This isn’t the first time that Coach Mike MacIntyre has found himself going into a season without a proven quarterback.
After being named the new head Coach at Colorado in December, the Buffs have seen several signal callers leave the program due to personal reasons, and with one dealing with an injury and off the field issues.
MacIntyre heads into his first season as CU’s Head Coach with only four quarterbacks competing for the starting nod in fall camp.
When the Buffs open the season in the Rocky Mountain Showdown, Colorado will most likely see either junior Connor Wood or true freshman Sefo Liufau calling the plays.
In either case it will be the quarterback’s first time in a new offense, something very similar that occurred the last year MacIntyre was at San Jose State.
MacIntyre and the Spartans found themselves without a viable future starting quarterback after Tate Forcier, who was redshirting a year after transferring from Michigan, withdrew from San Jose State.
MacIntyre’s Spartans coming off a 5-7 season knew they had some offensive pieces but was missing the quarterback, the key piece to their puzzle.
They turned to Monterey Peninsula College and signed junior college signal caller David Fales. Following fall camp at San Jose, MacIntyre named Fales his starter August 23, 2012, the rest is history as Fales flourished in MacIntyre’s Pistol offense completing 327 passes on 451 attempts for 4,193 yards, 33 touchdowns and just nine interceptions leading the Spartans to an incredible 10 win season.
Wood a former University of Texas transfer was highly touted coming out of high school in Houston Texas, he was a four star quarterback and ranked the No. 9 QB in the nation by Scout.com.
Liufau comes to the Buffs from Tacoma Washington, he was rated a three star quarterback and the 53rd pro style thrower.
In contrast Fales came out of junior college with his only other offer being from FCS Indiana State.
The question has always been pondered when it comes to a quarterback’s success, is it his talent or the system that produces big numbers or a combination of both.
Wood stated earlier this summer that he was very pleased with the Buffs new offense and excited about being able to have fun again, thinking less and playing the game he grew up loving.
“This offense is so much easier to understand,” Wood said in an earlier interview. “You don’t have to think as much as you did in last year’s offense, we often got confused with all the reads we had to do. Now we get to play at a faster pace.”
While most figure that Wood will get the starting nod come Labor Day weekend against Colorado State, if he does it won’t happen without a fight from a very talented true freshman.
MacIntyre was asked Thursday about the quarterback competition, he has been very guarded in saying too much.
“They are competing good, they had a good day today, all of them are doing a good job ,” MacIntyre said. “We are trying to put them through a lot of different situations.”
MacIntyre’s offenses produced a quarterback in his first season at SJS that threw for 2,860 yards 16 touchdowns and 16 interceptions, the second year a different quarterback threw for 3,149 yards 13 touchdowns and 13 interceptions and a 5-7 overall team record.
MacIntyre was asked Saturday after the Buffs scrimmage about the fall true freshman Liufau production during fall camp.
“Sefo has done well,” MacIntyre said. “He has a lot of tools to be a really, really good football player. I’m excited about what he has done so far in camp.”
While Wood has age, experience and maturity on his side, it will be interesting to see who ends up being the starter against the Rams.
Is there the possibility that MacIntyre will play two quarterbacks early on?
One thing for sure, MacIntyre’s offense has produced good numbers from the quarterback position regardless of who is the guy throwing it. The better the guy, the better the results.
Colorado fans can only hope that CU’s offense improves like it did for MacIntyre’s last team, if it does, good things should be ahead for BuffNation.