University of Colorado head football coach Dan Hawkins held his weekly press luncheon Tuesday at the Dal Ward Athletic Center. He recapped last week's game against Colorado State and previewed Friday's showdown against the Toledo Rockets. Coach Dan Hawkins
ON THE LOSS TO CSU-"Much like the Buff faithful, we were all hurting too, but you have to pull your boots up and get going. Even in this week it has to be even shorter so we have to flush it and move.
"Nobody ever likes to lose, especially to your rival, but if you don't like to lose, don't play, don't coach, because that's part of it."
ON THE SIMILARITIES BETWEEN OKLAHOMA STATE AND TOLEDO-"They are probably more like a Missouri in a sense than Oklahoma State because Zac [Robinson] was always such a prolific runner and just based off the first game and I'm sure they want to run it more, Oklahoma State is balanced running and throwing, and obviously last week they chucked it around the yard pretty good. They are definitely really good at what they do.
"What they [Toledo] are doing on defense is similar, that is probably the biggest similarity, but they have blended some of the stuff they are doing, and it is not totally what Oklahoma State did but it's similar in nature. I think probably that's where his influence is, the defensive side."
ON PREPARING FOR TOLEDO-"I'm one of those guys who just fears everybody, I really do. We just assume everyone is good, we don't look at it as you can pick on that guy, everybody is good."
ON TOLEDO'S OFFENSE-"They can throw it, they can move it around. They have got some good receivers, and their quarterback is a very accurate guy. They are prolific at what they do, they're good at it."
ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE DEFENSIVE LINE-"Well, we got two true freshman in there playing, they're going to get better. We have Will Pericak, who is a new starter; he's going to get better. Those guys with every game they get a little more experience, every practice they get more experience, and hopefully with that we get improved play."
ON THE CSU OFFENSE-"There are some gassers. There were like three running plays for over 40 yards and then they had the same thing in throwing the ball. The run, we had a gap error, and two of the passes were double moves where we were in man-coverage and got spun around and they did a good job and good throw and got open, so we just have to work against double moves on man coverage."
ON THE QUARTERBACK SITUATION-"Those two guys have handled all this stuff really, really well and we're trying to, I guess be fair, as fair as we can in a sense with Tyler [Hansen], who had to rip his redshirt off last year and kind of go okay, is there a way you can get back in the progression of quarterback. But that may not happen, Cody [Hawkins] could break his arm today and he'd [Hansen] be in. Or, if Cody ends up not getting it done, then Tyler would have to step up. We are also trying to the degree that we can, be fair to him [Hansen] as much as we can. You have to play well at the spot, but there are never a set of rules that govern that, it is always a judgment call.
"Well I think the goal there always is to have a posse because it is very hard at this level of football to get through the whole season unscathed, and even if you are technically playing, in many cases you are usually beat up. Always having three guys is good, now do you try and order those guys one through three, again it's a lot of their health, their maturity, their confidence, what they're good at, what they can handle, all that."
ON THE THIRD STRING QUARTERBACK-"I don't know yet, we're going to have to travel this week, so we'll see. It is still between Seth [Lobato] and Clark [Evans]. Seth knows what is going on in the system and he's got a good arm and is an accurate thrower. He is going to continue to get better, which is a scary thing, but he knows what he's doing back there, he's got good command of what's happening."
ON COLORADO'S RUSHING ATTACK-"It all starts up front and I think those guys will continue to get better, they will obviously have a greater sense of urgency. I think because of the game last year, the nature of the way it went, it tends to take you out of it emotionally kind of going well. We probably need to throw it here to get back in it a little more, so it's a combination of all those things."
ON CU'S RUNNING BACKS-"I would say they all have characteristics that make them particularly positive in certain things, so you try and put them in a position where they are stronger in what they do. Darrell [Scott] will continue taking kick-offs and will see more of the ball on offense."
ON THE NEW OFFENSIVE LINEMAN-"I thought we were night-and-day different between the first and second half and I thought those guys did settle in a bit and getter a better feel. The other thing was you had Mike [Iltis] in there and then Keenan [Stevens] comes in, so I think there was a little bit of adjusting there, but as soon as those five played a couple of series together, the communication, the tempo and all that got significantly better. We just need to get those guys going so they can adjust accordingly in a quicker fashion next game."
ON OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR ERIC KEISAU-"I thought he was fine, I thought he was very composed. It is very frustrating as a fan and for the coaches when you don't get rhythm. In the first drive, we had a drop on a third down play, so we had to punt the ball. The next time we had the ball, we had a drop, which became a pick, it's hard because you're trying to get in a rhythm, and then what happens as a coordinator you try to call the perfect play, and that is very hard to do. The good thing was in the second half, we kind of sketched, added and deleted and we hit a couple plays. When we hit a couple plays the kids get in rhythm then the coordinator gets to call six, seven, or eight plays instead of three. Just in terms of being poised, and being on it and being focused and having a good method, and a good plan, and communicating with the kids, I thought it was good."
ON SCOTTY MCKNIGHT'S STATUS-"We anticipate him for next week. Our staff was very cautious with Scotty, the players have to reach a certain point of cognitive behavior and if they can't measure up to what they need to, or if it is borderline, they [trainers] will take his helmet away and he'll be done, but he was kind of able to come back and figure things out and know what was going on."
ON THE EARLY SEASON STRUGGLES-"The fans are dying, but we're dying too. But we want people to care, we're still dying to. But again, we have to be able to flush it. It's interesting, but how many times has Colorado lost to Colorado State and still rallied for a great season? How many times have they lost early and still rallied for a great season? Oklahoma lost a ball game, and their quarterback for awhile, and I'm sure they are going to be okay. The great thing about college football is everybody is so emotional and passionate about it but at the same time you have to be able to handle it on both sides and know that those things are going to happen. You can't let one loss become two losses or three losses, you have to strap it up and get back out there."
ON HAVING A SHORT WEEK TO PREPARE FOR TOLEDO-"I don't like the short week, but we've done it plenty of times before and we've been pretty good with it. I think our plan has been pretty good, I told our guys that. Some of it is just how you put it in your head, I mean you can sit around and complain about late games, early games, Saturday or Sunday, whatever it is, but that's the way it is, let's go, and if you handle it that way you're usually pretty good."
ON THE DEFENSIVE BACKS AND THE CONTROVERSIAL HIT-"Three years ago you are thinking wow, that's a pretty good play. So they [officials] are trying to re-define what that is [leading with your helmet], and I think that is going to take some time. It's very hard. I think defensive players have to learn through junior high, high school and into college that you can't lead with your helmet and if it's a bang-bang play, that's good, but if you think the ball is overthrown and the timing is kind of right, and I'm going to light this guy up, that is not going to work. You want to keep guys safe."
ON MONDAY MORNING-"We were grinding, we graded the tape, so I went to bed about 1:30 am. We crawled in here at 6 am on Monday and started cranking for Toledo."
ON CODY HAWKINS WINNING THE STARTING QB JOB-"When you're inside the offices, we're trying to get the top 22 guys on the field. Not only get the starters on the field, but trying to create roles for everybody else, and trying to manage that whole concept of being a part of something really special. There is no way one guy or I will overrule anybody on our offensive staff, they all come to consensus on who the starter is, it's the same as last year."
ON RECRUITING THE STATE FROM THE STATE OF OHIO-"We've done a good job there; [Darian] Hagan has done a good job there. Obviously, we have gotten some really good players out of Ohio. It is a pretty fertile football area. I don't know how much we'll get back up there, but the fans, the people will be able to see who we are, what we look like and how we play."