LOS ANGELES -- Quarterback Jordan Webb has made a career of long days on the football field at Kansas and Colorado.
After losing at Southern Cal 50-6 on Saturday, Webb's combined record as a starter for both schools fell to 5-23. While there is still plenty of respect inside the Colorado program for the gritty junior from the St. Louis area, could it be time to take a look at younger signal callers in the starting role such as Connor Wood or Nick Hirschman?
"That's something we're going to talk about when we get back (to Boulder), if we do that from the beginning," CU coach Jon Embree said. "We're not playing good enough right now, not just at his position but at a couple positions. We've got to help him out.
"We need to play better at every position."
On a day when USC quarterback Matt Barkley looked every bit like a Heisman Trophy contender and a high first-round draft pick, Webb struggled mightily. Obviously, Webb doesn't have the same weapons at his disposal that Barkley has, but Webb also made several unforced errors that won't help his cause when coaches review the film.
The biggest mistake might have come on CU's first drive. The Buffs were moving the ball and had a first down at the USC 21-yard line. Webb scrambled under pressure from the Trojans and instead of throwing the ball away and lining up for second down, he heaved the ball into the end zone where it was intercepted.
"It just kind of got away from me," Webb said. "It was a bad decision."
It was one four turnovers credited to Webb in the game, though one of his three interceptions was actually a pass that was caught by wide receiver Nelson Spruce, who had it ripped out of his hands by USC defensive back Tony Burnett.
Webb has thrown eight touchdown passes with seven interceptions as a Buff. He said he believes he is still the best option for the Buffs at quarterback and he feels like he has the confidence of his teammates.
"It's up to the coaches," Webb said. "Obviously I think I'm the guy to be (the starter) but it's their decisions."
None of the other quarterbacks on the Colorado roster have much experience and CU coaches might be reluctant to ask one of them to start a game next week on the road against No. 2 Oregon. But unless Webb suddenly takes a big step forward, CU coaches might be ready to make a change when the Buffs return home in two weeks to play Stanford.
Third-year sophomore Connor Wood replaced Webb in the second half, after missing the last month with a rib injury. Wood, who fumbled a snap against the Trojans, says he would embrace the challenge if coaches want to make a change this week or later this season.
Wood also said it's unfair to put the blame of losses on Webb.
"We all have to play better as a unit to give us a chance to win," Wood said.
No matter who the quarterback is, Wood said the Buffs have to become a team that finishes drives. He said one mistake often derails things and that has to change. The Buffs came into Saturday's game among the best teams in the Pac-12 Conference at scoring once they reach the red zone. They were just 2-for-5 against USC.
"I think I've had good experience here tonight and Fresno State," Wood said. "They weren't incredible outings, but being out there during the games I know how the pace of the game goes. I've watched it plenty enough.
"I wouldn't be taking a step back if my name is called. ... I'm not afraid of them."
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