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Courtesy: CUBuffs.com
Release: October 12, 2004
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Barnett spoke to the media Tuesday.   By Associated Press
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BOULDER – University of Colorado head football coach Gary Barnett held his weekly media luncheon Tuesday at the Dal Ward Athletic Center, as Barnett and junior V-back Lawrence Vickers addressed the media during the afternoon press conference.  The following are excerpts from the gathering.




On the Oklahoma State Game: “It was one of the most bizarre games that I’ve ever coached.  There were a lot of terrible mistakes, and they all resulted in touchdowns or points for Oklahoma State.  I don’t remember so many bizarre, careless mistakes as I do than in that game.  Some of them you don’t have an answer for; there is no recourse, there is no solution, there is nothing you could have done before or after to change the outcome of a couple plays.  You just have to live with it, and you hope some of those come around to (help) you sooner or later.  But those sure put us in a tough situation.  To think that they had one play that was in our territory in the first half and they still scored 21 points is bizarre.


“Looking back, we had a lot of good things happen in that game; we also had a lot of bad things.  Our bad things added up to points for (OSU) and our good things didn’t add up to points (for CU).  We had a number of guys on defense play pretty well, but careless mistakes all the way through the first touchdown hurt us.  It was one of those days.  We’ve tried to glean as much as we can from it and find the positives and go on to fix what we can fix and keep working.  We’ve dug ourselves a hole.  Right now our concern is that Colorado quit beating Colorado.  We’ve beat ourselves twice, two weeks in a row, and that’s got to be fixed.  That has to be brought to an end.  Usually that’s a combination of detailing and focus and intention and study.  It’s never one simple thing.  We are all busy this week trying to fix our ends of it.  Will it get fixed over night?  No, it probably won’t, but at least we can identify and start working on it.  That’s where we are right now.”


On Iowa State: “This game coming up is two teams who have pretty much had the same kind of year.  Statistically, we’re probably the same.  They are playing the rush better than we are—they’re second in the conference—but statistically you look up and down the board and we are about the same.  As I’ve told our team, there is a team in Ames that is going, ‘Oh good, we get to play Colorado,” and there is a team in Colorado that is saying, ‘Oh good, we get to play Iowa State.”  In reality they are both wrong if that’s the way they’re thinking.  So, we’ve got to gear up, we’ve got to worry about ourselves and we’ve got to concentrate on Colorado this week, and that’s what we’re going to concentrate on.  Iowa State is a better team than they were last year.  They are better on offense, better on defense and a little better on special teams.  Last year was an easy game for us.  (This year) it is not going to be that way.


“I don’t think you’ll see a lot of changes.  I think we’ll probably be a little simpler on defense.  We are going to involve Lawrence (Vickers) in the game as much as we can; we are going to get our tight ends back and more involved—disperse the ball around like we did.  I was really pleased with Blake Mackey’s game (versus OSU).  It was good to see him step up and make a couple good plays, a couple great plays.  We are going to keep expanding and pushing and trying to find guys who are going to make plays, and we’ll encourage them to make plays.  Lawrence has certainly taken advantage of his opportunity.  You know, that was a pretty good day he had (15 carries for 72 yards and one TD; nine catches for 96 yards).  We look to continue to keep him involved in the game like that. 


“Iowa State is a spread offense; they run a lot of option and they keep you out of a lot of pressures.  They trade quarterbacks in and out of there.  They have a kid who has caught a touchdown in every game except last week who is just a freshman.  They throw the ball, and they spread you out with their option.  Both quarterbacks are running quarterbacks, so you have to defend the quarterback well.  It is a wide-open attack, which means we will probably have to play some nickel, probably more nickel than we want to. 


“Defensively they have been stingy against the run; people have hurt them in the pass game.  They use a lot of zone pressures and they play a lot of zone behind you and blitz, much like Missouri did.” 


On VB Lawrence Vickers: “Lawrence has great passion for the game.  He has got a great ability, but he loves to play the game.  He has got tremendous skills, and he just loves to play the game.  He loves the physical nature of it, he likes the finesse of it and he likes the team part of it.  So he is just a really, really good football player and a team player.  Lawrence is very valuable.  The fact that he can go to tailback or fullback—and if Bobby is healthy we’ve got both those guys in the backfield—then that is a pretty good situation.”


On the CU Offensive Line: “I think that our offensive line is like our team, in that it’s really close to being effective.  They are all really close.  Patience is really a key with this team from my end of it.  We have to be patient, we’ve tried to be and I think we are.  I just think that we are getting closer and closer to being a really good football team.” 


