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Buffs head West to join Pac-12
“It’s my senior season, I’ve got to stay healthy, I’ve got to get through it all,” Hansen said.
Hansen will wear extra padding, but the first contact he’ll have since surgeons removed one-fourth of his spleen will be at Hawaii on Sept. 3.
“You want to get that hit out of the way so you can say, ‘OK, I’m fine, I can take a hit’. It kind of helps the mind out more,” Hansen said. “It’s been a while, it’s been since October. That first hit, I think is going to feel good. So I’m looking forward to it.’
Hansen has plenty of threats at wide receiver, led by seniors Toney Clemons and Kyle Cefalo and sophomore Paul Richardson.
“Our offense can be explosive, real good,” Hansen said. “Our defense can be just as good. We’ve got to figure out our secondary situation, but we can surprise people, for sure. There’s a lot of uncertainty for us coming to the Pac-12. We don’t know what they’re going to be like, but they don’t know what we’re going to be like. It’s a two-way street and we can use that to our advantage, especially playing at Folsom Field, it’s a hard place to play.”
Along with a senior-heavy roster, Embree inherited a brutal schedule.
The first month includes games at Hawaii and Ohio State, the annual game in Denver against Colorado State and a visit from Cal that won’t count in the Pac-12 standings. Then, they play five of their nine league games on the road.
They do get Washington State and Oregon in October and USC and Arizona at home in the cold and altitude.
The Buffs lost their chief rival in Nebraska. The Cornhuskers joined the Big Ten, and neither school is eager to schedule a non-conference game against each other in September.
Embree said there’s no replacing the Cornhuskers but he’s sure another rivalry will blossom over time.
“We were at ESPN and they had me and (Utah coach) Kyle Whittingham together like we were the new rivals. And I said, ‘This is not the old world marriage when you give two goats and a cow and this is your wife and this is your husband,’” Embree said. “We don’t do that. So, I know something will happen on the field that will make a rivalry for us.”
Bieniemy hasn’t given up hope of seeing the Huskers again.
“Hopefully one day we’ll all meet in the Rose Bowl,” he said.
Connect with AP Sports Writer Arnie Stapleton at http://twittere.com/arniestapleton
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