Colorado First Spring Scrimmage: Notes, Quotes, Stats, and Stories

Stuart WhitehairAnalyst IApril 12, 2009

Greetings, Buff fans, from CU at the Game.

The second week of spring practice, 2009 is in the books, and what a week it was.

On Saturday, the Buffs conducted their first scrimmage of spring ball. The offense dominated the 125-play controlled practice, with the CU passing game generating 535 yards and 10 touchdowns (for those keeping score, Cody Hawkins had 328 yards and seven touchdowns on 18-28 passing, while Tyler Hansen hit on 13-of-23 for 207 yards and three touchdowns). The rushing game, conversely, generated only 93 total yards.

The play on Saturday should have been the lead story, but it comes in third place this week in the race for the top headline. The second leading headline concerned the practices themselves.

On Thursday, after holding practices open to the public for the first week and a half, abruptly announced that the remaining practices this spring. Citing issues about information about practices getting out on the Internet, as well as concerns about Internet videos taken last spring, the Buffs announced a policy leaving only the spring scrimmages and the spring game open to the public.

Still, the main headline of the week involved the departure of three players from the team. The first to leave was wide receiver Chance Blackmon. The red-shirt freshman wide receiver cited family issues as the main reason for his leaving Boulder to return home to Tatum, Texas.

Second to leave (officially) was linebacker Lynn Katoa. The heralded linebacker from the 2008 recruiting class never saw the field as a Buff. Off-the-field legal issues kept Katoa off the field in 2008, and academic issues had already nixed any chances of playing in 2009. In a matter-of-fact, off-handed comment, linebackers coach Brian Cabral acknowledged this week that Katoa was no longer a member of the team.

The final player to leave the Buffs this week was quarterback Matt Ballenger. In stories this week, it was confirmed (not just on the Internet, but in the mainstream media as well) that Ballenger had slipped to third in the three-man race for starting quarterback. Ballenger’s announcement Friday, though, caught everyone by surprise.

The loss of Ballenger leaves the Buffs with only two quarterbacks on the roster for the remainder of the spring.

Want more? As promised, each Sunday, there is a unit-by-unit review posted on the website. Stories this week include profiles of running back Darrell Scott, wide receiver Jason Espinoza, and tight end Luke Walters, along with information on offensive linemen MTM and Bryce Givens, defensive lineman Taj Kaynor, and safeties Patrick Mahnke and Anthony Perkins.

Information on practices this week (Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, with another scrimmage set for Friday), will be posted throughout the week. Keep in touch!

Go Buffs!