Quarterback Sefo Liufau continues to get a little better each day, but the Colorado football team is getting his backup ready just in case.

On Tuesday, redshirt freshman Steven Montez took a lot of the first-team reps, while Liufau continues to nurse the right ankle he sprained in CU's 45-28 loss to Michigan on Saturday.

"Sefo was at practice today in full pads, moving around better than he did yesterday," MacIntyre said. "We'll just see how that progresses. Really, we'll make a decision at game time on that."

Colorado (2-1) will visit Oregon (2-1) on Saturday in the Pac-12 Conference opener for both teams.

CU already knows what Liufau can do. He's Colorado's all-time leading passer and currently ranks seventh nationally in quarterback rating. If he's healthy, he'll start against the Ducks.

After redshirting last year, Montez has completed six of 17 passes for 117 yards and two touchdowns this season. He was 0-for-7 against Michigan.

The Buffs insist they have confidence in the freshman, especially after Montez ran the first-team offense throughout the spring while Liufau was down with a foot injury.

"In spring Montez was going with the ones and the twos and got a lot of reps and it made us feel more comfortable with him," receiver Jay MacIntyre said. "It's helped us now feel comfortable with him. He's been doing a great job."

Montez has played in all three games, and that will help, coach MacIntyre said.


"I think his feet are wet, so to speak," coach MacIntyre said. "I definitely think Steven is capable of making plays and moving our offense and has a good arm and can run. I think he'll do well if he has a chance to get in there."

While Montez did not play well at Michigan, coach MacIntyre believes the young quarterback will be better in the future.

"It is hard to get thrown in there in that situation at that time," he said. "Steven, he has a lot of moxie to him, he has some confidence. I think he'll bounce back from that."

Colorado wide receiver Jay MacIntyre has 107 yards on 10 punt returns this season.
Colorado wide receiver Jay MacIntyre has 107 yards on 10 punt returns this season. (Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer)

Aiming for the Ducks

CU defensive lineman Samson Kafovalu grew up following Pac-12 football, and his older brother, David, played defensive end at Oregon. Kafovalu would love to finally beat his brother's former team.

"My brother had walked on to Oregon, so I'm very excited to dominate some of those guys on the line," Kafovalu said. "I've grown this hate for Oregon. It's very important for me to come out of this game and do what I have to do."

Kafovalu said he and his fellow defensive linemen are excited for the challenge of facing the Oregon offensive line.

"The complexity of their O-line ... we're aware of it," he said. "We know they are technique sound. I'm very excited and I know the team behind me is excited as well."

Carrying on the tradition

Jay MacIntyre has had a good season returning punts so far, with 107 yards on 10 returns (10.7-yard average).

Although just three games into the season, MacIntyre is already the first CU returner to hit the 100-yard mark for the season since Trayvon Patterson had 125 yards in 2010.

"I think I've done a pretty good job of returning punts," he said. "I did that in high school and it's always kind of come natural to me. My dad was a punt returner, my uncle was a punt returner. We've always returned punts as a family."

Football family

It should come as no surprise that the MacIntyre family talks a lot about football when they are together, and Jay said both his mother, Trisha, and sister, Jennifer, are big-time fans.

"She's one of the people you do not want to sit by at a game," Jay joked about his sister. "She'll go crazy and if we're losing and she'll go puke. It's all bad."

Mike said his daughter, who is the oldest of the MacIntyre children, has always reminded him of Sheryl Yoast, the little girl portrayed by Hayden Panettiere in "Remember the Titans."

"She'll probably be embarrassed with me saying that, but she knows it's true," he said.


Redshirt freshman Aaron Haigler is slated to get his second consecutive start at right tackle. ... With linebacker Derek McCartney out for the season, the Buffs listed three co-starters on the depth chart at that position: NJ Falo, Terran Hasselbach and Christian Shaver. ... Senior receiver Jaleel Awini has not played yet this season because of a back injury and he is likely to miss a few more games. The Buffs are hopeful he can play the second half of the season.

Brian Howell: howellb@dailycamera.com, on Twitter: @BrianHowell33.