CU spring game

When: Today, noon

Where: Folsom Field in Boulder

TV: Pac-12 Network

Radio: KOA (850 AM and 94.1 FM)

Online: Follow our live blog at BuffZone.com

Format: The Buffs plan to conduct drills for about 50 minutes and then head to the locker room briefly before returning to the field behind their mascot, Ralphie, and scrimmaging for about 50 minutes.

The Colorado football team won't be showing off anything fancy today.

The Buffaloes will host their annual spring game at Folsom Field, although it'll be more of a practice with a little scrimmaging thrown in.

Fans who show up will get to see the Buffs run behind Ralphie for the first time this year, but they won't get to see much of the revamped offense the Buffs have worked on all spring.

"In the spring game, it's always really vanilla," co-offensive coordinator Brian Lindgren said.

CU is hardly alone in that regard. Some schools, including Pac-12 foes Arizona and Arizona State, don't even hold spring games. Schools aren't too interested in giving away secrets in spring, they aren't interested in risking injuries and, according to Buffs head coach Mike MacIntyre, they're trying to maximize their time in the 15 practices they are allowed.


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"I think it's a trend," MacIntyre said of teams doing away with the traditional spring game. "When you do a spring game, you kind of miss out on a little bit of a practice. You're still trying to develop and work. You want more efficiency accomplished in practice."

While there won't be anything too exotic, there's still plenty to watch as the Buffs practice in front of fans for just the second time this year.

Plenty of eyes will be on freshman quarterback Steven Montez. Although seniors Davis Webb (Texas Tech transfer) and Sefo Liufau (foot injury) are expected to be the lead dogs in the race to start this fall, Montez has taken advantage of their absences this spring and proven he's a capable option.

"I think he's had a really good spring and hopefully you'll see him do a few things tomorrow," MacIntyre said.

Montez is one of several individual players to keep an eye today, while the most intriguing unit is the offensive line.

CU still has a lot to figure out up front, but MacIntyre said he's been very pleased with how the young linemen have done this spring.

"We were really wanting to push them this spring and they really have stepped up," he said. "I'm excited about where they're headed."

Former NFL lineman Glenn Parker, who is now an analyst for the Pac-12 Network, will be in Boulder today and he said he's eager to see CU's line.

"I want to see their cohesiveness," Parker said. "That means communication is working, that means their blocks are on time, their double team are on time. I would look just to make sure their double teams, their steps are synchronized, they're hitting at the same time, they're at the right spot."

Parker has watched CU improve over the years, and said that even though today will be vanilla, he'll be looking to see if that improvement is continuing.

"I want to see how strict the players are on themselves," he said. "That way you know whether the message has been lost or not. Are they going to be hustling around, are they going to be sprinting from place to place, are they popping on and off the field? Is this is a team that's fully bought in and knows where they're going?"

As fans watch today's practice, Parker advises them to look at spots where players have departed - such as who will replace Nelson Spruce at receiver or Kenneth Crawley at corner, or how Montez looks in place of the injured Liufau, or how defensive tackles look in place of Justin Solis and the now-suspended Samson Kafovalu.

"There's a lot of guys who haven't been the guy," Parker said. "In their mind all of a sudden they realize, 'I have a chance to start.' Some guys love that chance. Some guys step right up. Some guys like being the guy. Then there's some guys that just like being on scholarship."

The Buffs believe they've got a lot of guys who are eager to jump into starting roles, and they're ready to get in front of the fans today to show a little bit of how they've improved since the end of last season.

"We need to go in there high-paced and ready to play because we need to continue to get better," running back Phillip Lindsay said.

"I'm excited for the fans to come watch us because we've been working hard for this. I'm ready to see (the fans) again; I'm ready to talk to them after the game. It's always good to go out there and have their support, because the more fans we get, the more people we get here, the more excited we get and it's going to help us."

Notable

Linebackers Christian Shaver (concussion) and Derek McCartney (illness) will not participate today. Linebacker Rick Gamboa (concussion) will not take part in the scrimmage portion of the workout. ... Receivers Lee Walker (ankle) and Bryce Bobo (hamstring), safety Afolabi Laguda (hamstring) and lineman John Lisella II (knee) are questionable to participate. ... MacIntyre confirmed that backup defensive lineman Blake Robbins has been dismissed from the team for an off-the-field incident last month.

Brian Howell: howellb@dailycamera.com, on Twitter: @BrianHowell33.

10 Buffs to watch

Today will be just the second open practice of the spring, and it'll be the last chance fans will have to see the Buffs in action before the fall. Here's a list of 10 players to keep an eye on - five on offense, five on defense:

Offense

RB Patrick Carr, So.: The speedy tailback showed glimpses of greatness last season and has taken his game to a new level this spring.

OT Aaron Haigler and Isaac Miller, Fr.: We'll put these two together, because they're both playing tackle and both have impressed their coaches this spring as they fight for starting roles.

OL Tim Lynott, Fr.: Working almost all spring at center, Lynott could be in the mix to start at center or guard. He's had an impressive spring to this point.

QB Steven Montez, Fr.: With seniors Sefo Liufau and Davis Webb not participating in spring, senior Jordan Gehrke limited because of class conflicts and sophomore Cade Apsay dismissed from the team, Montez has had a ton of playing time this spring and he has taken advantage of it.

WR Devin Ross, Jr.: More than anyone on the roster, Ross has received rave reviews for his performance this spring, putting his speed on display and limiting the drops that hurt him last season.

Defense

DL Tim Coleman, Jr.: A former end, Coleman has battled injuries throughout his career. He's made a good impression this spring as he has shifted to the interior line.

OLB NJ Falo, So.: Moved from the inside to the outside late last year, Falo has blossomed on the edge.

DB Nick Fisher, So.: He played sparingly last year as a true freshman but has had a good spring as he competes for a starting role at nickel back.

OLB Jimmie Gilbert, Sr.: After a solid junior season (six sacks), Gilbert is rushing the passer better than ever.

S Ryan Moeller, Jr.: A moped accident caused him to miss the last six games last season, but he's come back strong this spring as he looks to regain his starting spot.