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CU QB confident despite struggles

BOULDER ” Cody Hawkins sees a Colorado offense on the verge of a breakout, not a breakdown.

He also feels he’s the quarterback to lead the charge back from a three-game skid, even if his performance has been lacking luster of late.

But should his father and head coach Dan Hawkins decide the Buffaloes need to work backup Matt Ballenger into the game plan, Cody Hawkins is all right with that tactic, too.

“Whoever’s in there, whoever’s taking snaps, is going to be the right guy,” said Cody Hawkins, whose team will host Kansas State (4-2, 1-1 Big 12) on Saturday. “I know if I’m working as hard as I can in practice and there’s a guy better than me, he deserves to be playing.”

The Buffaloes offense has been scuffling along since a win over then-ranked West Virginia on Sept. 18, averaging just 16.3 points a game during their string of three straight losses.

An ineffective Hawkins has been pulled the last two weeks to give Ballenger a chance to ignite a spark under the team.

Not that the offensive woes all rest with Hawkins. The Buffaloes (3-3, 0-2) have a depleted offensive line, not to mention a running game that’s floundered in recent weeks.

“There’s a lot of work that needs to be done,” Dan Hawkins said. “We know what it looks like, we know what it smells like, we know how to get there, we just have to keep battling.”

The last thing Dan Hawkins wants is a revolving door at quarterback. Hawkins said that it’s always a tenuous situation when deciding whether a change is necessary.

“It’s never easy and it’s very dicey,” he said. “There is probably very few positions in all of sports that sit on such a small pinnacle of stability as a quarterback. That’s why most little kids don’t want to play quarterback ” you’re too out there.”

Cody Hawkins realizes that all too well. He set freshman school records in yards passing (2,693), completions (239), and touchdown passes (19) last season in leading the Buffaloes to a berth in the Independence Bowl.

Now, his productivity is the subject of discussion in chat rooms and news publications.

“I don’t know what’s being said, I can’t afford a paper,” he said, grinning. “The most important thing is no matter the situation you’re in, you’ve got to put the past behind you and keep working hard.”

The Wildcats enter the game with one of the best quarterbacks in the land in junior Josh Freeman.

Yet he’s often overlooked, especially in the quarterback-rich Big 12.

However, Freeman has definitely earned Colorado’s admiration.

“That guy is having a great year, he just hasn’t had the eye-popping stats that some of the other guys have had,” Dan Hawkins said.

Freeman is already Kansas State’s all-time leader in yards passing (6,642) and completions (567). He’s also one touchdown pass shy of tying Ell Roberson for the school’s all-time mark.


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