Hansen gets chance to back up his words
Tyler Hansen pulled a Tim Tebow after the Colorado Buffaloes' 52-7 loss at Cal last weekend, making a promise to play better from here on out.
''Buff nation, I promise you this type of thing will never happen again,'' Hansen tweeted. ''Going out there and playing like that will never happen again while I'm at Colorado and I can promise that! It's unacceptable.''
The pledge was reminiscent of Tebow's famous promise at the postgame podium following a loss to Ole Miss in 2008 to play harder, a vow that spurred the Florida Gators to their second national championship in three years.
''I was just frustrated after the game and I wanted people to know that it's unacceptable. As much as the fans are frustrated, we're frustrated, too,'' Hansen said this week. ''... I just wanted to make sure they knew that it's not going to happen again. We will not play like that ever again.''
The Buffs' first chance to back up their junior quarterback's words comes Saturday when Colorado (1-1) faces Hawaii (1-1) for the first time in 85 years.
Colorado's lousy performance at Cal was all the more disheartening because it was the Buffaloes' first game against a Pac-10 team since announcing plans in June to join the conference.
Hounded all day, Hansen hyperextended his left knee and injured his right calf. He was responsible for four turnovers, including an ill-advised left-handed pass that was intercepted and returned for a touchdown in the closing seconds of the first half.
Hansen accepted the blame for the blowout on behalf of the out-of-sync offense, which included a line that didn't give him nearly enough time to find his receivers or a rhythm.
''We are not 45 points worse than Cal. That is not us. We played bad as an offense,'' Hansen said. ''The defense played all right, but we did not play, I don't know that is maybe we were a little lackadaisical, maybe a little comfortable, we just have to play better.''
The Buffs' performance was particularly disappointing to the approximately 7,000 Colorado fans who came out for the Buffaloes' first game in California in eight years. One of the reasons to join the Pac-10 was to have more games in front of their alumni and all the potential recruits in talent-rich California.
Some students also flew from Colorado to California for the Buffs' first foray to the West Coast since announcing it was bolting the Big. 12.
One of them, senior Julien Lounis, sought reimbursement from the athletic department for his ticket and travel expenses. In an e-mail to athletic director Mike Bohn, Lounis wrote: ''with high hopes of at least a good game, I was truly disheartened and disappointed with the football program's effort. Unless you can provide an explanation as to why we consistently perform so poorly, I would like to be reimbursed for my trip.''
Attached was an invoice for his flight, hotel stay and ticket to the game, which totaled $401.40.
The school declined his request, which sparked a debate in the state about whether Lounis was a publicity hound or on the leading edge of a student revolt against a football team that's regressed during coach Dan Hawkins' five-year tenure.
The Buffs are 17-34 under Hawkins and have lost 13 straight road games.
None was this humiliating, however.
''This was the most embarrassing game of my life,'' receiver Scotty McKnight said afterward.
The Buffs' mood now is one of determination, Hansen said.
''Offensively, we played horrible, we can't do that ever again and we won't,'' he said. ''I guarantee you.''
Still, Hansen noted that Hawaii is no pushover.
''We have our hands full on this one,'' he said.
The Warriors, who haven't played a Big 12 team since facing Nebraska in 1978, lost to Southern Cal 49-36 in their opener and won at Army last week. Quarterback Bryant Moniz has thrown for 612 yards and four TDs and the Warriors are ranked second nationally in passing offense, averaging 401 yards a game.
''They're big, solid dudes and they can play ball,'' Buffs left tackle Nate Solder said.