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Quarterbacks sometimes pay heavy price tags when they don’t get the proper protection.
Colorado Buffaloes sophomore quarterback Tyler Hansen was tossed around and abused like a rag doll last weekend as he was sacked eight times in a 36-17 loss to the Missouri Tigers.
“It was tough,” Hansen said. “It’s still tough on my body.”
The offensive line said they will need to do a better job providing protection for Hansen if CU (2-6, 1-3 Big 12 Conference) has plans of competing at 11:30 a.m. Saturday against the Texas A&M Aggies (5-3, 2-2) at Folsom Field.
“If we’re not playing well, the rest of the team doesn’t play well,” offensive lineman Ryan Miller said.
Two of Hansen’s sacks against Mizzou resulted in lost fumbles. The sophomore was also sacked for a safety midway through the second quarter.
“That’s on the offensive line, that’s on us,” Miller said. “I’ll take the heat for that. We weren’t executing our protections and we didn’t have the best form.”
Hansen said he tries not to think about the possibility of getting pressured by defenders each play.
“You’re not thinking about, ‘Oh, crap, they’re going to get me,’” Hansen said. “But sometimes, that might go through your head.”
Although Miller said he and his hog mollies should take full credit for Mizzou’s assault on Hansen, the quarterback said he could improve as well.
“There are certain things I can do to help them out,” Hansen said. “I can throw the ball earlier or maybe I can move around a little bit more.”
CU had better keep a close eye on Texas A&M junior Von Miller, an explosive pass rusher who leads the Big 12 with 13.5 sacks, 15.5 tackles for loss and is tied atop the Big 12 leaderboard with three forced fumbles.
The other question, however, is which Texas A&M team will show up? Will it be the Aggies, who lost 62-14 to the Kansas State Wildcats? Or the Aggies, who won 52-30 the following week against the Texas Tech Red Raiders?
“I’m hoping the good A&M shows up,” junior running back Demetrius Sumler said. “We beat them and we prove that we’re still a good team and that we can compete.”
If the Buffs slip to the Aggies, landing a bowl game will be mathematically impossible. It would be the third time in four years CU didn’t reach the postseason under head coach Dan Hawkins. Despite the grim forecast, some said they aren’t finished yet.
“You can never lose confidence in yourself,” Sumler said. “We’re the same team everybody thought we were at the beginning of the season. We ran through some bumps in the road, but we can get it done.”
Sumler said there hasn’t been a lack of encouragement by the coaching staff. It all comes down to execution.
“As long as Hawk’s here, he does a good job of keeping our head on the prize,” Sumler said. “When next season comes, we’re going to work hard to be the national champions.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Alex K.W. Schultz at Alexander.firstname.lastname@example.org.