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DTN's Q & A with The Ralphie Report | Previewing the Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. the Colorado Buffaloes

Much thanks to Bob Rob from The Ralphie Report for trading questions and answers.  They already have my answers here.  Go check it out.

Except when Colorado plays Texas Tech, it's generally been a rough go at it for Buffalo fans since Hawkins arrival.  In following the conference realignment, I think I had saw where that The Ralphie Report had mentioned that once the move to the Pac-10 occurs, the Buffs will be better suited to make a decision on moving on from Hawkins.  Will this be a case of much enjoyment for Colorado fans and is there anyone on your radar?

The Ralphie Report Oh the days of beating Texas Tech and Oklahoma in 2007, that was the time of great six win seasons. I do think the move to the Pac-10 is putting pressure on the whole Athletic Department to improve and one of the first improvement measures is obviously upgrading the football team. 9.9 out of 10 will say that is a new coach. I don’t think Colorado will have any choice but to start fresh and clean house before the move to the Pac-10.

As for coaches on the list, the names being floated out there are Bill McCartney (former CU coach during the hay days), Eric Bieniemy (former Colorado RB and current RB coach for the Minnesota Vikings), Jon Embree (former CU tight end and NFL tight ends coach), Troy Calhoun (Air Force coach), Dave Logan (Colorado H.S. coach, former NFL player, current radio play by play guy for the Denver Broncos) among others. Most alums want a "CU guy" I think many would fall in love with a McCartney/Bieniemy/Embree triumvirate with McCartney running the show for a few years and then turning it over to the other Bieniemy. Personally, I am not a fan of a high school coach coming in and taking over a program (see Dodge at North Texas). This list will expand, hopefully Mike Leach will be on it but he might be too controversial for the administration.

The few times I've seen QB Tyler Hansen, I thought that he was a pretty decent quarterback.  This year, from looking at the numbers it looks as if he's more of a game manager and not asked to do much.  Does Colorado need Hansen to be better, especially in terms of making plays?

The Ralphie Report I think the Colorado coaches are turning him into a game manager. Colorado doesn’t stretch the field, challenge the safeties in the passing game or nearly get Hansen out of the pocket enough. When they let Hansen move around and run, make plays down field and take off with the ball, they win (see Kansas last year and Georgia this year). Hansen’s best asset is his feet but many times (see Missouri game this year), they turn him into a pocket passer, rolling him out minimally. If you keep Hansen in the pocket and limit his ability to throw down field 10+ yards, you might as well put Cody Hawkins in there because they are identical players.

I equate Colorado’s offense into operating in a 10 yard by 10 yard box with zero explosiveness.

I mentioned that CB Jimmy Smith and CB Jalil Brown may be two of the best pair of corners in the Big 12.  How big of an impact have Smith and Brown had this year and who are a couple of others defenders Texas Tech fans should watch?

The Ralphie Report Jimmy Smith has been unbelievable this year. He has shown that shut down capability coupled with great speed and athleticism. Throw in the fact that he is 6’3" and he should have NFL scouts drooling. I think he is one good combine away from making a chunk of money next April. Jalil Brown has had his ups and down but that was mostly against AJ Green who is one of the best players I have ever seen at the college level. Both should be NFL players next year.

Other player to watch out for: LB Jon Major. The highly recruited sophomore is turning into a great linebacker. He is in the middle of everything on defense.

The issue on defense is Colorado has lost three safeties this year to injury in Parker Orms, Anthony Perkins and Tyler Sandersfield. Texas Tech will be playing against some redshirt freshmen, true freshmen and a converted running back at safety. That has Buff fans concerned even with solid corners.

Colorado is running the ball quite well and Rodney Stewart is rushing a little over 100 yards a game.  Talk a bit about the running game, in particular Stewart and LT Nate Solder.

The Ralphie Report CU’s offense has made it well known that they want to run first, run second and throw short third so it is pretty amazing that Stewart has been able to pull off what he has done. The small shifty runner continues to be the rock of the offense. Colorado doesn’t have much of an option behind him (in fact, they have a wide receiver as his back up) so hopefully the wear and tear he is taking won’t diminish his productivity. He isn’t the biggest guy in the world so this could be a concern as Big 12 play continues on.

If you delete the Cal game from the body of work, Nate Solder has been good. I don’t know if he is as good as a top ten draft pick as people have been saying but certainly he has all the raw talent and size. Cal used speed rushers on him which he had trouble dealing with but since that game, he has done well.

  There's a handful of Texas Tech fans on Double-T Nation that are headed to the game.  Helpful hints on some eateries and spots to have a few cold-ones would make you a folk-hero.

The Ralphie Report This is from a "Friend of the Ralphie Report":

Pre-game: "The Hill": It's necessary to mention Boulder's own The Sink which has gained much notoriety because of it's famous Sinkburger, walls plastered with fascinating and amusing artwork , and of course Robert's Redford's time spent cleaning the vomit off the toilet seats. Another option is K's China, yes, they do in fact serve Chinese food which can be ordered as you suck down a giant bowl of some sugary concoction topped off with some 151. However, it's greatest attribute is the rooftop deck, a perfect spot to use the mountain views to distract you from the 151 slowly making it's way down. Finally, if you happen to crave a Long Island ice tea in a pitcher, coined a "strongisland", you must visit Half Fast Sub's where you will be waiting a seemingly unnecessarily long amount of time for your sub, however, it's worth it. Besides, you have over 30 ounces of liquor to get down so get to it.

Post Game: A visit to Pearl Street is a must. Grab some grub at one of the countless restaurants in Boulder. With something for everyone, you won't be disappointed. After dinner, visit the Walrus, another Boulder staple. If you are stepping on peanuts, you're at the right place. For a great sports bar check out the Lazy Dog either downstairs or upstairs on it's rooftop deck. For a late night snack, stop by the Gyro stand for a delicious Gyro (imagine that!) or hot dog before the walk or ride home.

Breakfast: The Buff. Get there early or expect a line of haggard Buff fans.

Also some great and helpful suggestions from DTN user, battledome:

* CB Potts - No relation to the current QB.  This is by far my favorite beer in all of CO.  The flavors are very bold, so you can get super-hoppy or super-malty beers here.  It reminds me a little bit of some of Hub City Brewery's better beers... if they were improved by a factor of ten.  There's one at Flatirons Crossing Mall as your driving north out of Denver.  It would be a great place to stop on your way to Boulder or on your way home.  It's got a sports bar atmosphere, so it's a good place to watch the games.
* My Brother's Bar - Literally, that's what it's called.  This is a little place with good food and nice outdoor seating.  It's located near REI Denver - an REI Flagship store that's worth visiting, even if you're not really into the outdoors.
* Oskar Blues - This is an enjoyable place located about 15 minutes from Boulder, up in the mountains.  Decent food, exceptional beer.  Live music.  Located in Lyons, CO.
* New Belgium Brewery - Home of Fat Tire.  Located north of Boulder in Ft. Collins.  The brewery tour is a great way to kill an afternoon.