Offense shines in first scrimmage

The downhill running game hasn't quite materialized, but that didn't prevent the offense from winning the day during the first scrimmage of Colorado spring football practices today. The Buffs didn't turn the ball over and two quarterbacks combined to throw 10 touchdown passes. Get inside for more.

Junior Cody Hawkins completed 18 of 29 passes for 328 yards and seven touchdowns while his only remaining competition for the starting job, Tyler Hansen, also enjoyed a solid outing completing 13 of 22 passes for 207 yards and three scores.

Some might have been surprised to see Hansen take the first snaps of the scrimmage. The sophomore is clearly pushing Hawkins hard for the starting job.

"I think Tyler is doing a great job," Cody Hawkins said. "He's really coming a long way. He's done a great job picking up the new offense. He's not afraid to ask questions and he's really doing a great job with a lot of the checks that we didn't really have in the offense last year.

"I think we're both doing a great job of making each other better."

Several receivers played a part in helping those quarterbacks looks good. The stars today were walk-on wide receiver Jason Espinoza, who seemed to catch everything thrown his way. He finished as the leading receiver with seven catches for 154 yards and three touchdowns. Tight end Patrick Devenny also had a strong day, including opening the scrimmage with a 70-yard touchdown catch from Hansen. Devenny caught four passes for 138 yards and two scores.

Wide receiver Markques Simas also caught three passes for 47 yards and two touchdowns.

Sophomore Darrell Scott finished the day with nine carries for 21 yards. Rodney Stewart had 13 for 43 and Brian Lockridge carried eight times for 29 yards in what was probably the most disappointing part of the day for the offense. Obviously the CU rush defense held its own against an offensive line completing its first two weeks under a new position coach.

The CU defense managed to sack each quarterback three times, and it should be noted that the secondary is far from full strength at this point with Cah'pelle Brown, Jalil Brown, Ben Burney, Anthony Wright and Jonathan Hawkins all sitting out practice with injuries or because they are recovering from injuries.

CU fans will be happy to hear place-kicker Aric Goodman enjoyed a solid day making all but one of his field goal attempts and all his extra points. Goodman is coming off a miserable 2008 season in which he missed eight consecutive kicks at one point.

Other parts of special teams were a mixed bag. The kickoff return team enjoyed a very good day with three long kickoff returns, two from Josh Smith and one from Rodney Stewart. The kickoff team clearly has work to do.

Linebacker Marcus Burton continued his strong start this spring by leading the team with nine tackles, including seven solo. Fellow middle linebacker Michael Sipili finished with five tackles, including two sacks and three third-down stops.


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