Colorado football coaches were not ready Monday to name a starting quarterback for this week's home game against Stanford.

Coach Jon Embree said junior Jordan Webb, who has started the Buffs' first eight games, and sophomore Nick Hirschman will be evaluated this week and he and his offensive assistants will choose a starter by Thursday.

Embree has indicated after the Buffs' two most recent losses that he has been considering making a change under center, but he didn't want to thrust Hirschman or fellow sophomore Connor Wood into the starting lineup for the first time this season on the road against highly ranked opponents.

If Hirschman earns the start this week, it will be the second of his career. He started last season at Arizona State but played only a portion of the first half before he was replaced by Tyler Hansen who was coming off a concussion the previous week.

Hirschman is the first to admit that start at ASU didn't go well mentally. He said the speed of the game overwhelmed him in his first significant action. He also played last season with a broken bone in his foot, which slowed him considerably. Hirschman said he is completely healthy now.

"I think mentally I'm light years ahead of where I was," he said.

Embree said Hirschman has "really matured" between the Arizona State game last season and now. He said Hirschman has done a good job of watching Webb and Hansen and learning from their successes and mistakes.


Hirschman said he believes he has shown he has the ability to play at this level with the opportunities he has had in mop-up duty in ugly losses this season. He is hopeful he can earn an opportunity to get on the field when the score is still 0-0.

Quarterbacks coach Rip Scherer said Wood is also involved in the competition but Hirschman and Webb begin the week ahead of Wood. Scherer was asked what he will be looking for this week in trying to determine the best player to start.

"A guy who is going to be consistent making throws, making reads, making calls and then the bottom line is productivity," Scherer said. "Who can move the ball. That's the bottom line. Some guys are prettier and do everything right and the ball never moves. Some guys are little bit ugly about it and puts the ball in the end zone."

Scherer said Webb hasn't been as good in some elements of playing the position as he was in August when he won the job after transferring from Kansas.

Scherer said Webb hasn't been getting rid of the ball as quickly as he needs to and that a high percentage of the sacks the team has allowed this season are the fault of quarterbacks not making throws on time.

"A lot of those are caused sacks by the quarterbacks," Scherer said. "Holding on to the ball too long, not seeing things, not evaluating things quickly, not moving through progressions. ... We're missing opportunities and when you're a young team and a struggling team, you can't squander those opportunities."

Scherer said he explained to Webb that sometimes coaches look at making a change at quarterback as a way of sparking the whole team and not necessarily because they believe the quarterback is solely responsible for holding back the offense. Embree and Scherer said they have seen Hirschman being tough and aggressive this season more than in the past.

"We always joke that there is a difference between being a football player and being a quarterback," Hirschman said. "What I try to do is come out and be a football player. You're going to take hits. It's never been really my style to be sliding or running out of bounds. It's probably stupid of me sometimes, but it's just the way I'm wired.

"I think other guys get pretty hyped up when they see a quarterback trying to run through people and not run out of bounds."


Colorado's Nov. 10 game at Arizona will begin at 11:30 a.m. (MDT) and will be televised on FX. ... Embree said he showed the entire team 12-14 clips of defensive lineman Will Pericak continuing to play hard and make plays this season long after games had been decided and scores became lopsided. He said the challenge is getting more players to play with the same level of consistent intensity Pericak brings. "Some of it is just knowing what to do," Embree said. "When it's your first time playing, sometimes you don't play quite as fast cause you're thinking. ... Other times it's being able to do it consistently. Guys will do it a play here or a play there. He does it every play." ... Embree said he had cornerback Yuri Wright in place of Kenneth Crawley against Oregon because Wright had earned the opportunity. It wasn't penalizing Crawley after he struggled against USC.

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