BOULDER - CU coach Dan Hawkins sat down with the media Tuesday for his weekly luncheon. The Buffs play host to Georgia Saturday at 5 p.m. at Folsom Field. The game is being televised nationally by FSN. Below is a transcription of his press conference.
"Well, it seems like a month since we played. I don't know much about Hawai'i, but we are full throttle into Georgia. We're looking forward to getting the 1990 Championship team back here. We think it will be a great thing for them and for us and for all the Buffs. It's obviously a night game, so we're looking forward to the crowd and the excitement there. It'll be a great venue. We got some good work done in the practices that we've had. We've done a nice job of getting ready and combining and getting some guys healed up. We've been getting our young guys some work as well. We're looking forward to playing."
ON THE RETURN OF GEORGIA'S A.J. GREEN
"I think it will help them a lot, not just physically, but emotionally as well. They kind of need that shot in the arm, and I think it will be good for them. He's an extremely talented player. It certainly changes the way you do things defensively, because you have to account for him. But I think it will be a nice shot in the arm for them emotionally."
"We haven't seen him as much, but he is very talented. He can go, and he is a guy that can go up and get it. You can have him covered, and he will still go up and make a play. Sometimes, even though you may think you have him covered, it doesn't mean a thing."
ON GEORGIA'S STRUGGLES THIS SEASON
"I felt bad for [Head Coach] Mark [Richt] because I have tremendous respect for him. He's a great person and a great coach. It's been hard for them because they just can't get on track. They did some nice things in the Mississippi State game, and then they would have a penalty or a turnover. They couldn't quite get over the hump. Certainly, in the last half of the Arkansas game, they did a nice job, got some things worked out and made some plays. They didn't turn it over, and they got back in that game and had a chance to win it. Arkansas made a great play there at the end. They are just trying to put together a smooth set of downs and series."
ON GEORGIA HAVING LOST THREE CONSECUTIVE GAMES
"Georgia's a great football program. They have a lot of pride and a lot of tradition there. Like I said, Mark is a great coach. I don't think they are going to panic by any means, but certainly they are going to screw it down a little tighter. I fully expect that we are going to get their best shot."
ON GEORGIA'S PHYSICAL PLAY
"It's hard to tell until you get there. Obviously, in the SEC it always is that way, so I think that's the nature of it a little bit. I think it is hard to tell until you get there. They've always been very fundamentally sound. They're going to hit you, and they're going to tackle you, and they play a very physical style of football. They're always very talented."
ON CONCERNS AFTER A BYE WEEK
"We're always concerned about everything. Did the sun come up too early? Was it to hot or too cold? I don't think we ever try to get into that too much. You just sort of deal with it as it comes. The positive side of it is, like I said, we were able to get some guys healed up who were a little nicked up. Having guys who had some muscle strains or sprains healed up is a good thing."
ON STARTING NICKLEBACK
"Pat Mahnke probably is the guy there. Liloa [Nobriga] has been playing in there too a little bit. He has done okay, he is physical."
ON PLAYING IN FRONT OF THE 1990 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM
"For us, I don't think there is any negative; it's always a positive. It makes the guys feel good. Certainly, we have a tremendous respect for the tradition. We know all too well the cast of people who were involved in that. To me, I think it is all positive. We've had a bunch of those guys talk to the team. We had Al [Alfred Williams] last week. A lot of those guys, including Coach Mac [Bill McCartney] have spoken to the team before, so it's not like they haven't heard that message."
ON THE DEFENSIVE LINE
"We'd like to get a few more sacks on the board. I think those guys are bigger, faster, stronger and more experienced. I think Romeo [Bandison] has done a nice job of rolling those guys in. I think there is a nice posse of eight or so guys who can roll in there. He hasn't tried to stamp them as much. He's using them in the right situations, so a lot of those outside guys can play inside. He's done a nice job of mixing that up."
ON TYLER AHLES AND B.J. BEATTY SPLITTING TIME AT LINEBACKER
"Tyler's a little bit bigger, I think a little more physical that way. I think probably B.J. has the upper-hand a little bit when it comes to quickness. When we ran the 40 [yard dash] in the spring, Tyler was the faster of the two. They're very similar, very tenacious, and very good motor guys."
ON THE NO-HUDDLE OFFENSE
"We work on it every day. We always like to have it in our back pocket. I think we'll kind of have to see how the game goes. Obviously, if we're huddling and having success with that, then we will stay with it. If we feel like we need a rhythm changer, we may go with it. It's something we always have ready."
ON GEORGIA QUARTERBACK AARON MURRAY
"I think he is getting consistently better. I think he has done a nice job for being a young guy. I think he can run a little bit, and that wide receiver corps comes back into what they were expected to be at the beginning of the season. I think that has significantly helped him. He's done a nice job in there, particularly in the second half of the Arkansas game. I thought he played really well in there."
ON LEARNING EXPERIENCES FROM 2006 MEETING WITH GEORGIA
"There's not a whole lot really. The game is here and not there, so you can't really take that. A lot of these guys didn't make that trip. They're different defensively. Other than playing the same logo and having two of the more famous mascots on the field at the same time, I don't know."