Banged-up Sefo Liufau, Colorado anxious to take on Oregon
Each time Liufau threw the ball last Saturday, his shoulder ached - a lot.
''How would I describe the pain? Immense,'' Liufau said Tuesday. ''Feels like a bruise, I guess. Just really hurts to throw. We'll say that.''
Not suiting up last weekend for the Buffaloes (3-1, 0-0 Pac-12) against Nicholls State wasn't an option. Skipping the game Saturday night at Folsom Field against Oregon (2-2, 0-1)? Again, not an option.
Liufau can live with a little bit of discomfort.
''Those wins and losses will stick with you a lot longer than the bruises you have,'' Liufau said. ''That's why I treat (pain) the way I do.''
On game day against Nicholls State, Liufau struggled at times with accuracy as he sailed a few passes. He finished 13 for 21 for 168 yards and a score in a 48-0 win over the Colonels.
''I wouldn't allow myself to go out (of the game), doesn't matter who we play,'' said Liufau, whose team amassed 636 total yards of offense. ''I missed some throws. But for the most part, getting out there and being able to do a little bit is still a positive for myself and for the team.''
His offensive line kept him well protected in the pocket by allowing no sacks. Liufau also went a third straight game without throwing an interception after being picked off 15 times in 2014.
''Just being smart and knowing where to go,'' said Liufau, who needs 1,660 yards to become Colorado's all-time leading passer. ''Just taking what the defense gives you really.''
Now, the Buffaloes face a smarting Oregon team that fell out of the AP Top 25 after a 62-20 home loss to Utah. The Utes jumped to No. 10 in the rankings after the win.
''Oregon will want to come out and prove they're not the team that got beat last week,'' Liufau said. ''I still think they're a really good team and we have to come out ready to play.''
The Buffaloes are only an 8-point underdog. In years past, the line was somewhere in the 40-point neighborhood - if not higher.
''We'll get a hungry team,'' said Liufau, whose team has lost five straight to the Ducks. ''We actually believe we can win this game this year. We're pretty confident this week, and we believe we can get the job done if we execute.''
Even with Liufau banged up, Buffaloes coach Mike MacIntyre won't alter the offense too much. They're averaging 272 yards rushing and another 205 through the air.
''(The offense) won't change one bit,'' MacIntyre said. ''It will keep progressively getting better. I expect him to be able to play Saturday.''
After all, what's a little pain while trying to get a signature win for the program, even if Oregon is reeling?
''This is definitely a big game,'' Liufau said. ''When we get that win, I think a lot of guys will be even more confident in themselves and a lot more people will start believing.''