Na­tional coach of year MacIn­tyre’s sched­ule gets crazy, and CU boss loves it.

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Nick Kos­mider Nick Kos­mider: 303-954-1516, nkos­mider@den­ver­ or @nick­kos­mider

Mike MacIn­tyre can be for­given if he has feel­ing a lit­tle road weary these days.

Such is the life of a coach in de­mand in De­cem­ber.

MacIn­tyre went straight from the news con­fer­ence in Boul­der an­nounc­ing Colorado’s berth in the Alamo Bowl on Sun­day to the re­cruit­ing trail, ac­com­pa­ny­ing mem­bers of his staff as they made in-home vis­its with prospects.

MacIn­tyre was then in San An­to­nio Thurs­day morn­ing for a char­ity golf tour­na­ment and joint news con­fer­ence with Ok­la­homa State coach Mike Gundy, pre­view­ing the Dec. 29 game that will be tele­vised na­tion­ally on ESPN. From there, the Colorado coach was set to jet to At­lanta to re­ceive his award as the Home De­pot na­tional coach of the year.

Then it would be back to Boul­der on Fri­day as CU be­gins prepa­ra­tions for the Alamo Bowl. Catch all that?

“It’s a lot bet­ter than sit­ting home, for sure,” MacIn­tyre said. “It’s ex­cit­ing for our pro­gram and does get our name out there. This game be­ing tele­vised on a Thurs­day night, na­tional tele­vi­sion against a great op­po­nent. It will be ex­cep­tional for our foot­ball pro­gram and for our school.”

While he has been a busy man the past five days, MacIn­tyre said he has had an op­por­tu­nity to dig deeper into the kind of chal­lenge No. 11 Colorado (10-3) will face in No. 13 Ok­la­homa State (9-3). He was ef­fu­sive in his praise for the Cow­boys’ offense, which is ranked 17th in the coun­try at 492.1 yards per game.

“Watch­ing Ok­la­homa State on tape, their quar­ter­back (ju­nior Ma­son Ru­dolph), wow, you need to make sure he stays in (the pocket). He’s ex­cel­lent. Their offense, they do ev­ery­thing. They can throw the deep ball so well. Their run­ning back, a fresh­man (Jus­tice) Hill, he is amaz­ing. They do a great job there.”

Ru­dolph’s 3,777 yards are the eighth-most in the coun­try and more than any CU op­po­nent has thrown for this sea­son be­sides Wash­ing­ton State’s Luke Falk. Hill has rushed for 1,042 yards in his de­but sea­son.

But CU presents a chal­lenge, Gundy said, sim­i­lar to the one posed by one of the top de­fenses in the Big 12.

“With (de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Jim) Leav­itt and his his­tory, their style of play would be some­what like TCU,” Gundy said. “We’ve had a brief meet­ing but feel like this could be the best sec­ondary that we may have faced as a group through­out the year. They have a tremen­dous pass rusher, with pres­sure in­side. Over­all the clos­est would be, over the last three or four years, TCU’s style of play in our league.”

MacIn­tyre’s whirl­wind week in­cluded re­ceiv­ing the news Tues­day that one of Colorado’s most iconic play­ers, 1994 Heis­man Tro­phy win­ner Rashaan Salaam, had passed away.

“Rashaan al­ways had a great smile,” MacIn­tyre said. “I al­ways loved talk­ing to Rashaan and be­ing around him. He meant a tremen­dous amount to our pro­gram. We have a locker that we’ve al­ways had in our locker room that is Rashaan Salaam’s locker from him win­ning the Heis­man. It means a great deal to our pro­gram. A lot of our guys know him.

“Def­i­nitely a sad day los­ing Rashaan. But I al­ways think of him. I choose to think of him with his big smile, his great per­son­al­ity.”

Ok­la­homa State coach Mike Gundy, left, joins CU’s Mike MacIn­tyre in San An­to­nio on Thurs­day. The Alamo Bowl is Dec. 29 there. Eric Gay, The As­so­ci­ated Press

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