BOULDER— University of Colorado head football coach Gary Barnett held his weekly Press Conference Tuesday at the Dal Ward Athletic Center. The following are quotes from the session:
RECAPPING MIAMI GAME— “We see it as a missed opportunity for us. We had to play better. We can’t have those turnovers and penalties in a game like that. Miami played good, solid football. We also had some guys who played really well. I was particularly proud of our offensive line. That team (Miami) was leading the country in sacks and we did not give up a sack in the game. I think (offensive line coach) Dave Borbely did a great job of getting them ready. Part of it was also a product of having two weeks to prepare for them. We had five penalties on defense, seven penalties on special teams and another five on offense. We have to fix that, and they are all fixable. I am going to take care of the penalties. I was really impressed with how hard our kids played; I was impressed with our conditioning and the heat was never an issue for us. We looked at the film and just said ‘doggone it, what an opportunity we blew down there.’ Overall I was pleased with the way our kids played and conducted themselves. Clint O’Neal had a particularly good game on the offensive line. Our receivers did a nice job of catching the football, but we had four drops—two of them at critical times. With those drops and our three turnovers in a game like that, it’s hard to win.”
ON OKLAHOMA STATE— “We had a lot of mistakes (last year against Oklahoma State) like we did against Miami—a lot of foolish mistakes and they got up on us fast. We cam out in the second half and got a touch down which was called back; that would have put us back in the game. After that we never really could get back into it. Hopefully that kind of game is over for us this year since we had it last week. I think our guys came out of the Miami game with a lot of confidence in how good we might be. They all realize that we can’t make those mistakes, but I think they all feel good about where they think they can go and what they think they can do. Oklahoma State is 3-0. They have played three teams that not a whole lot of people know about (Montana State, Florida Atlantic and Arkansas State), and I’m sure they are wondering how good they are. We have played a couple teams that people know about and we are 2-1. We don’t necessarily walk out of Miami and say ‘we’re a good football team,’ but I think we might be able to become one. This becomes a big game as it is the first of three against (Big 12 South teams). Whoever wins this decision is going to have to play well on the road and play well in the South. This game represents both of those opportunities for both teams.
“They have a young quarterback who is really talented in Bobby Reid. He is a lot like (Texas quarterback) Vincent Young—same kind of size. He probably throws the ball a little better than Vincent but he doesn’t run it as well yet. He’s just a redshirt freshman and he’s an extremely talented youngster. I don’t want him to grow up yet—I want him to mature three or four weeks down the road. It’s hard to tell how good they are at running the football because of the teams they’ve played. Defensively, they are solid and they are much like Colorado State if we had to categorize them with the way they like to bring pressure with zone blitzes. We have to discount the teams they have played and just look at their production. We have to figure that we’re playing a pretty good football team. This game is about fixing our mistakes from last week and getting better, going on the road and getting our first (conference) win down there.”
ON POSSIBLE HANGOVER FROM MIAMI GAME— “I think if anything we got a boost from the game. Sometimes you go down there wondering how good you are and I think the players came away with a lot of confidence. They are disappointed—that was not a moral victory—but it was an encouraging performance by a lot of guys.”
ON INJURIES—“(Offensive lineman) Jack Tipton (sprained ankle) is probably out; (offensive lineman) Tyler Polumbus will get better, so we’re just about where we were last week with our numbers.
ON PENALTIES—“We’re going to do some things. I am going to take care of the penalties. When you line up offside, that’s a stupid penalty. We have to eliminate the penalties that are a lack of attention to detail and a lack of discipline.”
ON MASON CROSBY’S 58-YARD FIELD GOAL—“It probably was (one of the most impressive kicks I have ever seen). I was so disgusted at that point in time that I couldn’t really celebrate how spectacular it really was. After the year is over and you see that he made a 58-yarder at sea level, it will seem pretty amazing.”
ON STRETCHING THE FIELD—“We have to get our tight ends involved to stretch the field the right way. We didn’t get our tight ends down the field very well (against Miami). We should have tried to throw the ball down deeper to Joe (Klopfenstein) or to Quinn (Sypniewski), but missed on those opportunities. Against Miami, it was going to be hard to get the ball down the field because there was a speed issue. We don’t have great speed at the receiver position and I don’t think there is anyone who is going to get a lot faster anytime soon.”
ON THE JUMP TO CONFERENCE PLAY—“We got up to play Miami like we would get up to play Oklahoma State. So this isn’t like a huge jump we have to make, emotionally, to get up for this game. That’s one of the things Miami did—it helped us get ready for this conference.”
ON PLAY OF SECONDARY AGAINST MIAMI—“They played really well. (Cornerback) Gerett Burl played well; they tried to throw on him twice and he covered it. We gave up an ‘out-and-up’ (on the touchdown to Sinorice Moss) and that was just a matter of discipline. If cornerback (Lorenzo Sims) uses his eyes like he’s taught to do, then that never happens. We didn’t have anyone running free except for that one play. I think we’ve done better, but we were playing a really good team.
OTHER NOTES: Quarterback Joel Klatt and offensive lineman Brian Daniels both practiced Tuesday and are scheduled to play on Saturday. Kicker Mason Crosby was named one of the Lou Groza Three Stars of the week for his performance Saturday against Miami. His 58-yard field goal against the Hurricanes was the longest ever kicked without a tee at the Orange Bowl at the college and proffessional levels.