Liufau records

During his career at Colorado, quarterback Sefo Liufau has set or tied 98 school records. Bowl game statistics do not count toward career or season records, but Liufau could potentially add some bowl game records at the Alamo Bowl. Here are a few of his records:

Single season

Pass completions: 325 (2014)

Pass attempts: 498 (2014)

Passing yards: 3,200 (2014)

Passing TDs: 28 (2014)

Total offense: 3,336 (2014)

Career

Pass completions: 870

Pass attempts: 1,383

Passing yards: 9,568

Passing TDs: 60 (tied for 1st with Cody Hawkins)

Total offense: 10,509

Starts at QB: 39

Most 200-yard passing games: 28

Most 300-yard passing games: 11

Consecutive passes without an interception: 152 (2015-16)

SAN ANTONIO — The plan, back in 2013, was for Sefo Liufau to spend the entire season developing his game, out of the spotlight.

"We were going to try to redshirt him as long as we could that year," Colorado co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Brian Lindgren said.

That plan was scrapped five weeks in, when the struggling Buffs turned to an 18-year-old Liufau to become the face of the CU football program.


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He has come a long way since then, and on Thursday night, Liufau's college career will come to a close when he leads the Buffaloes (10-3, No. 10 College Football Playoff, No. 11 Associated Press) against Oklahoma State (9-3, No. 12 CFP, No. 13 AP) in the Valero Alamo Bowl at the Alamodome.

From the moment he first stepped onto the field at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz., in his first game as a true freshman, Liufau's priority has been to return to the CU program to prominence.

Colorado quarterback Sefo Liufau and the Buffs struggled in the Pac-12 his first three seasons before going 8-1 in 2016.
Colorado quarterback Sefo Liufau and the Buffs struggled in the Pac-12 his first three seasons before going 8-1 in 2016. (Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer)

It's fitting that, after a career filled with great moments and battles with adversity, he is closing it in one of the top postseason games in Division I football.

"I'm ecstatic, to be able to turn our fortunes around and be able to try to finish on a high note," said Liufau ,who owns 98 school records. "I'm very happy with how the season has gone for the most part and just think that we've got an opportunity to do one more special thing for the university before our time is said and done."

Lifuau committed to CU when the Buffs were at their lowest point, in the fall of 2012. He had planned to play for Buffs head coach Jon Embree. That plan changed when the Buffs went 1-11 in 2012 and Embree was fired.

Suddenly, Liufau had to decide if he wanted to play for new head coach Mike MacIntyre, and Lindgren.

"He really stuck with his commitment when we were a new staff coming in," Lindgren said. "He knew he was going to come into a tough situation."

Liufau loved the challenge, though.

"I didn't know how long it would take," he said. "I knew it was going to be a rebuilding process and it wasn't going to be easy."

Of course, Liufau wasn't charged with doing it alone. In fact, the 2013 recruiting class that included Liufau was loaded with talent.

It was a class that included current seniors Chidobe Awuzie, Jimmie Gilbert, Kenneth Olugbode and Tedric Thompson. It also included juniors Bryce Bobo, George Frazier, Addison Gillam, Phillip Lindsay and Devin Ross.

As quarterback, however, Liufau needed to stand out, and he has.

"He's just an amazing guy overall," said Ross, a receiver. "You want to be around him and you want to make plays for him and be a teammate for him. He leads you. Every day he has the right mindset. Just the ideal teammate, the ideal person you want to play under and play for, just have his back all the time."

On the field, Liufau and his teammates have struggled through most of their career in Boulder.

CU went 10-27 from 2013-15, including 2-25 in Pac-12 play. Liufau set a bunch of passing records as a sophomore in 2014, but also had costly turnovers at inopportune times late in close losses.

Colorado quarterback Sefo Liufau, right, owns 98 school records.
Colorado quarterback Sefo Liufau, right, owns 98 school records. (Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer)

Liufau wasn't the only one responsible for CU's poor record, but outside of MacIntyre, nobody has taken more criticism over the years.

"Any time you're not winning a lot of football games, a lot of (the criticism) falls on the quarterback," Lindgren said.

In addition to criticism Liufau has dealt with several injuries, including a left foot injury that ended his 2015 season early and threatened to keep him out of this season.

On top of that, the Buffs spent a good chunk of the season trying to land Texas Tech transfer Davis Webb because they weren't sure if Liufau would be healthy enough to play. Several fans wanted Webb even if Liufau was going to be healthy. After initially committed to CU, Webb flipped to Cal.

"Watching him handle all of that through the process and never let it waver and him keep growing as a person and keep going out there and throwing himself out there every Saturday has been really, really special," MacIntyre said.

Through it all, Liufau has gained tremendous respect in the locker room for his toughness. He's played through more injuries that anyone knows, and MacIntyre has often said Liufau is the toughest quarterback he's ever coached.

Liufau has made a lasting impression on his teammates as a leader, too. Young quarterbacks Steven Montez, a redshirt freshman, and Sam Noyer, a true freshman, both praise Liufau for how he's helped them.

"He took me under his wing and has taught me a lot of things, on the field and off the field," Noyer said.

On the field, Liufau hasn't been perfect; far from it, in fact. But, he's had arguably his best season as a senior, throwing for 2,171 yards and 11 touchdowns and rushing for 496 yards and seven scores.

"I think for the most part I played well and I'm really satisfied with how I played through this year," Liufau said.

Given the respect Liufau has earned over the years, several Buffs have enjoyed watching him fight through adversity to lead them to the Alamo Bowl and a 10-win season.

"He's paid his dues through the tough times and obviously this year through the good year we had," Montez said. "He's very deserving of it."

Liufau wanted more. He had hoped to take the Buffs to the Pac-12 championship and was devastated when they fell short with a 41-10 loss to Washington in the title game on Dec. 2.

One year after his career was in doubt, however, Liufau is grateful for the opportunity to rewrite the ending to his career.

"It means the world to me, to be able to be a part of a season that I wasn't supposed to be a part of, and be able to play and lead these guys and play with the teammates and friends I've made over the years," he said. "It means the world to me and I just want to be able to finish out strong and do my best to give everything for the program in this last game."

Contact staff writer Brian Howell at howellb@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/BrianHowell33