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Numbers don't lie: Comparing Liufau and Webb

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Why senior quarterback Sefo Liufau coming back might be better for the Buffs in the long run.

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Buffaloes were left devastated by Davis Webb's decision to play out the 2016 season at Cal and the faded potential of the Texas Tech graduate transfer working with Darrin Chiaverini. The new co-offensive coordinator for the Buffs is considered a mentor for Webb and could have helped develop him for the next level.  Many interesting story lines could have come out of this season for Webb and the Buffs.

I guess it wasn't meant to be and thus CU moves on, but is losing Davis Webb to a Pac-12 rival such a bad thing? Having a quarterback on the roster that some NFL scouts have called  a "Top 5 talent" and "Potential first round pick," would have been nice.

However, looking solely at stats and taking everything else out of the equation tells a bit of a different story.

A silver lining from the debacle with Webb could be the return of senior quarterback Sefo Liufau, who's on schedule to return by training camp after his Lisfranc injury late last season vs. USC. Compared to Liufau, Webb might not be the clear leader after all.

Since the 2013 season, both quarterbacks have emerged in different roles for their respective teams. Here's the stats in a side-by-side in compassion.

Career Stats TD's INT Passing Yards COMP % YP Avg. Games played
Liufau 49 29 7397 62.3 6.8 31
Webb 46 22 5557 59.1 7.4 23

The number for both quarterbacks are similar, yet for Webb's stats are deceiving. Liufau has played in eight more career games than Webb (due to missing part of the 2014 season with a ankle Injury), with an average of 230 yards in those games. In the 23 career games Webb has played (an average of seven per season), he has attempted twenty or more passes just 14 times. Forty percent of Webb's college career has resulted in less than twenty passes thrown per game. One-fourth of those games saw Webb throwing less than 10 pass attempts per contest. Webb's partial backup role at Texas Tech was brief, but considered in this as well.

In Comparison, Liufau has four career games with 20 pass attempts or less in 31 games played (all as a starter). In all fairness since Webb was a backup most of the 2015 season, here's the comparison for the 2013 & 2014 seasons for both QB's.

TD's INT Passing Yards COMP % YP Avg. Games Played
Webb 44 22 5257 61.8 7.44 18
Liufau 40 23 4979 63.2 6.75 20

It's clear that Webb and Liufau have similar stats, even when last season is taken out of consideration. CU's offense will benefit by Liufau's return and he'll be competing in camp for the starting job with redshirt freshman Steven Montez and senior Jordan Gehrke. Liufau is likely to emerge out of camp as the starter and will have some new targets with the addition of incoming Juco transfers Juwann Winfree and Kabion Ento.  Alongside returning WR's Shay Fields, Bryce Bobo and Devin Ross, all are expected to contribute in the Buffs' offense next season.

It won't be long before Sefo and the Buffs open the season on Sept. 2 in the national spotlight vs. CSU. The Rocky Mountain Showdown is scheduled for a 6 p.m. mountain time kickoff on ESPN.