Cody Hawkins, CU’s redshirt freshman quarterback and son of Head Coach Dan Hawkins, hasn’t lost a game since he started playing in sixth grade. Hawkins is undefeated for his life and is one of three main reasons that CSU fans should be worried for the Rocky Mountain Showdown.
1. The mini Hawk
When coach Hawkins announced that his son would be the starting quarterback for this game, CSU defenders were probably licking their lips to have a chance to bash around a player who’s never taken a snap at the college level.
However, many times in sports, a newcomer can excel early because rookie athletes are unaware of the giant microscope on them. In the past year alone, Tony Romo shined as the centerpiece of the Dallas Cowboys; Rick Ankiel in his first game as a position player hit a home run for the defending World Series champs and supersub Tim Tebow had a huge role in the Florida Gators national championship run.
Hawkins is no joke, which is indicated by his win-loss record, and his teammates will be invigorated by the fact that their quarterback can throw an accurate pass, something that simply did not happen with Bernard Jackson at the helm.
2. Jordan Dizon is freakishly good
CU’s best player, by a wide margin, is senior inside linebacker Jordan Dizon. Dizon, who has played in every game in his career and been a thorn in the Rams’ side ever since his debut in 2004. Dizon tackled CSU running back Marcus Houston on the goal line with 30 seconds left to play in his first game.
Since then, Dizon has simply dominated opponents, putting up ridiculous numbers, including 15 tackles against CSU last season.
Dizon will most likely be blocked by recently converted fullback Gartrell Johnson III. Johnson, who is a great pass blocker, may not be able to handle the sheer athleticism or skill of this preseason all-Big 12 linebacker.
Dan Hawkins has never defeated CSU and in his first chance last year, the “offensive” genius was able to put up 148 offensive yards on the Rams. Hawkins and CU need a win to legitimize themselves this season and want to make up for last year’s loss in addition to their dreadful 2-10 season.
CU players believe they should have won last season’s match-up and Saturday will be a chance to exorcise the demons of last year. And payback may be the most important thing on the Buffs’ minds.
Sports columnist Mike Donovan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.