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Colorado linebacker Robert Barnes works against ILB coach Mark Smith during
 practice on August 12, 2022.(Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)
Colorado linebacker Robert Barnes works against ILB coach Mark Smith during practice on August 12, 2022.(Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)
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On Saturday, the Colorado offense got the best of the defense.

On Tuesday, it was the defense getting the upper hand.

“The defense had a good day today,” head coach Karl Dorrell said. “They had a little bit better day than the offense and sometimes that’s how it goes. It’s a good thing to see. Those guys are going back and forth, back and forth.”

The Buffs’ season-opening game against TCU on Sept. 2 is quickly approaching and Dorrell said there is more emphasis on getting the team game-ready.

“I was really encouraged with how we ended the practice (on Tuesday),” he said. “We did some tempo periods; we did just stuff that’s getting ourselves ready to play at game speed.

“I like where this team is. It’s not all perfectly run in terms of execution, but I think for the most part, the body of work has been really, really good. We’re getting better, so we’ve just got to keep cleaning up some of these things that we go through, some of these football situations we do in practice.”

Tuesday was the 12th of the Buffs’ 25 preseason practices and Dorrell said the team is avoiding “camp legs” as it continues to show up every day ready to work.

“They’ve done a really good job of just taking care of themselves,” he said. “Our strength and conditioning staff and our sports med staff, both of them collectively together, have done a really good job of keeping those guys as fresh as possible.”

Finding a role

Junior Jaylen Striker is entering his third season with the Buffs but hasn’t seen much time on the field.

That could change this season. The 6-foot-3, 200-pounder has moved from cornerback to safety and is making plays during practice this month.

“He had a pretty good scrimmage (on Saturday),” Dorrell said. “He had a couple nice tackles in the scrimmage and right now, he’s running with our top two groups and he’s having a good camp. We’re hopeful that he continues that because he really hasn’t had a chance to do that, in terms of being a factor in our defense.”

Striker played his first two seasons of college football (2018-19) at Independence Community College before transferring to CU. In 2020, he got a chance to play in two games on the punt return unit but missed the entire 2021 season with an injury.

“He’s had shoulder surgeries and stuff, but it’s good that he’s over all of those things and he’s having a good camp and he’s made a few plays,” Dorrell said. “He’s definitely in a position to help us this year, probably better than any of the years before.”

Outside of senior Isaiah Lewis, the Buffs don’t have much experience at safety, so Striker could provide some quality depth in the back of the defense.

Notable

CU is still working on getting offensive lineman Tommy Brown (a transfer from Alabama) and receiver RJ Sneed (a transfer from Baylor) healthy. Dorrell said both are running and close to returning. “We’re trying to get them in conditioning shape,” Dorrell said. “That’s what they’re missing. They’ll been in practice on Monday. But we’re trying to get those guys that conditioning base so that they can join us and be in fairly decent shape. And hopefully in two weeks’ time, we can get those guys ready to do some things.” … CU will host its annual Boulder Chamber Kickoff Luncheon on Friday at the indoor practice facility. For more information, visit cubuffs.com/events.

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