• Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer

    Redshirt freshman Sam Noyer came in during the second half of Colorado's loss to Washington State last Saturday.

  • Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer

    Quarterback Steven Montez has started all eight games for Colorado this season, but Buffs coach Mike MacIntyre won't reveal who will start against California until Saturday.



Those outside of the Colorado football locker room continue to focus on the quarterback competition.

Inside the locker room, it’s more of a team-wide focus, as the Buffaloes (4-4, 1-4 Pac-12) look to bounce back from a disappointing 28-0 loss to Washington State last Saturday. The Buffs simply want a win against California (4-4, 1-4) on Saturday, regardless of who is throwing the football.

“We still have a lot to accomplish,” senior running back Phillip Lindsay said on Tuesday. “We have a chance still to have a great season. For a lot of us it is our last four games, five games in our college career. We’ll never play another down after these five games. We want to go out there with a bang.”

Naturally, the spotlight is on the quarterbacks.

Sophomore Steven Montez has started all eight games, but was benched at halftime on Saturday after a miserable first half. He was replaced by redshirt freshman Sam Noyer. This week, the two of them are competing, and head coach Mike MacIntyre will reveal his starter on Saturday.

Whether it’s Montez or Noyer, that doesn’t change the goal for the Buffs.

“I support anybody who is behind me; my job is just to protect him,” left tackle Jeromy Irwin said. “It doesn’t matter who’s back there.”

Tight end/defensive lineman George Frazier said, “Whoever starts, I’m ready to play with them.”

MacIntyre said he doesn’t know how Montez is mentally handling the potential demotion because “I’m not inside his brain and heart,” but added he’s seen a good response from Montez this week.

“I’ve seen him work hard, I’ve seen him push at it,” MacIntyre said. “Hopefully we see some better results.”

Lindsay said that while Saturday’s game was rough, he was impressed with the composure of Noyer, who played his first significant snaps as a Buff.

“I was impressed with him going in there and the way he handled it,” Lindsay said. “He has some confidence, even though he’s still young.”

While the quarterback change was made to spark an offense that sputtered, co-offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini said a collective effort is needed to get points on the board.

“At the end of the day, it’s all 11 guys; it’s not just one kid,” Chiaverini said. “Everybody always wants to point the finger at the quarterback, but it’s the offensive line, it’s the receivers, it’s the running backs, it’s the tight ends. We’re all in this together, coaches included.”

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