It was a frustrating end to a crazy game in which the Buffs surrendered 45 points after halftime, playing without starting safety and leading tackler Tedric Thompson, who left with a bruised sternum. Thompson nabbed his third interception of the season in the first half. The two starting quarterbacks each threw seven touchdown passes and finished with 449 yards passing.
Sefo Liufau, for all of his faults and shortcomings as a talent, is the toughest "SOB" Colorado has had at quarterback since…well, since 90% of current Colorado recruiting prospects we alive. He missed throws. He’s made bad reads. But my, if he doesn’t get right up after any one of the brutal hits he’s taken over the last two seasons and go on to the next play with a clear head. His throw to Bryce Bobo, hell the entire final game tying drive, was beautiful. There was no feeling that he was overwhelmed by the moment, by the stakes of the game, a game in which he had already tossed five touchdowns. No one truly knows whether Liufau will finish his career at Colorado as the starting quarterback. What is certain, is that his poise and ability to trust himself and the weapons around him was the only reason Colorado even had a shot of a remarkable road win last weekend.
Sefo Liufau, QB, Colorado: Normally, a player who’s on a team that lost doesn’t get on this list. But when you throw for seven touchdowns and 449 yards (if that stat line looks familiar, it’s because it’s the EXACT SAME as Goff’s, though his QBR was slightly higher) then you get on this list. He also added 72 rushing yards on 10 carries. The sophomore didn’t look like a sophomore and did everything he could to get the ‘W’ for the Buffaloes.
"It's not something I'm really concerned with," Spruce said of the statistics he is producing. "You guys tell me after the game what type of numbers I put up. It's just a matter of working week after week.
The Colorado offense – yes, with fits and spurts – is hitting its stride under the new coaching staff. And, even with Nelson Spruce setting new records every week, the offense is becoming more diversified. Twelve different Buffs had catches against Cal; seven different players had at least one rushing attempt. Sean Irwin and Bryce Bobo had touchdown receptions against Cal. George Frazier, the part-time fullback, part-time defensive lineman, scored twice!
Quarterbacks for eternity: Jared Goff and Sefo Liufau Became the first opposing quarterbacks in NCAA history to each throw for seven touchdowns.
Despite the sting of a frustrating double overtime loss on the road at Cal on Saturday afternoon, by that evening and Sunday morning the believers were beginning to far outnumber the skeptics. While the Buffs still occupy the bottom spot in the Pac-12 Conference standings, this team is no doormat.
Cal and Colorado are both trying to move out of the bottom of the Pac-12 and become at least competitive. Last year, Cal didn't win a Pac-12 game, and Colorado's only conference win was over Cal. Both have looked much improved in the early going this season. But Cal's thrilling 59-56 win in double-overtime provides the Golden Bears a big boost. For one, the Bears, at 3-1, can legitimately entertain bowl hopes. In a game in which QBs Sefo Liufau and Jared Goff both threw for 449 yards and seven touchdowns, the Bears found a way to win, which is particularly meaningful after they suffered a heartbreaking loss at Arizona the week before via a Hail Mary. That might be enough, at the very least, to ensure they don't end up at the bottom of the conference by season's end.
"It's just doing whatever it takes to get a win," he added. "I think we're going to be in a lot of ballgames like this. We still have a lot of the season ahead of us. I think we're right on the brink of something."
There is no pleasant way to lose in double overtime, but the Buffs took an especially gut-wrenching route in Strawberry Canyon. First, they blew an early 21-7 lead. Then, they wasted a sensational late Bryce Bobo touchdown catch that forced extra time in the first place. And in a game dominated by a severe lack of effective defense -- Cal and Colorado became the first teams in FBS history to both throw seven touchdown passes in one game -- the Buffs were, ironically enough, ultimately denied by the Bears’ defense in a second overtime goal-line stand. Colorado is now 2-3, but most sobering is the fact that this 59-56 loss dropped them to 4-25 in Pac-12 play since entering the conference in 2011. Oregon State visits Boulder next weekend after mustering only 181 yards of total offense in a disheartening 35-10 loss at USC.
It really looked as though the Buffs were going to sniff out a conference win on the road this weekend, but it just wasn't their day. Sefo Liufau looked great and put up huge numbers (the exact same numbers as Goff), but it just wasn't enough.
Mannion was clearly off his game, and it got worse as the game wore on. The school record-holder in career passing yardage was 4 for 13 passing for 16 yards in the second half before being removed for backup Luke Del Rio on the Beavers' final possession.
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