Colorado sophomore quarterback Tyler Hansen was supposed to redshirt last season, his first on campus. His redshirt was pulled, though, and he started two games, the Buffaloes’ 58-0 loss at Missouri and a 28-24 win against Iowa State. Sophomore Cody Hawkins retook the starting duties from Hansen later that season.
The plan became to redshirt Hansen this season, making Hawkins the starter again. It didn’t work out. The team started 1-3 with Hawkins throwing his 10th interception of the season in the team’s fifth game at Texas. The plan to redshirt Hansen was scrapped again when he was brought in early in the third quarter to finish the game against the Longhorns and completed three passes for 17 yards. He was given the opportunity to start the next game.
Missouri (4-3, 0-3) at Colorado (2-5, 1-2)
WHEN: 12:30 CDT
WHERE: Folsom Field, Boulder, Colo.
RADIO: KFRU/1400 AM, KBXR 102,3 FM
TV: Fox Sports Network
At first, the change seemed to work. In Hansen’s first start this season, he threw for 175 yards and a touchdown in the Buffaloes 34-30 win against previously undefeated Kansas on Oct. 17 in Boulder, Colo. He also ran for 64 yards and a touchdown in the game.
But the next week brought more turmoil at the position. Hansen was 7-of-14 passing against Kansas State, and four sacks hurt Hansen's rushing game. Hawkins was brought in later in the team’s 20-6 loss to the Wildcats, but didn’t fare much better, throwing two interceptions.
This week, Colorado coach Dan Hawkins (Cody Hawkins’ father) has faced questions about who his starting quarterback will be when his team hosts Missouri at 12:30 p.m. CDT on Saturday. On Monday, Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said he is preparing his team to face both players.
When initially asked about who will play, Dan Hawkins provided a simple answer.
“Tyler’s still the guy,” he said on Monday’s Big 12 coaches teleconference.
When asked a follow-up question on the subject, Hawkins left open the possibility that both quarterbacks could play.
“Well, you just kind of have to see how it goes,” he said. “You kind of have to play it by feel, I think Cody has a little bit better handle on the no-huddle part of it and some of that, but Tyler’s still the guy.”
The Buffaloes and Tigers enter Saturday’s game behind in the Big 12 North standings, which have taken an unexpected turn. Kansas State and Iowa State, picked to finish low in the division, are in the lead with the Wildcats on top at 3-1 and the Cyclones in second at 2-2. Colorado is 1-2 and Missouri is 0-3.
“Yeah, I think we’ve been saying that the whole year,” Dan Hawkins said of parity in the division. “That’s why I haven’t certainly caught up in it by any means. You don’t put a lot of credence on preseason ranking and who’s supposed to do what, there’s just too many things that can play out."