Connor Wood spent three years trying to establish himself as a starting quarterback in college football.
After finally doing that this fall, the Colorado junior played well for two games, struggled in three and went back to his old role as a backup.
Not exactly what he had in mind for this season.
"I'll be honest, it's been tough adjusting to it," said Wood, who was replaced by true freshman Sefo Liufau early in CU's 54-13 loss at Arizona State on Oct. 12. "I think any competitor would say that. Everyone wants to play."
Despite his disappointment, Wood is throwing his full effort into his new role. As a team captain, and the No. 2 quarterback, he is doing what he can to help Liufau, who has started the past two games. Liufau is slated to start Saturday, as well, when the Buffaloes (3-4, 0-4 Pac-12) visit No. 17 UCLA (5-2, 2-2).
"Thing is, I understand my role on the team as a captain," Wood said. "I've got to support anyone who is in there. I've got to put the team above myself. That's a cliché, but it's very true for my moment right now on the team."
Two games into the season, the Buffs were 2-0 and Wood was one of the nation's leading passers. Turnovers started piling up, though. Wood threw seven interceptions and lost two fumbles, while the offense as a whole failed to generate many points.
In the three weeks since he was demoted, Wood said he's had the opportunity to step back and analyze what went wrong for him.
"Maybe I overcomplicated some things," he said. "I do that from time to time. That's been the deal from last year."
He said he realizes he needs to simplify the game, and hopes to get a chance to prove himself again.
"Whenever I get my shot to go back in, I'll be ready to correct those wrongs and to show a lot of improvement," he said.
In the meantime, Wood is fully supportive of Liufau. The young quarterback has impressed Wood with his maturity to this point.
"It was one of the hardest things to go through the last couple of weeks," Wood said. "I'm over (the demotion) and I'm getting into my role.
"Your true colors come out when things don't go your way. I think I'm doing a good job of staying positive and I think it's genuine."