Preseason football camp passed the halfway point in terms of total practices earlier this week, but the closed scrimmage the Colorado Buffaloes will go through Saturday morning offers a different sort of preseason turning point.
Once the Buffs reconvene after Saturday’s scrimmage and Sunday’s planned day off from the field, only 11 days and two work weeks will remain before the Aug. 30 season opener against Colorado State. And with preseason events like moving into the dorms, the Buff Club Kickoff Luncheon, and, finally, the start of classes, around the corner, the preseason soon will morph from a repetitive grind to the urgent preparations of game week.
First-year CU coach Mel Tucker said Saturday’s scrimmage likely will feature different controlled situations than what the Buffs faced in last week’s scrimmage.
“We’re going to add a couple more scenarios,” Tucker said. “We do situations every day so our guys are prepared for all the things that could come up in a game. We have some situations that we need to get live on tape. See how guys react to those. And then, with scrimmage No. 2, we’ve been at camp for a while. We’ve had quite a few practices. So guys, if they can do it, we should know now. We should know where our squad is after (Saturday).”
Tucker also hopes Saturday’s workout jump-starts the continuing process of separating the potential starters at key position battles.
“We’re always going to continue to develop guys. We’ll have a plan for that throughout the season, how we practice and how many days a week guys lift and all that,” Tucker said. “But in terms of right now getting ready for the first game, I need to know, we need to know, (Saturday) who is going to give us the best chance as starters. And the backups, they’re one play away. We need to make sure we develop our roster and make sure we have depth at every position.”
More CB reinforcements
Dylan Thomas is ready for the challenge.
For the second consecutive week, Tucker has asked a young wide receiver unlikely to see playing time in the near future to move to cornerback, where the Buffs were left precariously thin after four spring departures from the program.
True freshman Tarik Luckett made the same switch last week. For Thomas, a redshirt freshman out of Los Angeles, Friday marked just his second practice at his new position. So far, he has appreciated the personal touch Tucker has with the cornerbacks.
“I just want to help the team wherever I can. I’m all for it,” Thomas said. “I was just kind of intrigued to learn how to play corner. I heard coach Tuck is a really good corner coach. Might as well try it out.
“I feel like I bring some length, some size to it. Good feet. I played receiver so I think I’ll be able to help out playing corner.”
The 6-foot-2 Thomas said he played safety a little in high school, but that corner will be an entirely new challenge.
“The biggest challenge is shadowing the receivers hard sometimes because of all the moves they can do, especially one-on-one,” Thomas said. “Short routes are the hardest thing to guard as a corner. Deep balls I can run with because I have size.”
Even though the first game in 45 years against Air Force remains a full month, and two opponents, away, Tucker admitted the Buffs already are devoting at least some practice time to scouting the Falcons’ option attack… Thomas will change jersey numbers from 81 to 28.