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Apr 19, 2004

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BOULDER - University of Colorado interim head football coach Brian Cabral said Monday that his team held another solid practice during the afternoon, and that he is now challenging the Buffs to finish the final stretch of spring ball with the same mind-set and fervor that they have carried throughout the last 12 sessions.


"We started slow (today), but finished strong," Cabral stated afterwards.  "That was really key for us.  It is really important for us to finish strong this week.  We started slow and finished strong ? and that's a good thing for us."


With only two practices remaining before the annual spring game this Saturday  (1 p.m.) in Folsom Field, Cabral said that the Buffs are at a pivotal point in their preparations.  Having worked hard and competed on a level that could position them for a great start once fall camp begins in August, Cabral said he expects players to rise to the final occasion. 


Noting that the Buffs "have not yet had a bad day" over the past few weeks of drills, he said everyone knows what must be done now, and what kind of result the proper execution will produce.         


"We can't afford to have a drop-off in our attitude or effort," he added.  "The challenge for us is to finish with the same attitude and effort that we've had, and we have to build on that.  If we finish strong, this will have been a great spring."


Practice Notes:  Cabral said the Buffs wrapped up Monday's practice with a spirited 12-play scrum. ... Upon reviewing the defense's film from Saturday's scrimmage, Cabral said the play of linebackers Thaddaeus Washington and Jason Ackermann really stood out on the day.  He also praised the performance of tackle Vaka Manapuna. ... Receiver Dusty Sprague returned to action after missing Saturday with a minor injury, as did defensive tackle McKenzie Tilmon (shoulder), who sustained harm during the scrimmage. ... Tailback Brian Calhoun (knee) remains day-to-day and will be re-evaluated on Wednesday. ... Wide receivers Blake Mackey (lower leg), Tyler Littlehales (back) and Stephone Robinson (hamstring) sat out of practice again, but Cabral thinks there is a chance one of the players could return for the spring game.