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bsn BSN: Steven Montez’ “legendary game” boasts bright future for Buffaloes

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, Sep 25, 2016.

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    Following the Colorado Buffaloes 41-38 road upset of the Oregon Ducks on Saturday, there was little doubt who would get the game ball.

    “Stevennnnnnnnnnnn Monnnnnnnntezzzzzzzzzzz,” Mike MacIntyre belted, holding the ball high.

    Steven Montez, a redshirt freshman put on one of the most impressive performances for a quarterback in school history on the day, becoming the first in program history to throw for at least 300 yards and rush for at least 100 yards in a game.

    “Pretty much a legendary game for his first one… he exceeded my expectations,” said coach Mike MacIntyre. “He just kept battling, we’ve got two really tough quarterbacks, it must be something with the water in Boulder”

    Montez joins a list of notable names who have achieved the 300 through the air and 100 on the ground feat: Lamar Jackson, Deshaun Watson, Dak Prescott, Johnny Manziel, Robert Griffin III and Tim Tebow.

    Keep all that in mind and remember, Saturday was just Montez’ first start.

    Montez, a gunslinger by nature, proved he’s a dual threat quarterback. However, what was more impressive than his stat line was his leadership. Bearing the responsibility of Sefo Liufau—who was speculated to start on Saturday until just before kickoff—he proved successful in the incredibly hostile environment that is Autzen Stadium.

    “I can understand how people were a little nervous about Sefo not playing,” remarked Montez. “Especially after the Michigan game. 0-for-7 is tough of course, but I wanted to come out here and show our fan base and show our team that they can believe in me, and that I can get it done out here on the road as well.”

    A key to Montez’ successful day was how fast he started. Finding his receivers for efficient gains early on, and using his legs to gain ground. The native of El Paso, TX. had an exceptional first half, going 17-for-20, throwing for 217 yards. It’s not every day you hear about a redshirt freshman achieving these numbers in an entire game, let alone in his first half of his first start. Montez’ ability to perform that exceptionally in the first half was due to him settling into the game quickly.

    “I was very comfortable,” said Montez. “I was really excited to come in here, especially at an atmosphere like Autzen, and just ready to play some ball. I prepared hard all week. I was confident and ready to play.”

    But it wasn’t all pretty. In the third quarter, Oregon rallied and the freshman looked like, well a freshman. After the Buffs started the second half with a five play, 75-yard drive for a touchdown, two of the next four possessions ended in interceptions. The Ducks would take the lead going into the fourth quarter.

    It appeared the marvelous start for Montez was about to be a footnote.

    “We stumbled a little bit in the third quarter,” he said. “Threw two picks which I cannot do, but after that, I talked to Sefo, talked to my teammates. They said they believed in me, and my coaches believed in me.”

    In the fourth quarter, the freshman emulated Liufau, mastering a veteran drive that displayed his entire skill-set. Montez would not only make good decisions throwing the ball but three separate scrambles moved the sticks and lifted the Buffaloes into Oregon territory.

    Then came the signature moment for Montez. A perfect 31-yard dime to Bryce Bobo’s outstretched right hand (and more importantly his right foot) for the game-clinching touchdown.

    “The way he came back from the two picks as a redshirt freshman in this area, he could’ve just crumbled,” mentions MacIntyre. “But he just kept playing. He has a gunslinger mentality, which sometimes hurts you a little bit, but in the end, if he keeps playing he’ll make a lot of play to help us.”

    Liufau, coming off an ankle sprain, is projected to start against Oregon State next Saturday. But, the performance from Montez proves that Colorado has a big time backup quarterback rearing to go and that life after Liufau is going to be just fine.

    “I sensed the momentum changed,” remarks Montez. “I knew it wasn’t gonna slip away cause we’re a different Colorado team. We’re mentally tough, we’re mentally strong, and we’re confident”

    More importantly for Montez, he displayed that he is mentally strong and confident. The future is bright for the Buffaloes.

    Drew Sharek
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