Starting at cornerback opposite All-American candidate Terrence Wheatley
, Ben Burney
has seen more than his share of action this fall. The 5-11, 195-pound defensive back has held up his end of the bargain.
Burney hasn't given up any big plays five games into starting at a new position. And he's one reason the Buffs are currently ranked 14th in the country in pass defense.
That ranking is sure to be tested in the coming weeks as the Buffs play a handful of teams that rely on the pass more than the run to score points. Included in the list of prolific passing attacks the Buffs are preparing to defend is the Baylor Bears, who host CU in Waco this Saturday.
In the Big 12, only Texas Tech passes the ball more than the Bears.
BSN spoke with Burney about the challenges ahead.
BSN: How do you feel like the secondary has done this year so far?
Burney: I feel like we've improved a lot in pass defense and getting off the field after third down. But we can't be content. We have to keep trying to improve. You can't be happy with how strong you are, you always want to be stronger, you always want to be faster.
And we're going to have some challenges in the upcoming weeks with these teams that like to pass the ball. We have to come out and perform.
BSN: What do you see specifically from Baylor?
Burney: They have a very tricky offense. You have to really get in the book and learn what they like to do. You don't want to be caught off guard and let them hit you for a big play. They like to pass the ball a lot so we have to aware of the receivers, where they are on the field and what they like to run out of certain formations.
BSN: How aware are you guys of specific tendencies of specific receivers?
Burney: We're very aware of what a guy likes to do. Especially as corners, we've got to know their moves off the line, be aware of that. And know if he's a speedster, or he likes to juke or if he's a big guy. That really helps you so when you get out there on Saturday you're not like, ‘Oh, that's what kind of guy he is.'
You can be prepared. But still, film shows you some things, but when you finally get on the field, that's when it really happens. But we prepare for players so when we get out there we're not ignorant.
BSN: Are you having fun playing cornerback?
Burney: Yeah, I'm having a lot of fun playing corner. I know a lot of positions on this secondary. I'm backing up some positions. But I really enjoy playing corner.
BSN: You haven't had a pick since your freshman season. When are you gonna get another one?
Burney: (laughs) I'm trying, man. I'm trying to get me one. I mean, T-Wheat, and D.J. and Ryan got one. It's my turn next. I'm definitely trying to get one.
Punt returner Chase McBride had a big, game-changing play in the win over Oklahoma, but he won't be in the lineup Saturday in Waco. McBride sustained a shoulder injury in practice Wednesday and is out for the Baylor game.
Stephone Robinson, who has backed McBride up so far this season, is McBride's likely replacement. Robinson had trouble holding onto punts at times in 2006, but has shown improvement in that category in practice. He has two punt returns for scores in his career.
Meanwhile, tailback Brian Lockridge, who missed the Oklahoma game with a concussion, is expected to play vs. Baylor.
Benjamin Burney has performed well at cornerback opposite Terrence Wheatley this season. The junior moved to corner after playing safety last fall. Inside, five questions with Burney.