As the Colorado Buffaloes put a cap on practice Saturday afternoon, a loud roar came from inside the gates of Franklin Field.
Preseason camp is over and the Buffs are officially in game week, as Friday's opener with Colorado State is on the horizon.
"They are (excited) and they should be," head coach Mike MacIntyre said. "They've worked hard and they're excited about playing a game and getting ready for game week. That's why you do all the work."
After more than three weeks of preseason camp, MacIntyre takes some optimism as he and his staff turns their attention to CSU, which opened its season Saturday against Hawaii.
Saturday was practice No. 21 of this month. Usually there are one or two bad ones in there, but MacIntyre said, "There wasn't a day where I call it pulling teeth, having to get them going, having to restart, having to really crank it up. It's extremely encouraging to me."
On Friday night, the Buffs went through a mock game situation at Folsom Field. They simulated game day as much as possible by having the team do warm-ups in the locker room, etc. They followed up an hour of practice time with a 30-minute mock game.
Other than a couple of freshmen that had to be told where to stand in certain situations, MacIntyre said, "I thought it went real well."
After Saturday's practice, the Buffs headed off to donor dinners. MacIntyre said he wasn't going to watch the CSU-Hawaii game — which kicked off around 5:30 p.m. — live, but would be up late watching it. The staff will then spend most of Sunday together, fine-tuning their game plan.
MacIntyre and the staff put together a plan for the Rams this summer, but will make adjustments after watching Saturday's game.
"Hopefully what we've put in is similar to it," he said. "It won't be a radical change, but there will be a few tweaks you would make. You have to figure out how they're going to use certain guys."
Up to speed
College football has several new rule changes this year, including the ability to fair catch kickoffs inside the 25-yard line and a new 40-second clock between a touchdown and extra point attempt.
Referees have spent time with the Buffs this month going over those rules and, while there could be some kinks to work out early in the season, MacIntyre feels his players will be ready for the changes.
"We went through all those different scenarios," MacIntyre said.
Another change this year is to uniforms. It's become common in recent years for players to wear pants above their knees, but the NCAA is now requiring pants and knee pads to completely cover the knees.
MacIntyre said the Buffs actually had to order new pants because of that rule because the Nike pants they were using didn't cover the knees.
If a player is in violation with the uniform and equipment rules, he must leave the field for at least one down and cannot return until the equipment is legal.
The Buffs will be off from practice Sunday and return to the field Monday. ... Monday is also the first day of classes for the fall semester.