Colorado looking for quick redemption Friday night at Toledo
September, 10, 2009
By Tim Griffin | ESPN.com
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
After a demoralizing loss to start the season, Colorado tight end Riar Geer wanted to forget any reminders of that game as quickly as possible.
The Buffaloes’ embarrassing 23-17 home loss to Colorado State was a downer to start the season. It's the main reason why Geer is excited about Friday’s game at Toledo (ESPN, 9 p.m. ET) -- even as the Buffaloes have only five days between games and will use one of them to travel across the country.
“I wish we could have played the next night,” Geer said. “Playing as badly as we did makes me want to play right now. The only way to get the bad taste out is by playing again quickly.”
Shortly after the end of last season’s 5-7 campaign, Colorado coach Dan Hawkins predicted to a group of Colorado boosters that his team would “win 10 games and [have] no excuses” in 2009.
Their early loss makes that bold prediction more difficult to fulfill. It also turned up the pressure on Hawkins, who has posted a 13-25 record since coming to Colorado from Boise State in 2006. His record at Boise was 53-11.
The Colorado fans appeared to be losing patience in Hawkins’ program during Sunday’s game. The Buffaloes fell into a 20-3 halftime deficit and were serenaded by catcalls as they left the field at halftime.
“The fans are dying, but we’re dying too,” Hawkins said. “We want people to care. But again, we have to be able to flush it. You can't let one loss become two losses or three losses, you have to strap it up and get back out there."
Geer heard the catcalls, but was more disappointed in his team’s struggles than the fans’ reaction to them.
“It hurt a little bit, but we played bad,” Geer said. “They had a reason to boo. I was more (angry) with the way we played than anything else.”
The Buffaloes will be facing a difficult challenge against Toledo, which has beaten a team from a BCS conference in each of the last three seasons. The last two teams from the Big 12 that visited the Glass Bowl -- Kansas in 2006 and Iowa State in 2007 -- both were defeated by the Rockets.
One question remains: What's the status of Darrell Scott, the heralded running prospect who was the nation’s No. 1 back in the 2008 recruiting class? Scott was barely used against Colorado State, producing only one carry and one reception as he was relegated to kickoff returns.
Scott failed to play much in the second half, presumably because of his difficulties in pass-blocking. With Colorado passing on virtually every down, Hawkins opted to go with running backs other than Scott.
That decision disappointed Scott, who told the Denver Post he hoped to be used more regularly this season.
“I was warm. I was hyped. I was ready,” Scott told the paper.
After meeting with coaches the following day, Scott said he’s hopeful of seeing more action against the Rockets on Friday night.
“After the meetings, there were like, ‘We’re going to try to work you in,’” Scott said. “That kind of reassured me on everything. But we’ll see on Friday. [Getting carries] is what I was recruited for. We’ll see.”
The Buffaloes’ season may be on the brink after only one game, but Geer is confident that his team can pull back together after the short week of preparation.
“I don’t think it will be difficult,” Geer said. “Everybody is hungry to get back. We played terribly in that game and haven’t made that many mistakes in a long time. But we’ve learned from it and we’re anxious to go on.”