August 18, 2007

More offense in second scrimmage

BOULDER, Colo. - The Buffaloes conducted their second preseason scrimmage on Saturday in front of nearly 5,000 fans. On 130 plays from scrimmage, the offense racked up 326 yards on the ground and 451 yards through the air. Out of the scrimmage's 20 series, the offense scored 12 times (eight touchdowns and four field-goals).

"We showed some flashes, [we were a] little sloppy at times on both sides [of the ball]," head coach Dan Hawkins explained. "I thought the tempo was good. I think the guys are in shape. I think they are ready to get in a game and go the whole round.

"We were missing a few guys, particularly up front defensively, and that's where it all starts and that hurts you. I think that's why the offense had a little bit more of an upper hand today. "

The defense had its moments, including interceptions by Brad Jones, Jalil Brown and Anthony Perkins.

With a decision on the starting quarterback pending, Nick Nelson, Cody Hawkins and Matt Ballenger all threw for one touchdown.

"I thought I did a pretty good job today," said Nelson. "All I can do is come out here and do my best and I know Cody is going to do his best. Whatever happens happens. It's not up to us. We play in the Big 12 so whoever starts is going to take a licking. Whoever is the backup heading into the season needs to be ready."

"I am not really stressing out too much [about the upcoming quarterback decision] because whichever guy they go with it's going to be a good decision," added Cody Hawkins.

Freshman running back Brian Lockridge also got a chance to show off his arm on a trick play in the redzone. He threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Scotty McKnight late in the scrimmage.

Additional notes from Saturday's scrimmage

*** Individual player statistics are not being released from the preseason scrimmages this year.

*** Tight end Riar Geer, defensive tackle George Hypolite, defensive end Marquez Herrod, wide receiver Jarrell Yates, defensive tackle Jason Brace and defensive end Maurice Lucas all missed the scrimmage. None of their injuries are serious, according to Hawkins.

*** Taj Kaynor worked with the first team defense in Hypolite's absence, while true freshman Conrad Obi worked with the first unit with Lucas out.

*** With Gear out at tight end, Tyson DeVree and Nate Solder took advantage of extra reps. DeVree caught a 23 yard touchdown pass from Ballenger and a two yard touchdown pass from Hawkins, while Solder caught a six yard touchdown pass from Nelson. "It felt good to be able to get in there and make something happen," said DeVree. "We have a lot of threats at tight end."

*** Redshirt freshman Wes Palazzi and true freshman Ryan Miller both worked with the first team offensive line at left guard.

*** The offensive line did a good job of creating running lanes for the running backs for the second straight scrimmage. "They are a very cohesive group of guys," Cody Hawkins said of the offensive line. "It's awesome, everybody else is spread out through the locker room but those offensive linemen are right next to each other. They call the area they hang out in the 'burbs because they are all high class guys. The rest of us are all in the hood. They have been grinding it in the film room and the communication on the line is a lot better this year. That has helped them out a bunch."

*** Specialist Bernard Jackson was in pads, but was not on the field for any offensive reps during the scrimmage. "He just hasn't practiced much," Hawkins said when asked about Jackson.

*** Redshirt freshman Demetrius Sumler was arguably the most impressive running back during Saturday's scrimmage. "He ran well [in practice] last year, too," said Coach Hawkins. "He was one of those guys we kind of thought, 'Boy this guy could probably get in there and get something done'. He is a blue collar guy. He never misses a cut. He always maximizes every run."

*** The Buffaloes are expected to announce the starting quarterback on Sunday. They have two practices scheduled, at 9:30-11:00 am and 4:00-6:00 pm. Practices are no longer open to the public.

Scoring Drives from Saturday's Scrimmage

Series 1 - Kevin Eberhart 29 yard field-goal
Series 4 - Kevin Moyd 5 yard touchdown run (Eberhart kick)
Series 6 - Nate Solder 6 yard touchdown pass from Nick Nelson (Eberhart kick)
Series 8 - Kevin Eberhart 27 yard field-goal
Series 10 - Tyson DeVree 2 yard pass from Cody Hawkins (Eberhart kick)
Series 11 - Tyson DeVree 23 yard pass from Matt Ballenger (Eberhart kick)
Series 13 - Kevin Eberhart 32 yard field-goal
Series 14 - Demetrius Sumler 9 yard run (Eberhart kick)
Series 15 - Byron Ellis 2 yard run (Eberhart kick)
Series 16 - Kevin Eberhart 35 yard field-goal
Series 18 - Scotty McKnight 18 yard pass from Brian Lockridge (Tyler Cope kick)
Series 20 - Cory Nabors 3 yard run (Eberhart kick)

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