What is clear about the quarterback situation at Colorado following interviews Tuesday with coach Dan Hawkins, offensive coordinator Eric Kiesau and sophomore Tyler Hansen is that Hansen will start Saturday when No. 15 Kansas comes to town.

What isn't clear is what role former starter Cody Hawkins will have in the game plan and if he will even play.

Hawkins was benched last week at Texas after throwing two second-half interceptions that played a part in the Buffs losing the lead and the game. Hansen agreed to burn his redshirt season in order to come on in relief after discussing the possibility with coaches last week.

After the game, Dan Hawkins and Kiesau said that Hansen would be the starter this week and likely for the rest of the season. Kiesau said he didn't want to get into a situation in which the program was using both quarterbacks in games, as was the case for much of the second half of last season.


That sentiment seemed to be gone by Tuesday when Dan Hawkins said that after further review of the Texas game film, it was determined that mistakes were made by other players that contributed to Cody Hawkins' more noticeable errors.

Dan Hawkins said the starting job remains in Hansen's hands, but there will be a role for Cody Hawkins to play.

"Everything is fluid," Hawkins said. "Tyler's going to start. It's Tyler's show. How that goes? I don't know.

University of Colorado head football coach Dan Hawkins speaks at a press conference Tuesday, saying that both Tyler Hansen and Cody Hawkins may fill the
University of Colorado head football coach Dan Hawkins speaks at a press conference Tuesday, saying that both Tyler Hansen and Cody Hawkins may fill the quarterback slot against Kansas this weekend. (Marty Caivano)

Kiesau said a competition now exists that hadn't existed since fall camp.

The team lacked a backup quarterback each week with Hansen trying to redshirt, and three true freshman as the only other quarterbacks on the roster. Now that Hansen is no longer redshirting, there will be competition each week between Hansen and Hawkins, with Hansen retaining the starter's role until further notice.

Dan Hawkins said he doesn't want Hansen to feel like he has a hook hanging over his head and that any small mistake will mean he is replaced with Hawkins. He said he knows Hansen will not be perfect and he doesn't expect him to be.

"I think Cody has kind of known that if things didn't go well, there would be a possibility that Tyler could come in," Hawkins said. "I think Tyler knows the same thing about Cody. But that doesn't mean if he throws an interception or two interceptions or we stumble for two or three series that that's going to be it. That won't be the case. We won't do that to him. We have to fair to him, as fair as we can be."

Hansen said he embraces the competition. He said he felt like he was the best man for the job during fall camp in August and when he was told two weeks prior to the Colorado State game that Cody Hawkins would start, he was disappointed. Hansen said he hopes to prove he should have been the starter all along, beginning this week against the Jayhawks.

"Right now I'm going into it like I'm going to be the guy," Hansen said. "I'm looking at it like I'm going to compete my butt off and prepare so that I go into Kansas balling out and doing awesome. Right now, it's me, and if I do like that, I'll be the guy playing. I want it to be like I'm not sharing any time, but if that is what they want and that is what the team needs, I'll do it."

Cody Hawkins did not speak with reporters after Tuesday's practice.

Dan Hawkins said there are some positives to playing two quarterbacks.

"If you have two guys ready, you can kind of go with the hot-hand theory more, you know?" he said. "I do think sometimes for a guy to step away and look and see things from another perspective gives him a little better angle when he does get into the game. So there is that positive of it. You lose, to some degree, the continuity thing.

"Like I said, I've done it before. It probably causes me more angst than it does those guys. I had a big discussion with them and they were looking at me like, 'Why are you wasting our time with this? We're good. Let's go.'"