Friday, September 20, 2019

Trial By Fire in Tempe for Colorado Against #24 Arizona State

The Colorado Buffaloes fly off today for a desert showdown with #24 Arizona State in Tempe. Game-time temperatures are expected to be in the mid 90's. 

That heat may be hard to fathom for Buff fans who have never been to Sun Devil Stadium, but it's actually a breath of fresh air for ASU fans. Their last game at home kicked off with a temperature of 108 degrees... even though it was a night game!

After their lackadaisical loss to Air Force at home in Boulder last weekend, the Buffs have had to deal with a coaching staff that has taken their already tough practices and ratcheted them up a great deal.

Head coach Mel Tucker has been after his charges all week to take their game to the next level. He was overhead very loudly imploring and warning his players of his seriousness.

"You'd better be comfortable with being uncomfortable, with that sense of urgency to do it right every time, or you can take your ass to the [NCAA transfer] portal right now."

The above quote was taken from a great article in The Bleacher Report about Buff wide receiver Laviska Shenault. Click the link to see that article.

That quote is why so many long-time Colorado fans are so excited to have Mel Tucker as their coach. He's making it clear that the most fun they are going to have each week is playing the game. Practice is to harden them physically and mentally.

Sun Devil Stadium's field is named in honor of legendary ASU coach Frank Kush. He coached in Tempe from 1958 to 1979. His teams were 176-54-1 during his tenure. He was also known as the toughest coach in the country. 

One year, when Kush was unhappy with the lackadaisical play of his team in a rare home loss, he kept his players on the field after the game and made them go through a full two hour practice right there in Sun Devil Stadium.

We will see if Mel Tucker's Buffaloes have learned their lesson. It's a process, and Tucker and the coaches know that. But one thing they will not stand for is lack of effort.

The game is Tempe will be a trial by fire for the Colorado Buffaloes. They've already beaten one ranked team this year. And defeating a higher ranked team is something that Colorado never did under the prior coach in six years.

Mel Tucker knows that for Colorado to compete for championships in the Pac-12, his team is going to playing a lot of ranked teams. The P-12 has six teams ranked in the AP Top 25 this week. Beating ranked teams has to become ordinary and expected. There is no other way to be the best.

It's a process, and it will not happen overnight. Losses will happen. But the players now know it will not be for a lack of effort or concentration. 

Go Buffs!





 

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