A fired up Dan Hawkins at a Buffs’ scrimmage last month.
A fired up Dan Hawkins at a Buffs' scrimmage last month. (CLIFF GRASSMICK)

Colorado coach Dan Hawkins said he was surprised by the way his team played in a 52-7 loss at Cal over the weekend, but he believes his players will rally with an "electric" Hawaii team coming to Folsom Field this week for the home opener.

"I think our guys have great resolve and they're not going to cash it in," Hawkins said today during the Big 12 Conference coaches' teleconference. "They've got a lot of pride and they've worked too hard. I don't have any doubt that they will rally back."

Hawkins was asked if a loss of that magnitude was more damaging coming in his fifth year.

"I don't know. They're all not fun," he said. "We've got to learn from it, which we do and take bits and pieces out of it and look at it concretely and keep trying to mend it for this week."

Hawkins said the Buffs had a good week of practice leading up to last week's game, including one of the better Thursday practices he has seen in awhile. He said his team didn't respond well to California gaining early momentum through a "landslide" of CU mistakes such as a bad punt and a sack that created a fumble.

"I think we're just learning," Hawkins said. "We certainly address that. We talk to our guys about that all the time, that bad things are going to happen and you're going to have to work your way through it."

The loss was the 13th consecutive setback on the road for the Buffs. They play their next two games at home over the next three weeks before heading back on the road to Missouri Oct. 9.

Hawkins offered this scouting report on Hawaii, a program the Buffs will face in each of the next four seasons.

"Offensively, they're electric," Hawkins said. "They obviously do a good job of throwing it around the yard. Their quarterback. is very fast when he takes off running. I think they have a good, hard, aggressive running game as well. They're electric. On defense they're very sound and very solid.

If you get yourself in bad points either personnel-wise or down and distance, they can give you a lot of things to look at, but they are sort of an electric team."