Upgrade Your Fandom

Join the Ultimate Colorado Buffs Community!

CU Buffaloes quarterback Sefo Liufau’s legacy is teetering

Ryan Koenigsberg Avatar
May 18, 2015

whole

Let’s start with a blind resume test.

Quarterback A: 151/252, 2109 YDS, 12 TD, 9 INT

Quarterback B: 233/358, 2614 YDS, 21 TD, 10 INT

Quarterback C: 325/498, 3200 YDS, 28 TD, 15 INT

Quarterback D: 183/320, 1892 YDS, 17 TD, 10 INT

These are the sophomore seasons of four prominent University of Colorado quarterbacks, at the very least, in terms of the record book.

Now as a living, breathing human who read the title of this article when you clicked it, you know that one of these belongs to Colorado junior-to-be Sefo Liufau, and as a big fan of Colorado, or just someone who knows that I probably have an angle here, you probably know that Liufau is indeed “Quarterback C.”

As for the others, “Quarterback A,” is Colorado legend Kordell Stewart, “Quarterback B,” is Joel Klatt, and “Quarterback D,” is Colorado’s all time leader in passing yards, Cody Hawkins.

So where am I going with this? I’m not going to try and say that Liufau is the best quarterback here, and I know that we are in a different era in college football so stats don’t exactly equate across generations.

What I am getting at, is that even in this era, usually when a sophomore throws for more than 3,000 yards and nearly 30 touchdowns, fans are thrilled about their projection as a player, and excited to have them at the helm for the upcoming season. CU fans certainly felt that way about the top two quarterbacks on this list. Most fans of average programs around the country would take the stat line out of Quarterback C from a sophomore at their school.

That is not the case for Sefo Liufau. Instead of looking forward to his progress, most Colorado fans are already looking for the next savior, certainly nobody is pinning him as a potential great CU QB. Liufau is looked at as a decent stop-gap between now and CU’s return to prominence.

But why? It’s not his attitude, Sefo is regarded as a good leader, and is one of just two sophomores in CU history to be named a full-season captain. It’s not his toughness, he has stood in there while getting blasted from defenders from all over the Pac-12 the last couple seasons. I don’t even think it’s all about wins, heck Tyler Hansen is seemingly held in a higher regard in CU circles, and he doesn’t have many wins to his name either.

What it comes down to for Liufau, is mistakes in inopportune situations. This one quality is bringing his legacy down, taking him from somebody fans are excited about, to somebody fans are willing to wait and see for one more year.

Sefo had 15 interceptions last season , which is already a lot (8th in the NCAA), but the moments they came in, their result, or just the boneheaded nature of the plays makes it feel like 30 interceptions.

An interception killing a drive with a chance to take the lead against UCLA, with less than 7 minutes left, in an eventual double-OT loss. A mind-boggling fourth quarter pick-six against Utah, that would lend them the game winning points in a four-point loss. Another pick-six against Washington, that turned a one-point third quarter deficit into an 8-point third quarter deficit, and put the Buffs in a momentum hole they couldn’t crawl out of.

These are just a few of the plays made by Liufau that on the stat sheet look like an interception, but in reality were much more.

Now it may seem like I’m starting to pile-on the young man, but that is not the point of this column in the slightest. The point is that he is one fixed problem away from his legacy at Colorado skyrocketing.

You can’t teach toughness, you can’t teach leadership, but you can teach decision making. That is the challenge ahead of offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, Brian Lindgren this offseason. Can he get the young QB to see where he is going wrong, and figure out why he is getting away from what he knows when the moment becomes larger? If he and Liufau are able to cut out even just a third of those turnovers, and get them out of those crucial situations, you will see Sefo’s regard in Buff Nation and regular nation begin to rise quickly, because along with his improvement on the field will come wins.

It’s not as if the quarterback is incapable of being clutch, he orchestrated multiple impressive answer drives in games such as Cal and UCLA, in situations when CU needed him the most. He is completely capable of making great plays, it all just comes down to not making the detrimental ones.

For now, Sefo Liufau’s legacy teeters on the fence, a decent quarterback who never quite put it all together, but when Colorado takes the field this September, all of that can change.

Lean to one side and land with Cody Hawkins and Tyler Hansen, guys who put up good numbers, but never got the job done. Lean to the other and be remembered, remembered as the quarterback who led the turnaround for Colorado, remembered with names like Kordell Stewart as one of the greats in Boulder, remembered as potentially the most prolific passer in CU history.

What’s it going to be?

Comments

Share your thoughts

Join the conversation

The Comment section is only for diehard members

Open comments +

Scroll to next article

Don't like ads?
Don't like ads?
Don't like ads?