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on to try to make themselves better every week."
"The young guys are stepping up and guys are playing hard and guys are playing a full 60 minutes," junior left tackle David Bakhtiari said. "It's good to see our unit continuously progressing."
Injuries mainly to Handler have forced the Buffs to move around a bit. Handler missed three games earlier in the year and then sprained his knee on Saturday against Oregon, so he's likely to miss another two or three games. In his place, Munyer has moved to center, Harris to right guard and Nembot to right tackle. Ryan Dannewitz filled in for an injured Bakhtiari last week (Bakhtiari expects to return Saturday against Stanford).
During the past few weeks, however, the Buffaloes' offensive line has made significant strides.
Throughout Colorado's disappointing season on the football field, improvement has been tough to spot.
line as growing strength
All in all, it's a group that, while maybe it hasn't wowed anybody, continues to improve and lay a foundation for the future.
"We've got to keep going the same direction, mostly because it's about competition," redshirt freshman tackle Stephane Nembot said. "Whenever somebody goes down, coach Marshall prepares the (No. 2) group to be ready to step up. Prada Bags For Sale You never know enough, so you've got to learn and get more experience."
What changed? A variety of things, really. Bakhtiari said the Buffs simply got tired of being pushed around all the time, so a measure of anger has set in among the group.
Even Bakhtiari, the most experienced, and arguably the best lineman in the group, said he has improved since the opener on Sept. 1 against Colorado State.
"We had so much potential coming in, and now it's really starting to unfold," he said.
For the most part, however, the Buffs credit their hard work and not just among the starting five.
"It's been a tough year from a standpoint of wins and losses, but it's been extremely gratifying for me as a coach to see these guys grow and continue to get better and better as the weeks have gone on."
Early in the season, it was the offensive line that took a lot of blame for CU's struggles. Yet, despite dealing with injuries and having never really played with continuity among the starting five, the group has become the leading unit of the team.
At the beginning of the year, Bakhtiari was the starter at left tackle, with Alex Lewis at left guard, Gus Handler at center, Daniel Munyer at right guard and Jack Harris at right tackle.
"I'm starting to understand calls more and understand defenses," he said.
"We've made progress all along, since the start of the year," Buffs offensive line coach Steve Marshall said. "Not much different from last year. The more you keep playing, the more you work together, the better off you are.
"That's been their goal," Marshall said. Prada Bags And Wallets
Better late than never. And, the goods new for the Buffs is that each of the top six linemen, in terms of number of snaps played, will return in 2013. Nine of the 11 who have seen the field are slated to return next year. That gives Marshall and the Buffs hope that next year will be a great year for this line.
Brad Cotner, Jeromy Irwin and Marc Mustoe and senior Eric Richter have worked their way onto the field a bit, too.
"I think it starts with the three juniors, Bak, Jack and Gus," Marshall said. "They're the ones that have kind of taken hold of this thing in bringing the young guys along.
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It's been pleasing to Bakhtiari, too. He felt all along that this group would be a strength of the team. It just took a little longer than expected.
"The one thing our guys up front have done, they're working hard. Every week is a new challenge. They've taken that challenge Prada Bags Nylon Sale
"I hope we have other groups that are strengths of this team. But, if you're a good football team, it starts with the guys up front on both sides of the ball. We have to continue to grow and work from the inside out."
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