After the second scrimmage of fall camp Thursday evening at Folsom Field, sophomore quarterback Tyler Hansen said he believes his battle for the starting job with Cody Hawkins is so close he isn`t sure what the decision will hinge upon.
The scrimmage was closed to the public and CU did not release statistics, but coach Dan Hawkins said the offense started quickly and the defense finished strong. Hawkins said both quarterbacks were very efficient and the offense didn`t turn the ball over.
“Right now, we`re both making plays out there and moving the offense proficiently,” Hansen said. “We`re both making the right reads, throwing to the right guys. So right now I would say it`s pretty even. I think either way you can go, you can go with Cody or me and I think the offense will be good this year. I think either way we will be proficient and move the ball and score on some people.”
Dan Hawkins said the scrimmage was designed as a game much the same way the spring game is played. He said the three true freshman quarterbacks battling to be the emergency backup to Hansen and Hawkins all earned significant playing time and performed well.
Hawkins said there still is no time-table for establishing a starter or the third signal-caller, but the team will begin Saturday to focus practices on preparing for Colorado State in the Sept. 6 season opener.
“We`re not making a big stink about that yet,” Hawkins said. “They`re both playing good and we`re not really worrying too much about it.”
Hansen said he trusts coaches will make the best decision for the team and if he is not the choice, he will be the best backup he can be. He said he believes Cody Hawkins will do the same for him if he is the starter.
Offensive coordinator Eric Kiesau was not available for comment following the scrimmage, but he has characterized the competition as being close in recent days. Hansen said he isn`t sure where coaches will ultimately focus their decision.
“I don`t know. You could say leadership,” he said. “You could say experience. You could say anything, playmaking ability. You could say a wide range of things. You could say arm strength. You could say anything.
“So, I mean, you don`t know what they`re going to choose. You`ve just got to trust your coaches that whatever they`re going to choose, it`s going to be right for the team.”
Hansen played last year as a true freshman, replacing Cody Hawkins briefly as the starter. He said he has considered taking a redshirt season this year if he is not the starter, but with three true freshmen as the only other quarterbacks on the roster, he doesn`t believe that is a realistic option.
“You always think about what if Cody has a great year this year?” he said. “Then, you know, because he had a great year, he`s the starter next year. You always think about, how many years do I get to start? But you always think about personally, but the team stuff is what is important.”
Hansen said he played several series with the first team offense in the scrimmage, but Cody Hawkins continues to receive a larger percentage of practice and scrimmage repetitions with the ones. He said the fact that he doesn`t get as many opportunities with the first team is something he wrestles with at times.
“Sometimes I would say that,” he said. “Sometimes you`re getting protection issues with the second line, and sometimes you`re not getting the right look as I would say the first group. But you just got to make plays out there. It`s better sometimes if you`re making plays with the second guys.
“Whatever you`ve got to do, I think whoever you`re with you`ve got to make the right read, look at the right area on the field and work through the progressions.”
Hansen said tailbacks Brian Lockridge and Darrell Scott each had big runs early in the scrimmage. … Dan Hawkins said he believes the team emerged from the scrimmage without any significant new injuries. … Hawkins said running back Rodney Stewart did not participate in the scrimmage. … Hawkins on improving depth in his program: “It`s fun to look out there and go, ‘All right, that guy is going to be a good player but we don`t have to throw him to the wolves right now.'”