Colorado wide receiver Scotty McKnight was the last player to emerge from the CU locker room Saturday after another disappointing loss to the Missouri Tigers. He did it shaking his head.
The Buffs had talked for months about getting anothershot at the Tigers after consecutive humiliations in 2007 and 2008. But after the first half Saturday, it looked like CU was well on its way to a trifecta.
The Buffs came back from a 33-3 deficit to make the final score 36-17 look somewhat respectable, but the entire day left McKnight and his teammates searching for answers.
“There is so much to fuel us for the game it’s hard to believe that we could possibly come out here and play flat,”McKnight said. “I mean there is factors like last year when they put their starting defense in when they were up 58-0. That’s got to fuel guys. That’s got to make you come out here and play, and hats off, they played a great game, but we need to use that kind of stuff to give us the needed energy to start this game with a spark and we didn’t.”
McKnight insisted the Buffs’ problems can’t be laid totally at the feet of the coaching staff. He said the players need to bring a greater sense of urgency to what they do and play with more pride every day in practice and in the each week’s game.
When asked why players don’t seem to learn from their slow starts or penalties or other mistakes from week to week, McKnight said many of his teammates need to play with more confidence.
“We started last week, making guys run,” he said of one result of a players’ only meeting last Monday. “It shouldn’t even come down to the fact that it’s punishment. It should come down to the fact that you have pride in your team and yourself as an individual. You should be wanting to make plays. Like I said, there is still some guys on this team, I don’t know who,, it happens on any given play, it’s not calling guys out, there is guys that don’t play with confidence that they need to. I mean, look at me. I’m 5-11, 180 pounds. I’m not an imposing physical specimen, but I have confidence. When I go out and I play in a game, I think I’m unstoppable. That’s really how I play football, and everyone has to have that mentality. So we’ve just got to create that culture a little more around here.”
McKnight was asked how much responsibility coaches should bear for the team’s 2-6 start and sometimes sloppy play.
“A lot of people want to point the finger at our coaching staff, and we hear that kind of stuff,” McKnight said. “You hear it around campus. That’s what happens. You can hear it from the stands, but as players, you have to take pride in how you perform no matter what. We have confidence in our coaching staff. That’s not just me speaking because I am who I am or whatever. That is generally felt throughout the locker room.
“It’s a two-way street. They’ve got to feel like they bear it all and we’ve got to feel like we bear it all.”