After reviewing film of the season-opening loss at Hawaii, Colorado coach Jon Embree said his offense made some uncharacteristic mistakes, his defense must tackle better and the kickoff coverage unit has to improve quickly with the next test scheduled for Saturday at home against Cal.
Embree was pleased with how players responded to the loss, but he said they must put it behind them, which they began doing Monday. The first-year coach said he wouldn't change anything about how the Buffs prepared for Hawaii.
Embree said Saturday's home opener will provide the Buffs another opportunity to restore the wall of big wins in the Dal Ward Center.
In the 1990s in a hallway in the lower level of the Dal Ward Center, former coach Bill McCartney began painting bricks with the date, the opponent and the score following big wins. The tradition was cast aside under former coach Dan Hawkins and the bricks were painted over.
Embree has vowed to bring them all back as soon as this season's team produces a victory worthy of a brick for the wall.
"There is going to be eight opportunities probably this year," Embree said. "The disappointing thing is you have the Big 12 championship team coming back here and they're not going to be up. They understand what's at stake and they understand what they have to do. So we'll see."
Mental mistakes won't be tolerated
Embree went through a laundry list of mental mistakes his team made in the opener, including seven penalties. He said he wasn't overly concerned with the number of penalties the Buffs committed, but he promised he won't allow players to continually repeat their mistakes.
"If we're talking about this next week and the week after, then, yeah, we have a problem," Embree said. "And if it's the same guy, then we have to get a new guy in there. That's coaching.
"If we keep kicking the ball out of bounds, we're going to have a new kicker. If the same guy keeps getting personal fouls, can't play him."
Wood to practice today
Connor Wood, a former high school All-American quarterback who transferred to CU last week from Texas, will be on the field practicing with the team today, barring some unexpected development, Embree said.
Wood transferred from Texas where he faced a logjam for playing time under center this season and in the future. There is no guarantee he will earn a starting job in Boulder next year after redshirting this season, but his chances appear more favorable with starting quarterback Tyler Hansen graduating.
Cal is one of the most penalized teams in the nation after one week of football. The Bears were flagged 11 times for 90 yards in losses in a win over Fresno State last week. ... California has been a decent team on the road over the past two seasons going 5-6 in true road games.