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    Tuesday, September 11, 2007

    Three And Out: CU Football

    I am pleased that Colorado sports journalist Kyle Ringo has agreed to answer questions regarding the University of Colorado football team. Kyle grew up in Colorado and is in his fourth season covering CU football for the Daily Camera. He has a Daily Camera Blog which covers CU football news. Thanks again to Kyle for taking the time to answer my questions.

    1. Who are the marquee players for Colorado on offense and defense?

    The Buffs who need to have the ball in their hands on offense are quarterback Cody Hawkins. He's the coach's son. A redshirt freshman who will be playing in his third career game against the Seminoles. He's a very smart kid who obviously grew up around football. He usually makes the smart play.

    Running back Hugh Charles should return from a strained hamstring. When healthy he's among the fastest players on the team. His toughness has been questioned at times throughout his career because he's been injury prone, but if he gets the ball in space, he can be electric.

    Redshirt freshman Demetrius Sumler struggled to run against Arizona State last week. He had 85 yards in Charles' absence in the season opener.

    True freshman wide receiver Josh Smith was having an excellent training camp before suffering a kidney injury. Coaches hope he can play. He's a speedy guy with good hands and dreadlocks hanging out of his helmet. He could be a big play producer, but I think it's probably a lot to expect him to make a huge impact in what would be the first game of his career.

    Wide receiver Patrick Williams had a rough outing against Arizona State. He dropped four passes. Yep, four. One was a touchdown pass. He's got the size and decent speed for the position. He's always been thought of as a guy with huge potential, but he's never lived up to it. He strikes me as a guy who needs a few good games in a row to build up his confidence.

    Defensively, the Buffs have two solid defensive tackles in George Hypolite and Brandon Nicolas. They have been tough to run against this year.

    Senior lnebacker Jordon Dizon is a candidate for the Butkus Award for the second consecutive season. He has started the season with 37 total tackles and three sacks in the first two games. The guy grew up in Hawaii, surfing, cliff diving and occasionally hunting wild boar with nothing but a knife. Great guy and also the best golfer on the CU roster. He's going to finish his career among the top five tacklers in the program's history. This is a program that has produced plenty of NFL linebackers.

    Cornerback Terrence Wheatley was selected as a first team member of the All-Big 12 team by the league's coaches last season when the Buffs were 2-10. He's the fastest player on the team and has an interception in each of the first two games. His pick in the opener came in the end zone in overtime. He returned his pick in Game Two for a touchdown.

    2. What do you see as the strengths and weaknesses of Colorado against FSU ?

    The Buffs strength in this game will be the run defense. I think the Seminoles will have to beat CU through the air, and I think they can do it as long as Drew Weatherford makes smart decisions. Special teams also will be a strength for the Buffs. They have already made a few big plays in the kicking game this season. It's an area they really focused on in the offseason.

    Colorado has plenty of weaknesses right now. Their primary weakness is their youth. There are a lot of young guys playing for this team, which means a lot of youthful mistakes.

    They need to play really well on offense to score. They lack speed, especially if Charles and Smith can't play. They might need to use some trickery cause I'm not sure they have the athletes to move the ball up and down the field on the Seminoles.

    I think having altitude on their side will help and this is the first true home game of the year so the place should be rockin.

    3.What do you think will be the keys to the game?

    If the Seminoles handle the time of the game (10 p.m. Eastern) and the altitude and don't turn the ball over, I think they will win.

    Colorado needs to find a way to run the ball. It also needs its receivers to catch the ball when Hawkins gets it to them.

    I think the CU program is a year or two away in the rebuilding project from being able to win a game like this. But the Buffs are tough and they've got heart and if they get some help from the Seminoles, they could win. Don't think so?

    The Buffs went to Georgia last year with a much more limited offense and took the lead into the final minute before losing. They also played tough at Oklahoma

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