I can hear the rumbling. Buffaloes country is getting antsy, and there’s going to be a stampede of backlash if things don’t get turned around quickly.
Firings, benchings, you name it; it’ll all happen, and it’ll all be the wrong move.
During Colorado’s 48-23 loss to Arizona State, there was no doubt a sizable group of Buffaloes fans who at least considered the idea of benching starting quarterback Sefo Liufau; even head coach Mike MacIntyre was asked if the thought crossed his mind after the game.
MacIntyre answered with a succinct “No,” and I will do the same. Actually, I’ll go a step further; any decision to bench Liufau would not only be wrong, but cowardly.
Liufau is not the problem, and to place the blame on his shoulders would be nothing other than scapegoating.
There’s a reason why Liufau looks a little worse for the ware, and that’s because he is. Through six games this season, Liufau has been sacked 17 times — he was sacked 18 times in all of 2014 — which included a hit that separated Liufau’s shoulder against Colorado State.
The beating has gotten so bad that MacIntyre has considered pulling Liufau from the game out of pity alone.
“I went up to him and said: ‘Sefo, can you keep doing this? Because if you can’t, you let me know right now,’ ” MacIntyre said Tuesday, via the Denver Post. “He said: ‘No, Coach, I can keep doing this. I want to keep going.’ I’ve never been around a quarterback as tough as he is.”
There’s no doubt that Liufau’s injury is causing him to sail throws and miss his targets, but the kid is giving this team everything he’s got and then some; in my eyes, that’s the type of mentality you need behind center, especially in a program still searching for its identity.
But trust me, this isn’t just about being nice or doing the right thing. Liufau is the best quarterback the University of Colorado has seen in a long time, and he deserves to start.
I’ve been watching the Buffaloes for most of my life, and when Liufau is on, I’m not sure I’ve seen a better passer in a CU uniform. And yes, I understand that he’s 7-19 as a starter, but it can be difficult for any quarterback to rack up wins when their defense is giving up nearly 40 points a game.
However you view Liufau, though, I don’t think there’s any question that he’s at least the best quarterback Boulder has seen since Joel Klatt, and he left campus a decade ago.
It’s been a barren wasteland of quarterbacks for the Buffaloes, with only brief mirages of talent from Cody Hawkins and Tyler Hansen. Liufau is the first true oasis we’ve come across in a long while, and we’d be wrong to take him for granted.