Colorado quarterback Sefo Liufau has had a few days to review his first college start and digest the results and he's happy with it all things considered.
Now it's on to a much larger challenge this week with his first start against a Pac-12 Conference opponent. The Buffs host Arizona on Saturday night in a blackout game at Folsom Field (6:07 p.m., Pac-12 Networks) and CU needs a win to get above the .500 mark and give some credibility to the idea they could become bowl eligible this season.
A win would snap an 11-game losing streak in Pac-12 play and give the Buffs some motivation heading into November, a month in which the Buffs haven't played many meaningful games the past two years. CU is 3-3 overall and 0-3 in conference play.
“I'd say it's very important,” Liufau said Tuesday at the Buffs' weekly press conference when asked how big this week's game is for the program. “We all want to go to a bowl. We know how possible it is if we stay consistent and we take the coaching we learn and put it out on the field.”
Liufau wasn't asked to do much in his first start last week against Charleston Southern. CU used the running game featuring running backs Michael Adkins and Christian Powell to overwhelm the Buccaneers.
Much more will likely be required from the true freshman quarterback this week against a ball-hawking Arizona defense that leads the nation in interceptions returned for touchdowns and is ranked No. 21 against the pass. The Wildcats are 4-2 overall and 1-2 in the conference coming off a big win at home last week over Utah, which had upset Stanford the week before.
“So far I've just seen that they're really good cover guys and a lot of quarterbacks have forced throws into their coverages,” Liufau said. “I just have to keep watching film and see what they're good at, each corner, each safety, and their backups if they're in and just get prepared.”
Liufau said CU wide receiver Paul Richardson has given him some tips about the abilities of Arizona defensive backs, especially cornerback Shaquille Richardson who is Paul Richardson's cousin.
While this will be Liufau's first start in the Pac-12, it won't be his first action in the conference. He was called off the bench for his college playing time two weeks ago against Arizona State in a lopsided loss
Liufau said he did have to utilize some checks at the line of scrimmage in the Charleston Southern game and he's comfortable making those decisions.
“At the college level, they do a lot more switching mid-play and you have to read it and you to be able to act on the move,” Liufau said. “It's a lot different from high school.”
Contact staff writer Kyle Ringo at email@example.com or twitter.com/kyleringo