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Sefo Liufau cements himself as a CU Buffs legend

Jake Shapiro Avatar
November 20, 2016

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BOULDER – “They wanted Connor Wood. They wanted Jordan Gehrke. They wanted Cade Apsay. They wanted Davis Webb. They got a legend.”

When outside noise got loudest Sefo Liufau and Mike MacIntyre didn’t listen, nor did anyone else in the Colorado Buffaloes football program.

They wanted Liufau replaced. They wanted MacIntyre to be fired. They wanted the Buffs to be great again.

Now the Buffs are great again, and it’s because MacIntyre has stuck with Liufau.

As the Colorado Buffaloes wrapped up a 38-24 win against the No. 22 Washington State Cougars on Saturday, Liufau became Colorado legend. In a performance for the ages, the three-year captain led his No. 10 ranked squad in a potential prelude to a title bout.

Throwing for a slick 345 yards, rushing for a bruising 113 and tallying a team-leading three touchdowns, Liufau’s legacy became, in part, first to lead the Buffs to a win against a ranked opponent since 2009 (snapping a 23 game losing streak that encompassed many of the dark years of CU football). The quarterback, who won’t ever be forgotten around Folsom, guided the Buffs to one of their 14 nine-win seasons in program history.

You think it’s hyperbole to call Liufau legend? It’s not.

Liufau became the second quarterback in program history to throw for 300, run for 100 and nab three scores. Ironically, the other one sits on the bench behind him, Steven Montez.

Liufau snatched the Buffs their first Gold Brick since 2013, an honor given to historic games in program history (the last was Mike MacIntyre’s first win).

Liufau now holds 84 Colorado football records.

“It means the world to be able to go out there and win,” Liufau said. “Keep our hopes alive. I think that it’s more fun than anything which might be a little weird to people, we’ve been in close games for a while now and we’ve just got a little older a little better at being consistent and executing, it’s just a great feeling to go out there and win.”

What’s unforgettable about Liufau isn’t his play, it’s his courage, leadership and determination. Playing through a hip pointer tonight, a debilitating shoulder injury last year and countless other injuries over the years Liufau has never once made an excuse. Liufau is the man who should have the Buffalo Heart Award named after him, the annual program honor that goes to the Buff who demonstrates grit, determination and toughness. Coincidentally, the first winner of the award was Liufau’s co-offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini in 1998.

“I don’t know if I knew it was coming every step of the way, whatever journey whatever path we’re gonna take this year, I want to be a part of it,” he said. “I think this senior class has put in so much and I love playing with them. If I don’t play another snap after college football and it’s over with these guys then I do it in a heartbeat, because they mean a lot to me, we have a great bond on and off the field. I’m just happy to be able to play with these guys.”

The senior, who is not even close to done furthering his resume, will probably add this season’s Buffalo Heart Award because of his character. That character comes though with class when discussing the fans whose support has waned at times.

“To have the support of the fans, just to hear them… I’m very thankful for the fans and I know my teammates are as well and it’s definitely a big help playing behind them,” Liufau described the crowd that chanted his name emphatically as he returned to the game from injury.

“Sefo, he is a dog,” Phil Lindsay said. “You got to be a dog in this game, period. That man puts his body on the line, day in and day out, he has to take the most criticism, he has to remember everything on the field, he has to tell me what to do half the time, there are no words that I can say to express my feelings towards that man, that dude is the man and my guy to the end and I’ve told him that and I just want to let him know again. He’s our leader, we’re going to ride with him.”

Perhaps nobody in Colorado Football history has ever represented the program the way Liufau has. And almost definitely no quarterback has helped to improve the program to the degree that Liufau has.

They doubted him, but now they will never forget him. Liufau left the field on Saturday night as a legend.


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