Hansen takes over

Colorado football coaches have told Tyler Hansen he will be the starting quarterback for the rest of the year. Hansen took over for Cody Hawkins in the fourth quarter of a hard-fought loss at Texas on Saturday.

"He's such a trooper and he's so awesome," coach Dan Hawkins said of the decision. "We're just going to go with him. I mean, he has earned it. He paid his dues last year. He paid his dues this year. We're going to ride him."

Tyler Hansen battled Cody Hawkins throughout spring and summer camp for the starting job but ultimately lost the job in mid-August to his more experienced teammate. But Cody Hawkins wasn't able to make that experience work for him in the first five games this season, throwing nine interceptions to go with his nine touchdown passes.

Hawkins eighth interception of the year came at the Texas 8-yard line with Saturday's game still very much in doubt. The Buffs had held the lead most of the way and were down by three points when his wobbly throw to Scotty McKnight alond the sideline was intercepted and taken back 92 yards for a score by Texas safety Earl Thomas.

Hawkins said he believes Hansen can provide the Buffs with a spark and he will do whatever he can to help his teammate succeed. He said the best thing he can do is do his best to push Hansen and try to regain the starting job at some point in the future.

Hawkins became the CU career leader in touchdown passes and interceptions on the same night he lost the starting job.

Hansen said coaches approached him about possibly playing this season last week. He said he took more practice repetitions with the first team and believed he might get into Saturday's game before it started.

Now that the change has been made, coaches said they won't rotate quarterbacks or give Hansen any reason to look over his shoulder. The job is his for the foreseeable future.

Hansen played in five games as a true freshman last year, throwing for 280 yards and one touchdown. He also was the team's third leading rusher in 2008. He believes he is better prepared for the job now.

"Now I've got a year under my belt," he said. "I know the offense a lot better. I know defensive packages better. Now I can move a team better too."

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