Patrick Ghidossi, BuffStampede.com

Notes: Liufau practicing 'more and more each day'

Following Tuesday morning's practice, Sefo Liufau said, “I believe so,” when asked if his right ankle is 100 percent healed.

Roughly an hour later, though, Buffs head coach Mike MacIntyre refuted his senior quarterback's statement.

No, [he's not 100 percent]. He's the toughest sucker in the building so of course he is going to say that. He said that two weeks ago,” MacIntyre said. “The trainers will evaluate it, we'll evaluate it and we'll make sure. I don't want to put him out there if he's not fully ready to go.”

For the third week in a row, MacIntyre said it will be a game time decision between Liufau and redshirt freshman Steven Montez. Liufau currently ranks seventh in the country in passer rating, while following back-to-back impressive performances against Oregon and Oregon State, Montez ranks 11th nationally in the category.

He's playing at a very high level,” Liufau said of Montez. “But even if he wasn't playing as well, I don't think I would rush back. … He's played great, though.”

Liufau has been allowed to gradually increase his workload in practice each week since suffering the sprained ankle in week three against Michigan.

I'm practicing more and more each day,” he said. “When I plant and throw now it feels great. Dropping back in the pocket feels great. That was a big problem the first week. To be able to do that now is a good step going forward.”

Additional notes -

*** The Buffaloes might be ranked No. 21 in the country now, but they still find themselves as the underdog going out to USC this weekend. The Trojans opened as a four-point favorite and the line has moved slightly to five-points at a majority of the sportsbooks in Las Vegas.

How many times has Colorado played USC? 10. How many times have they beat them? Zero. So, we have to earn our respect, there's no doubt about it,” MacIntyre said. “It's fun to do something that's never been done. Hopefully we can do that. I think you always need a little bit of a chip on your shoulder in whatever you do. I think it gives you an added advantage."

*** For the fourth straight week, the Buffaloes will face a dynamic returner. Michigan's Jabrill Peppers went off for 180 return yards against Colorado, but the Buffs kept Oregon's Charles Nelson and Oregon State's Victor Bolden from breaking any long returns the previous two weeks. This week's challenge is USC's Adoree Jackson. He ranks second in the conference in kick return average and he is averaging an impressive 19.7 yards per punt return this season.

He's a phenomenal athlete and he's fearless,” MacIntyre said of Jackson.

*** 43 of the Buffaloes' players hail from the Golden State. And a number of them, including Shay Fields and Rick Gamboa, grew up cheering for the Trojans.

We talked about it Monday, first thing, in our meeting. A lot of guys are going home, a lot of family. I wanted to get all their tickets and all that stuff out of the way early this week and be honed in for a business trip to go win a football game,” MacIntyre said. “I told them we can spend a lot more time with them after the game. It's an early kickoff, thank goodness. So we can hang out a little longer and let them see their families.”


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