Pesavento led Colorado to their first Big 12 Championship and a huge win over rival Nebraska, but maybe even more importantly, gained the respect and loyalty from his Buffalo teammates.
"You couldn't ask for a better way to end your college career." Pesavento said. "Being my last college game, being able to start the Fiesta Bowl, it's a dream come true."
With sophomore quarterback Craig Ochs fully recovered from a strained tendon in his ankle, Barnett re-opened the quarterback competition after the Texas game. But to avoid any quarterback controversey before they left for Arizona, Barnett made his decision to start Pesavento on Saturday.
Although Ochs was disappointed, he understood the coache's decision.
"Everybody comes into practice each week with hope. I had hope. It just didn't work out." Ochs said.
Ochs wasn't the only QB recovering from an injury. Pesavento sprained the medial collateral ligament in his right knee in the Big 12 Championship game against Texas, but did finish the game. Pesavento believes he is close to 100% and says he will be completely healthy when the Buffs face the Ducks.
Although Ochs could see some game time if Pesavento re-injuries his knee, Coach Barnett said that you will not see the two quarterbacks rotating in.
In nine games this season, Pesavento's statistics are very impressive. He has completed 85 passes in 139 attempts for 1,234 yards and 8 touchdowns. He has complied a 61% completion average and has only thrown four interceptions. More importantly, Pesavento did not complain or make it an issue when Ochs was named the starter at the beginning of the season. He understood his role as a backup and accepted it.
The Buffs will take three days off for the Christmas holiday and then head to Tempe, Arizona on Tuesday. Their first practice will be on wednesday at Scottsdale Community College.