Bu≠s’ O sharp in spring game
Montez holds firm grip on starting QB job
boulder» It was hardly the start that Steven Montez and the Colorado offense wanted for the annual spring game.
On the first play of the afternoon at Folsom Field, Montez dropped back to pass and threw a deep ball to receiver Devin Ross, only to have it picked off by safety Nick Fisher and returned the other way 39 yards.
“Uh,” Montez sighed. “Obviously you don’t want to come out here and throw picks. That’s what we don’t want to do as quarterbacks.”
For Montez and the Buffaloes, however, it was how the rest of the day that went that left them feeling good about their quarterbacks as they put a cap on spring drills.
Playing in front of an estimated 6,250 fans, the Buffs went through an hour of drills before closing with an hour of situational scrimmage time.
“I saw a lot of energy,” coach Mike MacIntyre said. “We executed a lot of things. There’s good and bad both sides; that’s really what you want, to see if people compete and learn from different situations. We got out of here with no injuries, which was good, and I thought we had a competitive day out there.”
While the Buffs didn’t open up the playbook, and focused a lot of their attention on their younger players, the afternoon gave fans a chance to see the Buffs’ new crop of quarterbacks.
Led by Montez, a sophomore who started three games a year ago, the Buffs are as talented at quarterback as they’ve been in years. Redshirt freshman Sam Noyer, true freshman Tyler Lytle and walk-on redshirt freshman Casey Marksberry have all impressed the staff this spring and had their good moments Saturday.
“There’s no question that the quarterback position has been upgraded the last two seasons,” co-offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini said.
Montez brushed off a rough start to put together a solid day that included a 22-yard touchdown strike to Shay Fields on a laser of a throw. Montez also scored on a 1-yard touchdown run and, with the exception of missing some deep throws, was sharp overall. After missing his first three throws, Montez completed seven of his last eight for 55 yards.
Angling for the starting job that Sefo Liufau held for the past four years, Montez came into the spring atop the depth chart and leaves spring with a firm grip on the top spot.
“He’s doing some good things,” Chiaverini said. “We’ve seen his progression immensely grow from last year to this year.”
In addition to playing well this spring, Montez grew as a leader, as well, and shared the team’s John Wooten Award — given to the player with the most outstanding work ethic — with cornerback Isaiah Oliver.
Noyer threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Kabion Ento, led the offense to a field goal and completed all six of his passes for 51 yards.
Lytle threw a touchdown pass to Johnny Huntley and also led the Buffs to a field goal. Overall, he was 6-for-9 for 70 yards.
Even Marksberry looked good and threw a touchdown pass to walk-on tight end Derek Coleman; he finished 5-for-9 for 65 yards.
Bryce Bobo, left, and Anthony Julmisse battle during drills Saturday at CU’s spring football game in Boulder. Cliff Grassmick, Daily Camera