EUGENE, ORE. -- Jordan Webb's tenuous hold on the quarterback job lasted an extra week so the veteran could be thrown to the wolves here against the nation's No. 2 team.
Now that Colorado's painfully struggling Buffaloes return home for three of their last four games, second-year coach Jon Embree said he will contemplate a quarterback change.
Colorado's 70-14 loss to Oregon on Saturday afternoon wasn't Webb's fault. He didn't give up 447 yards in the first half. But hitting only 7-of-11 passes for 31 yards didn't jump start the Buffaloes' equally struggling offense.
"Yes, we will look at that," Embree said.
He didn't wait until halftime to make a change. He inserted sophomore Nick Hirschman in the second quarter. The Buffaloes (1-7, 1-4) were already down 49-0.
Hirschman played the entire second half and finished 7-of-16 for 64 yards, leading touchdown drives of 72 and 41 yards in the third period.
"I thought Nick played well," Embree said. "I thought he did some things that were decent. He's got to get better with some ball placement. We can help him out, too, catching it but I thought he played well."
The schedule won't let up that much. Visiting next Saturday is 19th-ranked Stanford. At least whoever starts will have a Folsom Field crowd behind him.
If a move is made, it'll be a personal triumph for Hirschman who seemed to lose the starting battle last spring to Texas-transfer Connor Wood. When Webb transferred in from Kansas in the summer and swept his way to the job, Hirschman and Wood continued a spirited competition for No. 2.
Hirschman has moved ahead.
"I'm making quicker decisions," said Hirschman, now 10-of-23 on the year for 147 yards with a touchdown and interception. "Being accurate with the ball. I missed a few throws I wish I would've had but overall, I'm pleased to get the reps."
We may be seeing the rise of Hirschman. The season closes at home against Washington and Utah, two more teams going nowhere.
"As I've grown up a little bit, matured as a football player, one of my weaknesses becomes one of my strengths," he said. "I had a lot of trouble adjusting to being in this intense of a pro-style offense. As a young quarterback, reads were difficult for me to see. But through film study and hard work I've been able to get a handle on that."
It's not like these quarterbacks are getting much help. They have no deep threat and on Saturday wideouts caught only three passes, two for negative yards.