Colorado quarterback Connor Wood knew going into Saturday's game at Arizona State that his hold on the starting job was tenuous.

Wood, a junior, had struggled in two straight games, and knew that true freshman Sefo Liufau was looking over his shoulder.

"We thought about (making a change) if it didn't go as well as we liked," CU head coach Mike MacIntyre said. "We talked to both quarterbacks (last week). They understood that going into the game."

After Wood started 0-for-4 with an interception, the change came. Liufau took over in the first quarter of the 54-13 loss and will remain the starter, as long as he plays well.

Players at CU (2-3, 0-3 Pac-12) are ready to support their new quarterback.

Sefo Liufau
Sefo Liufau

"I think Sefo is ready to step in and I think he'll do fine," junior receiver Paul Richardson said. "Guys were motivated (when Liufau came into the game). They wanted to help him get the ball into the end zone to build his confidence and we did that."

MacIntyre said the change appears to have gone over well with the team, including Wood.

"I thought his attitude on the sidelines at the game was phenomenal, and his attitude out here (on Sunday night), he practiced hard," MacIntyre said. "The way our game is, he'll get another chance again, somehow. It always seems like it works out that way."

Until then, this is Liufau's offense, and the Buffs will do their best to help him out.


"We just have to play as hard as we can for him and support him out there and keep him off his back," senior left tackle Jack Harris said. "We didn't do a great job of that last night and we need to do a better job of keeping him stable in there and not rattled."

Harris said that first-team offense got a lot of repetitions with Liufau during preseason camp, so there isn't much of an adjustment in that regard. Harris has been impressed with Liufau.

"He really has a good pocket presence," Harris said. "For a freshman, he really has a sense about him. He knows what's going on. He's not flustered and he really commands us well out there."

Harris and Richardson both said, however, that it wouldn't really matter who was under center for the Buffs. Everybody else on the team still needs to make sure they do their jobs.

"We just have to do everything we can in our different position groups on offense to make Sefo's job that much easier," Richardson said. "As his confidence builds, it's going to be good for the duration of this season and his future as the quarterback here."

Liufau, who went 18-for-26 for 169 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions against ASU, will get his first career start on Saturday when Charleston Southern (7-0) visits Boulder.