On CU Progress in the Big 12 North: “I really do (feel like CU was close to beating MU and OSU).  I sat there and said to our team yesterday, ‘I don’t know what this is, but I feel like we are a better team than were playing like right now.’  I do feel we should be a better team than we are playing like right now.  It is fun for me to coach, I love this team and they practice hard and they listen.  We’ve just made some careless mistakes and hopefully we’ve made them all in one game.  The kids will learn from those.  We are extremely young in the secondary.  When you make a mistake in the secondary, it usually results as a point.  When you make a mistake on the offensive line—instead of getting four yards you get three or maybe two yards—everybody goes, ‘Oh shoot, we should have gotten more yards but the tackle missed his block.’  But when you’re a guy in the secondary, and like at the end of the half, doesn’t go up and make a play on that ball, it ends up as seven points.  Those guys in the secondary play a tough position and we put a lot of pressure on them.  We have got to give them every bit of help that we can.  Some of that may be making things simpler and being patient and giving them the time that they need.  We have to make sure they know that we believe in them.


“I don’t think there is a game that we feel like we’ve been outmatched.  We have had two other teams play better than we did, and that’s the way it should be.  You hope one team wins because they play better and not because they outman the other team.  They (MU and OSU) played better than we did.         


“Call it parity or five average teams, or whatever you want to call it.  But, we’re all sitting there.  I can’t speak for any other club, but I think our team is making progress.”




On the OSU Loss: “The game in itself is something that I think opened up our eyes about the Big 12.  The Big 12 is a hard conference, and it’s hard to win the game no matter who the opponent is.  Going into the game we thought we had a good chance of winning.  After watching film, there were five plays that kept us from winning the game.


“We had a couple drives that we didn’t finish on, and that’s something that we need to work on going into this week.  In all essence we had a good day on offense, but we didn’t score.  We had good time of possession, we controlled the ball the majority of the game, but we didn’t execute at the crucial parts of the game.


“At times like these we have to remain positive.  And that’s what we are focusing on.  We recognize that we lost, we know that, but in order to get back to where we were winning, something needs to change.  So that’s our main focus this week is changing the things that need to be fixed.  We’re focusing on getting back to winning.  We’re not focusing on beating Iowa State, we’re focusing on us.  Colorado has been beating ourselves so we need to concentrate on that.


“We’re confident in each other and we hold each other to the highest expectations.  I sat at home watching the replay of the game and looking for the things that I could have done better.  Some of the things I can fix.  We all need to check our hearts.  And if people’s hearts have holes in them, we need to fill them with love.  We’re going to fill everyone’s heart up.” 


On Stepping Up for the Team: “Whether you’re a first team player or a second team player you’re one play away from being on the field.  And that’s how we’re preparing this week.  Already this season we’ve had a couple of instances where people have had to come in and fill the spot quickly.  I think that (quarterback James Cox) did an excellent job (in place of Joel Klatt).  All of our quarterbacks are able to come in and fill in.  They’re all so special in a lot of their own different ways.  Cox had to come in and do what he needed to do.  He led us to two touchdowns.  We’re all trying to put each other on a level so that if someone else has to step in we’re not going to miss a beat.


“We’re all supporting Klatt and wanting him to get better.  He’s a great competitor and a great person.  He has lots of leadership skills both on and off the field, and we want him to get healthy, and not comeback too early because we don’t want him getting hurt and then lose him for the rest of the season.  He pumps people up and makes people play harder than they’re already playing.”


On His Game Performance: “Everybody has a role to play and I just try and play my role.  If called upon, I’m willing and ready to go play.  The type of person I am it’s hard for me to sit back, because I always want to be out there producing, giving myself up for the team.” 


On His TD Run When He Completely Ran Over a Defender: “That’s not my hardest (hit ever).  As far as running, that’s my first time running over someone that hard in college.  But that was one of my main things in high school.  In high school they called me “Cocomo.”  A “mo” was like a choo-choo, like a train, somebody that comes down with their head all the time.  I got back from watching film (Monday) and I was like, ‘Oh my God!’  When my adrenaline is pumping people better watch out.  I’m coming down hill.  They (OSU) started out that game hitting me in my legs, but after a while if they start coming up and hitting me up high, they can come get some of this 240 (pounds), and it’s going to hurt you.  I wanted to be the train that day, and that’s how I’m coming to play everyday.  Even if I’m playing a videogame I’m bringing the same type of intensity.”

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