Hansen leads Gold victory

Colorado coaches didn't exactly name a starting quarterback following the conclusion of spring ball Saturday with the annual spring game, but they did list Tyler Hansen alone on top of the depth chart at quarterback before the game. His performance did nothing to make them regret the decision.

Tyler Hansen could still start the 2010 season on the sideline as the backup quarterback for Colorado, but he will go into the summer as the starter, which is good enough for him for now.

Hansen completed 17 of 22 passes for 170 yards Saturday, leading the Gold team to a 37-27 win over the Black.

He threw two touchdown passes to tight end DaVaughn Thornton and another to wide receiver Jason Espinoza and also ran for 25 yards. Hansen and Cody Hawkins played quarterback for their respective teams for the vast majority of the scrimmage.

It was an entertaining and competitive spring game because the team was split into two factions that practiced separately on Thursday and game planned for one another Friday.

"We wanted them bad," Hansen said. "As you could tell, we were intense. Before we were talking trash. We were into this game. It felt like Nebraska. It felt like you were playing guys you hated out there.

"But they're your brothers. So it was just like when you're playing in the backyard against your brother. You want to kill him. It was fun. It was definitely a lot of fun."

Cody Hawkins completed 20 of 26 passes for 220 yards and two touchdowns, including a tackle-eligible play to Nate Solder. He looked sharp to open the scrimmage but several of the drives Hawkins led sputtered later and failed to produce points. Hansen started slow but came on.

Both head coach Dan Hawkins and offensive coordinator Eric Kiesau downplayed the significance of Hansen being atop of the depth chart now. Both said the starting quarterback for the season opener against Colorado State on Sept. 4 won't be named until sometime in August camp. Kiesau said he would like to have the decision made at least 10 days before the opener, but it could be made sooner.

Kiesau said he liked the way both quarterbacks played and how the offenses performed, but he was most impressed with intangibles.

"To me, it was all the stuff you can't measure," he said. "The camaraderie, the guys getting along, guys getting fired up, showing some enthusiasm. That's what's important right now and that's what we tried to cultivate all through spring. So kind of the last day here was a little exclamation point at the end of the sentence. So it was great."

It should be noted that both true freshman quarterback Nick Hirschman and redshirt freshman quarterback Seth Lobato made big plays in their limited playing time late in the game.

Hirschman unleashed his big arm connecting with wide receiver Andre Simmons on an 83-yard catch and run for a score for the Gold team. Lobato turned a short run into a 65-yard scamper for a score at the end of the game.

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