Colorado quarterback Tyler Hansen was still on the field Saturday with the celebration of a win over Colorado State just beginning when he began encouraging teammates to turn their focus toward next week`s game at California.
The Buffs` struggles on the road are well documented. They haven`t won a true road game since beating Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas, in October 2007. They will be facing a future conference opponent from the Pac-10 and the Bears also started well, beating UC-Davis 52-3 Saturday.
But the way the Buffs played against the Rams added to a more confident aura around the team this year. Now they must build on it.
"Absolutely," senior cornerback Jimmy Smith said. "We had confidence this summer. It was weird. The whole team morale just changed and we all just wanted to win. I think this win, and the way we won, even though it was sloppy, I think we can build off that and go out next week and put on a dominant performance."
The Buffs often were flat and lacked focus away from home last season, even in weeks following solid outings at home. They dropped the first four road games of the year by double-digit margins, but improved in the final two. They have lost 11 consecutive true road games.
"I feel like we have a better energy as a team," receiver Tony Clemons said. "We`re more focused. We`re more prepared and more vocal. We`re more confident. We feed off our own energy.
Orms hurts knee
The last time redshirt freshman defensive back Parker Orms played at Invesco Field, he won a state title at Wheat Ridge High School, scoring the winning touchdown in the waning moments.
Orms had a decidedly different experience Saturday when he was injured covering a punt.
Orms said it was a non-contact injury. He said X-rays were negative but team trainers told him they believe he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. He is scheduled to have a magnetic resonance imaging test.
"It went from the greatest day to the worst day of my career," Orms said comparing his two experiences in the stadium.
Veteran Travis Sandersfeld replaced Orms and came up with a key interception.
"I thought he did amazing," Orms said. "That pick was a great play and I was so proud of him."
Former Colorado offensive lineman Victor Rogers debuted as the sideline reporter for KOA radio Saturday. Rogers replaced Charles Johnson, who now does a midday sports talk show in Denver on 87.7 FM with former CU quarterback Joel Klatt.
Rogers said there were some rough spots during his first outing such as transitioning in and out of postgame interviews. He was in the locker room after the game when the team sang the fight song. Asked if he sang along, he smiled and said, "Quietly and to the side."
"It went well," Rogers said. "I loved it."
Goodman looks strong
Senior place-kicker Aric Goodman enjoyed a solid day making his only field goal attempt from 28 yards and booting three kickoffs out of the back of the end zone. Goodman is coming off offseason hip surgery and was told by doctors he might not be able to kick again.
"I`m just really proud of him," Dan Hawkins said. "He`s a guy who has taken a lot of heat for a couple years. You bring in a couple guys and challenge him and all he has done is answer it."
Penalty problem persists
The Buffs committed 107 penalties in 2009 and continued the trend in the opener with 11, including one that was offset by a flag on CSU. How will Hawkins address the issue?
"Ah, let`s see here, there will be running, running and running," he said.
CU linebacker Jon Major had a career best eight tackles and made his first start. ... The Buffs have at least one sack in 21 consecutive games. ... David Bakftiari, Kyle Cefalo, Clemons, Josh Hartigan, Orms and DaVaughn Thornton made the first start of their careers. ... Five true freshmen played for the Buffs, including Jered Bell, Ryan Iverson, Paul Richardson, Justin Torres and Chidera Uzo-Diribe. ... Colorado sold approximately 33,500 of its allotment of 37,000 tickets.