BOULDER – The University of Colorado held its weekly press conference Tuesday at the Dal Ward Athletic Center, as head coach Gary Barnett addressed the media about the team's progress during the bye week and this week's matchup with Baylor (10:30 a.m. MDT, Fox Sports). The following contains quotes from the afternoon press session.
ON BAYLOR—'A year ago they were throwing it all over the place and pretty crazy on offense. Now they're a little more conventional, but are using a thousand different formations. The running back (Rashad Armstrong) averages a little over four and a half yards a carry and we think he's a heck of a player. The strength of their team is probably their secondary. The corners inherited some pretty good players there. Scheme-wise, their scheme is very similar to ours, if not almost identical defensively. They are coming off their bye week as well, so we can anticipate some new things going in.'
ON COLORADO—'We spent our bye week just trying to get better fundamentally and playing football for three days. We had physical practices and we just put ourselves in more general football situations and let the kids play. While it was difficult on them, I think they enjoyed it and I think they like just going out on the field and playing football. It was sort of like it was when they first got started playing " you just go out and play ball and see what happens. I don't know what we got out of it yet; I don't think we'll know until Saturday. We are looking at this as an eight-week business trip and this (the Baylor game) is the first step that we get to take. We're a team coming off two losses, we've given up a lot of points and we are certainly not an overconfident team at this point in time. We are still trying to find a little bit of whom we are on both sides of the ball. I do think that we will come out of last week with a little bit of confidence. I do think that we got better, especially on offense. We made some position shifts on the offensive line and that's a group that I've seen grow daily. Those guys are starting to get a feel for playing with each other and playing together.'
ON INJURY SITUATION—'Joel (Klatt) will be day-to-day. He threw a little bit yesterday and he had pretty good range of motion, but not much strength in his arm. We'll go and prepare the other two guys as if they're going to play and if Joel makes headway through the week with his arm strength, then we'll make a game day decision on whether he starts or plays. Bobby (Purify) isn't back and he won't be back until most likely the Kansas State game. Everywhere else we should be in fairly good shape.'
ON GETTING 'UP' FOR THE BAYLOR GAME—'Trust me there won't be any trouble getting up for Baylor. We're a humble football team. We better be glad that we have another game to play after our last two performances. It doesn't make a difference who we are going to play. Our team is going to go down there humble and fighting, scratching and clawing.'
'Confidence is always an issue, especially coming off two losses. That's something that we have to do as coaches, is to get them confident. I think you always go into – in the situation that our guys are in right now – wondering what's going to happen. Really, they've got to go in and make the decisions that make things happen. We've got to go in and take our game into Baylor, not go in and see what their game is.'
'We tried last week to not question and let them play, get in the rhythm of playing and get their confidence back about how much fun it is to play and not worry about losing.'
ON THE START OF BIG 12 ACTION—'It is a two season type of arrangement for us. Coming off of two losses, you sort of want that part of the season to be gone. There is no question that this starts a second season and its what you gauge all of your goals around in the conference.'
ON CB TERRENCE WHEATLEY—'Terrence Wheatley is doing very well. He has a very bright future; he's going to be a terrific football player. I thought he played well at Florida State when he stepped in there. He got a kickoff return, he made two tackles and he broke up one nice pass. I think Terrence is going to be a terrific player and he's going to get a chance to play a lot as a true freshman.'
ON THE PASS RUSH—'All you can do is try to keep getting better at your technique without bringing more guys. Either get better individually in the pass rush or find different ways to put pressure on that will give those guys more one-on-one, or more edges or an advantage with movement. It shows that we miss Marques (Harris) in that area. Marques is a warrior, he was a real quiet leader and everybody looked up to him on the field. And not having him, somebody has to step up and take that position " I don't mean the end position, I mean that warrior sort of mentality. I don't know where that will fall. Sean Tufts sort of handles the linebackers and Medford (Moorer) sort of handles the secondary, but up front it has to be one of the other guys. We'll just have to see. That's part of the dilemma " watching that happen. The hard part is if it doesn't happen.