Q&A with Ron Collins

Colorado defensive coordinator Ron Collins was as surprised as most fans at how poorly his defense played against Toledo last week in a 54-38 loss. The performance prompted him to rethink his approach and start over this week, trying to keep things simple for his players and rebuild their confidence. Get inside for more.

The past two times Ron Collins has faced offenses coached by Wyoming head coach Dave Christensen came in matchups with Missouri, where Christensen has coached the past eight seasons. Collins was asked if he was going to change things up this week against Wyoming given the recent results against the Missouri system now in use by the Cowboys.

"We're going to do what we do," he said. 'I mean, we've got to get back to the basics, and we've got to get back to our basic coverages and hopefully play at a level where we're not thinking on the field and playing fast."

How far are you from that level?

"Well, we're a ways away. Time will tell. Once game time hits, we'll find out whether we're doing the right thing right now or not."

What has it been like for you giving up those plays? Has it been maybe as surprising to you as it has been to us?

"Definitely. I mean, it's difficult to watch. We'd like to sit back and be able to sit there and say, 'What have we done wrong in practice and what do we need to improve on?' Believe me, each Sunday we're going back to the drawing board and trying to figure it out.

"The things we've given up, big play stuff, we take full responsibility for that. Obviously we haven't done a good enough job coaching these guys up. We need to get them going and that's our role this week is to get it to where those guys are not giving up big plays and they're running fast to the ball."

Was there something in your review or in talking with your players that told you these guys are confused and I need to reel it back in and get back to basics?

"There was a couple plays that hurt us where, yeah, there was a little confusion. And there was a couple plays that hurt us where we didn't make plays. And there was a couple plays where they made. You put all that together and they start getting a little momentum and that's very difficult to overcome.

"We're done 13 points and have third-down-and-four and the quarterback runs 70 yards for a touchdown. That's something that should never happen."

How do you go about simplifying things?

"You just go back to your base coverage and you don't rotate as many guys in the game. The guys who have proven themselves out here on the field are going to be the ones out here on the field. We've given a lot of opportunities to guys. We've tried to roll a lot of guys in and when a team is fast-paced like what Toledo is and what Wyoming is going to be, it's very hard to substitute because they just go so fast."

How did you feel you handled that part of the game?

"Not very well. I mean, obviously. At times it was OK and at times it was ust going faster than we could transition.We've just got to limit how much rotation we've got."

Is all of this fixable in your mind?

"In my mind, it is. ONce again, I think the first two games, we've had kind of a combination of some guys who are inexperienced, some guys who have experience and have not made plays that they probably should have at particular times and there is probably calls that we made that were bad, flat out bad. You get the combination of that and you're 0 and 2.

"So, as coaches we take full responsibility for that and we've got to get back and get it to where guys can go out there and play fast."


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