to reinstate ourselves after S.C., and we did. You have got to give the kids credit. We knew we had to dig ourselves out of a hole."

Practice Notes:

Barnett said junior tailback Bobby Purify (banged up) and senior corner Donald Strickland (ankle) both practiced during the day and will be ready for the Nebraska game. Barnett said that had the Buffs played this past weekend, they probably would have been without the services of Purify and Strickland


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