Colorado defensive coordinator Tyson Summers won’t know exactly what he’s got to work with on that side of the ball until the Buffaloes get into an actual game.

Four days from his first game at CU, however, Summers believes the Buffs’ defense is coming together.

Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographe
Colorado defensive coordinator Tyson Summers will coach in his first game with the Buffs on Friday night.

“I think so,” Summers said Monday after the Buffs completed practice. “I think a number of things have kind of created that.”

Summers said about 10 or 11 days into preseason camp, the Buffs were able to start focusing on what they wanted to do defensively, while gaining consistency with calls and getting the young players used to making adjustments.

“We always feel like the first game really becomes about which team makes the most adjustments, the best adjustments,” Summers said. “That’s where you saw our defense turn for the better (during camp).”

The Buffs open the season Friday against Colorado State in Denver, and Summers said he’s impressed with what he sees out of the Rams’ offense.

“Very multiple,” he said of the Rams. “They’re a group that’s got a lot of talent, particularly edges. You’ve got a quarterback with a big arm and you’ve got two backs that have played a lot of football. You have an offensive line that’s coming back – a number of guys in there, as well. You’ve got tight ends that can do a lot of dangerous things. They’re one of the better tight end groups that we’ll face all year.

“The versatility and the amount of things you have to get prepared for, those are challenges.”

CSU has only four starters back from an offense that ranked ninth in the Mountain West Conference in scoring, at 22.8 points per game. But, they do have an experienced quarterback in Collin Hill, a junior with seven starts and 2,483 passing yards in his career.

Gearing up for a game

CU tight end Brady Russell, who grew up in Fort Collins, said the Buffs are ready to play a different team.

“There’s a different kind of feel (to game week) because the practice schedule will change up a little bit, meeting schedules are a little bit different,” he said. “There’s just a different feel once you’re getting ready to play another opponent rather than just playing each other every single day.”

Despite being a graduate of Fossil Ridge High School in Fort Collins, Russell said this game doesn’t have any extra meaning for him.

“I love the fact that we’re playing Colorado State, but I wouldn’t say there’s extra juice, because I want to treat every opponent the same,” he said. “It is a fun little extra aspect knowing all my friends and all my family are there, so it’s a fun thing for me.”

More than anything, Russell is just eager to play, and he has no doubt his teammates are, as well.

“I feel like we’re absolutely ready to go,” he said. “I think it’s going to be a good week.”

Film study

Studying film has been a part of the game for decades, but Russell said that aspect of the game has been different under the new coaching staff, led by head coach Mel Tucker.

“We were told to watch film before, but I have more actual responsibilities in watching film on my own – filling out sheets and doing my own stuff, rather than just being told to go do it,” he said. “Now I have certain things to figure out and look for (when watching film).”


As of Monday afternoon, CU had sold 31,498 tickets for Friday’s game against the Rams, with 8,856 of those going to students. … The documentary, “Born to Lead: The Sal Aunese Story,” will be broadcast on Thursday night at 10:30 p.m. MT on CBS Sports Network.