Only a few hundred fans showed up to Folsom Field to watch Colorado's only open scrimmage of preseason camp on Saturday, but there was a noticeable silence in the air when freshman receiver Jaylon Jackson went to the ground near the end of the practice.
Jackson was taken from the field on a stretcher and suffered what appeared to be a serious ankle injury.
"We'll take him to the hospital now and get that X-rayed," head coach Mike MacIntyre said. "That was extremely disappointing for him."
A highly-regarded recruit from Cedar Hill, Texas, Jackson missed his entire senior year of high school with a torn ACL. He also missed all but one game of his junior year with a torn ACL.
While the 5-foot-10, 175-pound Jackson might have redshirted this year because of the veteran talent ahead of him at receiver, the Buffs have been excited about his potential to make plays as a slot receiver and potentially as a punt or kick returner.
As of late Saturday afternoon, CU had not provided an update on Jackson's injury.
Meanwhile, outside linebacker Shamar Hamilton will have season-ending knee surgery, MacIntyre said. Hamilton has not practiced the past several days and an MRI revealed cartilage damage that needs to be repaired.
A transfer from ASA College of Miami, Hamilton joined the Buffs in January. He still has two years of eligibility after this season.
There was good and bad from CU's quarterbacks on Saturday, although the Buffs went pretty basic on offense.
Starter Steven Montez was picked off early when Buff back Ryan Moeller jumped a slant route, but also had nice passes to Devin Ross and Jay MacIntyre.
"He made a bad throw there on the first drive, but he bounced back," MacIntyre said. "The good thing about Steven is it didn't faze him. He learned from it and came back slinging it again. You don't want him to be hesitant. He's had a good camp."
Backups Sam Noyer and Tyler Lytle had their moments, too.
Noyer, a redshirt freshman, threw three touchdown passes, including a 47-yarder to Kabion Ento and a perfect pass in the corner of the end zone for a 13-yard touchdown to Juwann Winfree. He also connected with freshman tight end Jared Poplawski for a 2-yard touchdown.
Lytle, a true freshman, threw a pair of touchdowns, to Lee Walker and Laviska Shenault. Walker broke a tackle and turned a short gain into a 48-yard touchdown.
"Any time they make plays, it always gives them another notch of confidence," MacIntyre said of the young quarterbacks. "Probably out here like this (in front of some fans), it maybe gives it a little bit extra notch."
Starting tailback Phillip Lindsay didn't get much playing time, as expected, but his backups looked good.
Senior Michael Adkins was particularly impressive. He's battled injures most of his career, but has had a good camp and had several strong runs with the first team.
"I'm excited about him because he's practicing better than he's practiced since I've been coaching running backs," said running backs coach Darian Hagan. "He's doing a really good job and he seems like he has a burning desire to get on the field and contribute."
Beau Bisharat had a good day, as well, including a 27-yard run; senior Donovan Lee scored the only rushing touchdown of the day, from 3 yards out; and true freshman Alex Fontenot had the run of the day, going 34 yards on his first carry.
"Right now, you know who is No. 1," Hagan said. "There is no number for the backup right now. We're going to let it play out. Those things will work its way out as we get in deeper into camp."
Kicker James Stefanou, a 30-year-old freshman from Australia, hit two field goal attempts off the uprights, but made five of seven kicks overall. Even on his misses, the power in his leg was evident and he got impressive lift on the ball. ... During punting drills, Alex Kinney had eight punts, averaging 51.9 yards. ... Safety Nick Fisher (hamstring) and outside linebacker Terran Hasselbach (concussion) both sat out of the scrimmage, but are not expected to be out long. ... The Buffs will take the day off Sunday and return to practice on Monday.