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Buffs Set for Spring Break

Mar 22, 2007

BOULDER-The University of Colorado football team neared the midway point of spring football Thursday afternoon after its second practice in pads with live scrimmaging mixed in.


"It's always good news, bad news in the spring," said head coach Dan Hawkins whose team totaled 32 live scrimmage plays. "You have a touchdown run and you get fired up for [tailback] Hugh [Charles], but you're mad at the safeties?you go back and forth there."


The run Hawkins was speaking of was a 44-yard scoring jaunt by the senior tailback who led all rushers with six carries for 69 yards.


Fellow senior tailback Byron Ellis chipped in five carries for 15 yards and redshirt freshman Demetrius Sumler had three rushes for six yards and a nine-yard reception.


Senior tight end Tyson DeVree led all receivers with two catches for 30 yards.


Junior Nick Nelson and redshirt freshman Cody Hawkins saw most of the work at quarterback, while senior Bernard Jackson saw time behind center and at wide receiver.


Nelson completed 5-of-9 passes for 45 yards and Hawkins completed 4-of-8 passes for 59 yards.


"All three of those guys for what their role will be have done a nice job," offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich said. "Nick has hit the wall a little bit mentally and right now he just has to keep his confidence up?and that happens to every single quarterback in American football history. Cody is mentally ahead right now just because he's heard it before. But those guys are all making good progress."


will make an impact somewhere given his electric talent. Case in point was when he took a snap at quarterback and handed off for Charles' touchdown, making the defense choose between the two players Dan Hawkins said a day earlier were the most dynamic players on the team with the ball in their hands.


"We need to continue to establish
's role," Helfrich said. "I think it's safe to say that Bernard is going to play?we've always thought that. He is going to have a role and how significant that is will depend on a lot of factors."


 Defensively, five different players finished with three total tackles, led by junior safety D.J. Dykes who also forced a fumble.


"We like D.J. a lot," Hawkins said. "He is a playmaker, he is very, very smart and he can do a lot of things. You look at a tall, angular guy like that and you see him returning punts; he's an athletic smart guy. It's very hard to fool him and he gets people organized and he gets them in the right spot."


Another bright spot was special teams where sophomore punter Matt DiLallo boomed 13 punts for a 51.8-yard average. Senior place kicker Kevin Eberhart connected on his only field goal try from 37 yards out. 


Scrimmage Notes: The Buffs have now completed seven of the 15 allotted spring practices. They will take a week off before resuming drills Monday, April 2. The live plays were split up into four sets within practice drills. Hawkins said a healthy Daniel Sanders and Erick Faatagi on the offensive line will allow the team to do some more scrimmage work after the break. Hawkins said a bad cold has been going through the team and the coaching staff. "If you listen to those guys they are all coughing," he said. "Poor [offensive lineman] Devin head [had] a battle for survival?that guy must have thrown up five or six times."