Regardless of the outcome of Saturday's game at Washington, it will always be a special one for Colorado quarterback Sefo Liufau.

Liufau grew up in Tacoma, Wash., less than an hour away from Husky Stadium. Just six months after he graduated from high school, Liufau will have family and friends in the stands to watch him make the fourth start of his college career.

Now, flash ahead two years. In 2015, CU will visit Washington State -- the Buffs' only other trip to Liufau's home state during his career.

Of course, CU would love to see Liufau have a great game against the Huskies on Saturday, but it might be even more important to see him have a great game against Wazzu in two years.

As he tries to rebuild the Colorado football program, head coach Mike MacIntyre needs a lot of things to go right. Finding stability at the quarterback position might be the most important ingredient, however, as MacIntyre searches for success in Boulder.

CU has not had a winning season since 2005. It's probably no coincidence that that was the last year they had stability under center.

Joel Klatt was a senior in 2005. He spent three years as the Buffs' starter, leading them to bowl games in each of his final two seasons.

Since then, there have been only two seasons in which the Buffs didn't have question marks at quarterback. In 2007, Cody Hawkins was clearly the best QB on the roster, and in 2011, Tyler Hansen had a lock on the job from Day 1.


Following Klatt, the Buffs went through a rough 2006 with Bernard Jackson.

Hawkins had a solid year in 2007, but that was followed by three awkward years when former head coach Dan Hawkins -- Cody's father -- could never decide on whether his son or Hansen should play. So, he juggled them throughout three disappointing seasons.

With Hawkins gone, Hansen had a good year in 2011. And, since then, the Buffs have gone through Jordan Webb, Nick Hirschman and Connor Wood in trying to find the quarterback of the future. None proved capable of being the quarterback of the present, let alone the future.

That's where Liufau, at least so far, has stood out. He's played nearly four full games and has looked better than anyone since Hansen left.

CU coaches and players rave about Liufau's poise, and he appears to have all the tools needed to be a leader for this team. He's also a great athlete who will only get better as he grows under the tutelage of offensive coordinator Brian Lindgren.

For the remainder of this season, there is no questioning Liufau as the starter. It's up to him to prove he can be the long-term answer for the Buffaloes.

Wood, who won the starting job in the offseason and then played well during the first games, has a year of eligibility left. Should he choose to stay at CU, Wood will try to fight for the job in 2014 again. Sophomores Stevie Joe Dorman and Jordan Gehrke will also be back.

CU coaches also like Cade Apsay, a three-star recruit who is still playing at Canyon High School in California. He has put up great numbers this season for the Cowboys, and he will surely want a crack at the starting job.

The spotlight, however, is on Liufau, and he needs to make sure it stays there.

With four games left in CU's season, starting Saturday at Washington, the Buffs are still hopeful they can get the three wins needed for bowl eligibility.

Whether they get those wins or not, CU needs to see Liufau take ownership of his starting job. Liufau playing well down the stretch could put to an end to any quarterback battle heading into 2014, and possibly for the next three years.

What role will Liufau have in two years on the return trip to the Evergreen State?

There's a lot of time between now and then, and there's no telling what could happen, but the best thing for the Buffs would be for an experienced Liufau to have another opportunity at a special day in front of family and friends.

Contact staff writer Brian Howell at or