Montez staying humble after strong showing

There is no quarterback controversy in Boulder. Senior Sefo Liufau is still the leader of Colorado's offense. But following Steven Montez's “phenomenal” performance against Oregon last Saturday, the Buffaloes do not have to rush Liufau back.

We have two good quarterbacks. We also have two really tough quarterbacks, which is impressive. That doesn't always happen that way,” Buffs head coach Mike MacIntyre said after Monday's practice. “[We will] make sure Sefo is 100 percent with his ankle. As much as we do with those quarterbacks [in the ground game], he has to be able to go and move.”

Liufau got in some work during Monday's practice but MacIntyre confirmed he is still not fully healthy.

[We will] just kind of see how the week progresses along and go from there,” he added, indicating it might be another game time decision.

Montez was named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week on Monday for his 468 yard performance in Eugene. Liufau won the award back in week one.

Co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Brian Lindgren said after the game they knew Montez was capable of putting together a performance like that, but they weren't sure it was going to happen in Autzen Stadium in his first career start.

I think completing some passes early and being able to settle into the game, unlike the week before at Michigan, was key,” Lindgren said. “He was able to go out there and just play, have fun. I was excited for him and think that is huge for his confidence going forward.”

Montez said he got a lot of messages congratulating him on Saturday, including a text message from former Buff and current Los Angeles Rams receiver Nelson Spruce. He has taken all the pats on the back while maintaining some humility.

The film is never as good or as bad as you think. So when I went back, I thought I had a pretty good game, but I saw there is still tons of room to improve,” Montez said. “I could have had a way better game and I missed a lot of things.”

Coming out of Del Valle High School in El Paso, Montez had a three-star rating on Scout, but Colorado was on the only power conference program to offer him a scholarship. Defensive line coach Jim Jeffcoat discovered Montez during the spring evaluation period and he shined at a camp in Boulder the summer before his senior year.

Montez put together video game numbers (4,025 yards of offense and 59 touchdowns) while leading the Conquistadores to 11 wins during his final prep season. Lindgren previously joked that he spent so much time in El Paso in the weeks leading up to signing day that he has lots of restaurant recommendations for the area. Lindgren was there to make sure no other programs came in late to try to poach him.

I watched him play basketball and he scored 26 points in one quarter. He had that moxie to him,” MacIntyre recalled. “And then the cool thing was hanging out with him in school, he was the big guy on campus, but he was always nice to everyone, really polite. He had a lot of intangibles that you saw, leadership, ability to make plays in both football and basketball.”

Additional notes:

*** When meeting with reporters outside the locker room in Eugene last Saturday, Jim Leavitt was answering a question about his defense when he stopped mid-sentence and said, “How about Montez? I mean, seriously, how about that? That was impressive.”

*** Despite only playing in mop-up duty the first two weeks, then failing to complete a pass at Michigan, Montez currently ranks 11th in the Pac-12 in offensive yards per game.

*** Following his underwhelming showing in the second half against the Wolverines, Montez believes he gained the confidence of his teammates in practice last week.

I think they saw that I was ready and they were confident in me going into the game,” he said. “To know your teammates have your back and they believe in you, that trust is huge.”


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