CU Ready to Bounce Back vs. Mizzou
BOULDER - Coming off a weekend loss plagued with mistakes and mishaps, the No. 18/21 University of Colorado football team (6-3, 4-1 Big 12) returned to the practice fields Monday evening ready to jump back on track and prepare for Saturday's game with Missouri (Fox Sports Net, 10:30 a.m.).
With their season goal of reaching the Big 12 Championship still very much in tact, the Buffs remained focused Monday believing that their loss to No.1/2 Oklahoma will add more motivation to win their next three games of the season and finish conference play strong.
"We know what we have to do right now," junior cornerback Phil Jackson said Monday. "It is important that we stay focused, come back strong and not let Oklahoma beat us twice. If we do that, then there is a good chance we'll have a rematch (with OU in the Big 12 title game)."
"Our goal at the beginning of the year was to get back to the Big 12 Championship, and win it," senior captain Wayne Lucier said. "If we take care of business these next few weeks, we'll have a chance to do that.
"It all starts with Missouri," the All-American candidate continued. "The road in front of us will not be easy and we know what we are in for this week. But certainly this team is ready to prove itself and prove that we are capable of repeating (as Big 12 champions)."
And according to CU head coach Gary Barnett, who graduated form Missouri in 1969, the Tigers will definitely present a big challenge for the Buffs come Saturday. Though they own the nation's 25th-best offense, averaging 406.9 yards a game, the Tigers' forte comes in their pass defense (No. 6 nationally, allowing 153.3 ypg) and in turnovers given up (8, ranking No. 1 nationally).
"Missouri is a team that plays really well and they are getting better every week," Barnett stated in the morning. "They scared Oklahoma and really had a chance to almost beat them. They have been in every game they have played this year.
"Bouncing back, playing in a really emotional game like Oklahoma, it is kind of a scary situation," he continued. "We need to make sure we know where are heads are and that we pay much better attention to detail."
CU Practice Notes: At the end of practice, when the Buffs usually do wind sprints, Barnett challenged senior kicker Patrick Brougham to attempt a field goal from 42 yards out to save the team from running. Brougham split the uprights... Barnett said junior linebacker Sean Tufts, who re-injured his ankle during warm-ups on Saturday, will not play this weekend and will miss his fifth consecutive game... Senior offensive tackle Rawle King, who had surgery on a fractured finger Sunday, remains questionable for the game.
A Top Trifecta: As junior Chris Brown continues to lead the nation in rushing with a 156.2 per game average and 1,406 total yards, the Buffs also boast two other national leaders. Senior punter Mark Mariscal is leading the NCAA in punting with a 49.0 average, while senior safety Roderick Sneed is leading the nation in kick returns averaging 32.0 per return.
ISU Game On TV: The Colorado vs. Iowa State game on Nov. 16, has been selected for television, meaning the Buffs will be on television for 10 of their 12 regular season games in 2002, more than any team in the Big 12. The game will air at either 1:30 p.m. on ABC or 5 p.m. on FOX Sports Net, and the decision will come this weekend.