Texas week: Hawkins press conference

BOULDER – University of Colorado head football coach Dan Hawkins held his Texas week press luncheon Tuesday at the Dal Ward Athletic Center, previewing Saturday night's game against with the Longhorns. The following are quotes from the session:

Head Coach Dan Hawkins

On The Strength of the Big 12 Conference

"Obviously Kansas and Missouri have made huge strides recently. That being said, you still have the A&M's, the Oklahoma's, the Nebraska's, the Texas's and all of that; so pick your poison."

On The Maturity of Sophomore QB Cody Hawkins

"(Note: Cody Hawkins recently shaved his head to support a child with cancer) The guy has great perspective, he really does. He has his life and the right priorities in place. He saw a chance to really help; he loves kids and he saw a chance to go help a guy, and he went and did it. It was really on his own accord; so I think that is something that we instill in our entire team and I think our guys are really community service oriented. They understand the big picture and their role in society, and what they can do to help kids and people in general. I think it's great that he took the initiative and did it."

On Cody Hawkins' Play Thus Far

"One game is not a career make. He's not going to be the last quarterback to have a tough day, that's part of life. I won't say who it was, but there was one of the media who actually showed up today without a pen to take notes with; so I found that interesting. That's just part of it, and I think he has great perspective on it and took ownership of it. That being said, the guy got the snot knocked out of him. He was able to hang in there and made some throws later in the game that didn't get caught. When you're the quarterback and you're the head coach, you always take the blunt of the criticism, so I think he's got that well in perspective. It's part of the journey of a quarterback, it's part of the journey of a team; you're not just going to keep climbing the ladder every week out, there's going to be bumps in the road."

On Playing a Team with the Prestige of Texas

"Everybody always has different strengths and weaknesses and advantages. I tell kids all the time in recruiting, I think coaches get into saying, ‘I'm a better coach than that guy, we're a better school than that school, we're a better team than that team.' They are all different. What we try to do is extenuate our differences and who we are and what we're about. I tell people all the time that it's not the house; it's the people in the house. For a kid that wants our kind of environment, who wants that personal, academic, and athletic balance, this is a great place. So I don't always look at somebody who has a bigger stadium or a bigger weight room, or all of those kinds of things, because that's not everything. They have a great staff, great tradition, great program, historically they've been awesome; you know that there are those kind of advantages there, but that doesn't mean you make excuses and go, ‘Well, we're not in that same thing.' Clearly I think we can extenuate other things and get into that same name. I haven't really worried a whole lot about what happened in the past between CU and Texas. I think we're dealing with the here and now, and what we have, and what they have."

On Texas Quarterback Colt McCoy

"I think he's much more assertive. I think he's playing with a lot of confidence; he's been very efficient with the ball. That being said, I think he's probably healthier than he's been in a while. I know he's been beat up in seasons before, so I think that's helped him. His team is playing with a lot of confidence as well, and you can see it in his play; he just looks much more assertive."

On Matching Up Individually Against Texas

"It's hard, it's very hard; there's only so much you can do. You have to mix things up, you have to be able to run the football and be able to have a package that is able keep them off balance to some degree, if you possibly can. At the end of the day it comes down to man-on-man battles, to some degree. That will be part of the realities that we'll face on Saturday."

On Freshman Offensive Guard Matthew Bahr

"He's done a nice job. He's been playing both guard and tackle. He is a smart football player and I'm sure that once he gets more reps, he'll get better and he has to get better. I think he's a good player and the interesting thing in life is that guys rise when they get an opportunity to get in there and get going. He actually played pretty well when he came in against Florida State."

On Suspended Player Ethan Adkins

"With Ethan right now, we're trying to get back into the mix, but I need to get the final okay from everybody else. He's been out for a month and he's gone through a lot of stuff, but he's kind of completed at least the first part of what we want him to do."

On Texas' Defensive Pass Rush

"They're very strong and very explosive up front. They play a lot of guys and have a lot of depth in there, so they can roll guys in there and keep guys fresh. (Texas Defensive Coordinator) Will [Muschamp] does a nice job of keeping you off-balance at times too; they're not going to just line up and let you know where they're going to be all the time."

On Freshman RB Darrell Scott Being 100% Healthy

"I think he's very close to that. How he rates that, I don't know exactly but I think he's very close to that. We still have a brace on him, our doctors want to play it safe and just get that added insurance there."

On His Emphasis Towards Special Teams

"We work it a ton; we meet on it, we work on it, all of that. I don't think you can overdo it more than we've been doing it, because we do it a lot. We just need a little bit more concentration I think. We'll still continue to do the same things we've been doing."

On Texas In General

"They've got great personnel and great schemes with great players. I think the other side of it too is that they're getting their edge a little bit. Maybe it's helped them where people haven't been looking at them necessarily; they've been looking at other teams and kind of ignoring the Longhorns. Clearly Colt (McCoy) is a Heisman type player and they've got great personnel on their team, so they're clearly one of the better teams in the country right now, there's no question."

On Injured Freshman WR Jason Espinoza Returning for the Texas Game

"He'll be running around out there, but I don't think we're going to clear him for this game. We'll try to get him in pads, but he'll be a no-contact guy."

On Colorado's Defensive Secondary's Play

"We've done better. Again, we've played two teams here back-to-back that were certainly more running type teams. We'll get tested as we go along here and face teams who are a little more of a throwing type team. I think (Secondary Coach) Greg [Brown] has done a nice job with those guys, with bringing them along; they're getting some experience and getting some reps out there. So in general I think they've been decent thus far. But again, we all have to continue to get better, because it's only going to get harder."

On Giving Up Large Rushing Numbers In the Last Two Games

"Certainly against Florida State; people have been down on them a little bit, but they have great players and it's a very good football program. I think again, obviously, they were running the ball a little bit more against us than we wanted. I think West Virginia ran the ball against us more than we wanted. That being said, they obviously have two very proven players that are productive that way. The other side of that is that they didn't throw the ball that much at all. So there's going to be a little bit of give and take with that. It's always about trying to get better. The first drive against Florida State, even though we gave them a short field, they ran it down us. The last drive, we could have made some things interesting, but they were able to control the ball game on the ground. So in those two instances it's not okay, but by-and-large I think they have been doing better and gone against two pretty good teams."

On Injuries To the Offensive Line and Injury-ridden Seasons

"I just went through two of them. We're playing with five and seven guys to begin with, so that's the nature of it. Sometimes you get hit that way, but again, that's life. The beauty of this whole thing is that when things don't always go your way, it's not that you like it and it's not as easy as you want, but that's football, that's life. There's a certain amount of wisdom and knowledge and experience that comes through all of that that I think is really quintessential to anybody's existence, just figuring the whole thing out; life's not easy. We've got a lot more guys than we have had the past two years. If this would have happened in ‘06 or ‘07, you'd be playing offensive guard. So we're doing okay and our guys are picking up the pieces."

BuffStampede Top Stories