Jon Embree's biggest supporter also happens to be Colorado's all-time biggest winner.
Bill McCartney's passionate plea at Tuesday's press luncheon was for Buffs fans upset with a 69-14 loss to Fresno State and an 0-3 record to have some more patience.
"Commitment is when you get knocked down, you lay there and bleed a while, and then you get up and fight," McCartney said. "That's what you're going to see. You can see it in his eyes."
Embree loves McCartney's fiery speeches as much as anyone but said he leans more on private conversations from his mentor.
And it has been that way even during better times in Boulder and the NFL.
"Mac has always been an integral part of my life period," Embree said after Wednesday's practice. "Whether I was here or UCLA, Kansas City or Washington. He's a man I talked to probably once every six weeks, maybe a little bit more here and there."
Now Embree is trying to rebuild CU football from the ground up as McCartney once did.
The problem is society and athletic departments aren't nearly as patient as they were 30 years ago.
"It's good to be closer to him and to be able to get some of his wisdom," Embree said.
Built by Ford?
CU's anemic run game might finally look to sophomore tailback Josh Ford to boost production.
The former Mullen High School star had 10 carries for 61 yards and a touchdown against Fresno State in the fourth quarter after the game's outcome had long been decided.
"The only thing we ever see from Josh Ford is him making plays," offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy said. "Josh deserves an opportunity. I love the way Josh comes to work every day. He's the most humble, the most hungry kid, and does not take anything for granted. Those are the type of kids you want to build your program around."
Tony Jones, the opening day starter, is day-to-day with an ankle injury.
Two QB systems
Washington State isn't the only defense preparing for two quarterbacks (at least) this week.
The Buffs won't find out if Jeff Tuel or Connor Halliday will start against them until the Cougars' first possession on Saturday.
Tuel, who led Washington State's comeback win in Boulder last season, started the first two games for Mike Leach. A knee injury allowed Halliday to get the start at UNLV last week.
"My hunch is you'll probably see Halliday. We'll probably see both of them at some point," Embree said. "I don't know what Tuel's issue is, but it doesn't matter who is in there. Both of them can do it, they can both throw it around."
CU plans to use both Jordan Webb and Connor Wood on Saturday.
Buffs recruit injured
Denver South running back Phillip Lindsay, who has verbally committed to CU, has torn his left ACL, according to the Denver Post.
"You've got to keep on moving," said South coach Tony Lindsay Sr., Phillip's uncle. "Of course he's (devastated). It's your last year. You know, it's devastating. He's OK, though, because the big picture is he's set. He's going to (college). He's all set."
Lindsay tore the ligament while making a cut in Denver South's win over Mesa Ridge on Aug. 31. He is expected to recover this spring in time to run track.
"It was entertaining to say the least," Embree said of the first Buff Bowl of the season, a spirited game between scout team players, who were loudly cheered on by the players in the two-deep.
Follow Ryan on Twitter @RyanThorburn