August 17, 2006

Intensity picks back up after lackluster practice

BOULDER, Colo. - Dan Hawkins was not pleased with the team's effort on Wednesday morning, but after a team trip to Water World in the afternoon, the Buffs bounced back with more enthusiasm for Thursday morning's workout.

"Much better, much better," the Buffs' head coach said in regards to Thursday morning's practice session. "Execution kind of comes and goes but you just need to have a little fire in the belly, a little resolve, some guys that are willing to battle back and I just thought we did that today.

"I thought they executed better, too, but the attitude you can always control and I thought that was much better on both sides; much better tempo, enthusiasm, leadership, the whole deal."

The four quarterbacks were instructed this morning to become more vocal and involved during practice.

"I told the quarterbacks, 'this practice is on you right here. I better see you slapping people in the back and I better see you kicking people in the back'," Hawkins added. "I thought they were much better and then consequently you sort of build a little bit of fire and then the defense rallied off that as well."

The much talked about quarterback battle will be decided shortly after Friday's scrimmage, most likely on Sunday. "We'll try to seat somebody in there as best we can," Coach Hawkins expressed. "It might be a razor thin seating, but that's how it goes sometimes."

Senior James Cox has earned more reps with the first team this week, following his strong performance in last Sunday's scrimmage.

"It is interesting," Hawkins said when asked about Cox. "It is sort of that money ball theory a little bit when you start looking at some of the numbers. That is not everything but James has just done a nice job when he's been in there of getting calls made right, getting the ball to the right guy and moving the club. That is a lot of it, so you can't deny him on that aspect. He's done a good job of it."

Brian White had a difficult practice at times on Thursday morning. He threw an interception during 11-on-11's, which was picked off by defensive tackle Taj Kaynor at the line of scrimmage. He was also picked off by safety Lionel Harris on a deep pass attempt during 7-on-7's.

Additional Practice Notes:

*** Cody Hawkins looked sharp during 7-on-7's on Thursday morning. Despite his strong play during preseason camp, the plan is still to redshirt him. "God for bid, knock on wood, as long as nobody gets hurt and nothing drastic happens, redshirting him is still the plan," Coach Hawkins said.

*** In danger of sounding like a broken record, cornerback Terrence Wheatley continues to impress. He made two impressive plays on deep pass attempts on Thursday morning, batting the ball away both times without making contact with the receiver. With Stephone Robinson limited at times during camp, Wheatley has also made a push for starting punt return duties.

*** Offensive lineman Edwin Harrison is making progress but was still not able to practice on Thursday morning. Wide receiver Dusty Sprague suffered a sprained ankle on Wednesday after battling back from a thigh bruise, which kept him out of last Sunday's scrimmage. "He is a tough kid," Hawkins said of Sprague. "I would expect him to scrimmage [on Friday]."

*** Injured safety Ryan Walters is going to begin running more, according to Hawkins.

*** The Buffs are scheduled to practice again this afternoon between 4-6:00 pm. On Friday, they have a scheduled walkthrough at 9 am, prior to the second scrimmage of camp at 6:45 pm.

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