Buffs Get Physical in Practice
BOULDER - The University of Colorado football team finally got what has been eagerly anticipated since the start of spring ball?hitting. Not since CU's 33-28 victory over Texas-El Paso in the EV1.net Houston Bowl on January 29 of last year have the Buffs been able to hit helmets without holding back.
The team practiced for about two hours on Monday afternoon in its third practice of the spring season. It was the first time tackling was allowed since NCAA regulations only allow a certain amount of spring practices to be full contact. The Buffs did plenty of scrimmaging, mostly focusing on goal line situations.
"It was the first time we've tackled this spring," said head coach Gary Barnett. "We did a goal line stand (scrimmage) because everything is tight so nobody gets hurt. You've got a winner and a loser and everybody gets fired up. We don't even have our goal line offense or our goal line defense yet, but we just want to put (the ball) down and let them play. That's the reward for all the individual drills we're running."
Though the goal line scrimmage was intended to prevent injury, the Buffs didn't come out unscathed. Senior free safety Tom Hubbard hurt his knee and had to leave practice. Listed first on the spring depth chart at his position, Hubbard is a staple in CU's secondary following his impressive outing in the Buffs' bowl game when he totaled four tackles two interceptions and one pass broken up.
"We don't know the extent of (the injury)," Barnett said. "But it doesn't look great and it looks like it might cost him the spring."
Out of the scrimmages came some positives, however, as several Buffs made some good impressions in the red zone. Senior wide outs Evan Judge and Marcus Gonzales made great catches in the back corner of the end zone, and quarterback Bernard Jackson scampered for a touchdown on a bootleg.
Overall Barnett was impressed with the intensity and focus his players showed in their first day of contact drills.
"I thought we had a good go," Barnett said. "I think it was very typical. We tried to use Saturday as a baseline to get better and improve from there. This was our first go and if things continue the way they should this spring we have a steady climb from here and get a little better each day."
Other Notes: Linebacker Brian Iwuh was held out of practice as a precaution because of a hand injury. Barnett said the injury isn't serious and he just wanted to be smart with him. The Buffs will practice on Wednesday from 3:30-5:45. Like all spring practices it will be free and open to the public.