Ideally, Steven Montez will start every game for the Colorado football team this year and prove he's as good as advertised.
History suggests, however, that at some point in the season, Sam Noyer will be called upon to lead the offense, whether it's for a few series or a few games.
"Honestly it's just to prepare each day like it is my team," Noyer said of his approach to the season. "Just take it day by day, keep learning and be prepared like I am the starting quarterback."
Last year, Montez made three starts in the middle of the season in place of senior Sefo Liufau, who sprained an ankle. Montez made relief appearances in several other games, as well.
In 2015, Cade Apsay was called upon to play the final two and a half games after Liufau injured his foot.
The last CU quarterback to start every game in a season was Cody Hawkins, in 2007, so there's a good chance Noyer will be asked to help the Buffs win a game this year.
"I'm definitely looking forward to it," he said. "When the time comes, if it comes, I'll be ecstatic."
Montez knows the importance of being prepared as a backup and said Noyer is doing well to get ready.
"The thing I do is make sure Sam is good on his protections," Montez said. "Other than that, (the other quarterbacks) are working on that on their own. Sam has been putting in tons of work getting in the playbook and knowing what he's doing. He knows where he's going with the ball most of the time.
"He has turned it up to another notch and picked up the playbook a lot quicker during this fall. He's out there calling plays and running it and it looks smooth and good. He's executing plays really well and it's great."
The 6-foot-4, 210-pound Noyer, who is from Beaverton, Ore., spent last season learning the offense from Liufau, Montez and the coaches.
So far, Noyer's only chances to play in front of fans have come in a couple of scrimmages. He threw for 165 yards and two touchdowns in the spring game. Last Saturday in an open scrimmage at Folsom Field, he threw three touchdown passes.
Noyer has displayed good mechanics and a strong arm, and is also gaining more confidence.
"I feel strong," he said. "I came out (this fall) and I'm just getting used to the offense again. We haven't done it since spring. We're taking steps each day, but so far I feel good, I feel confident back there.
"I'm starting to get a lot more confidence sitting in the pocket, knowing my reads and knowing the protection of the offense. If something breaks down, knowing where to go with the ball."
In addition to Noyer, the Buffs have been pleased with the progress made by true freshman Tyler Lytle and walk-on Casey Marksberry.
Ideally, the Buffs will be able to redshirt Lytle this season and let him develop more, but between Montez, Noyer, Lytle and Marksberry, there's more confidence in the group than there's been in years.
"Sam Noyer is pushing (Montez)," co-offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini said early in camp. "Tyler Lytle is getting to know the offense and pushing him. Then you have Casey Marksberry, who knows the offense really well and is down there on the second field doing a good job.
"What's good is we feel we've upgraded that position and it keeps getting better and better and better with the young guys and forces the guys who are so-called penciled in as No.1, they get pushed. We're excited about the group."