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Spring Practice: Position Battles

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, Feb 13, 2015.

  1. RSSBot

    RSSBot News Junkie

    Jul 8, 2005
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    By Stuart

    [h=2]Spring Practice:*Position Battles[/h] —
    Less than two weeks after signing the Recruiting Class of 2015, the Buffs begin preparations for the 2015 season. Spring practices begin on Monday, February 16th, the earliest such start in school history.
    The Buffs will partake in 15 practices between February 16 and March 15th, culminating in the Spring Game (2:00 p.m., Pac-12 Networks) that Sunday afternoon.
    Spring practices bring about roster changes, position changes, and, in CU’s case, coaching changes. With most of the spring practice time closed to the public (scrimmages will be open to the public, as will the first 30 minutes of weekday practices), the Buff Nation will need to rely upon after-practice comments from the coaches and players to get a glimpse of what position battles are the most heated.
    But the embargo on information won’t stop us from speculating …
    Over the next week or so, we’ll be taking a look at each unit on the team, the changes in the roster, and some of the position battles which are expected this spring …

    First up: Quarterbacks
    Up next: Running Backs
    [h=3]Quarterbacks[/h] Players lost: None
    Seniors: None
    Juniors: Sefo Liufau, Jordan Gehrke
    Sophomores: T.J. Patterson
    Red-shirt freshmen: Cade Apsay; Will Fischer-Colbrie; Ty Gangi
    Coming this fall: Steven Montez
    bold = starter in 2014; italics = non-scholarship player

    2014 statistics for returning players:
    – Sefo Liufau … 325-of-498,*3,200 yards … 28 touchdowns; 15 interceptions … 69 rushes for 136 yards … sacked 18 times
    – Jordan Gehrke … 20-of-44, 170 yards … 0 touchdowns; 0 interceptions … 11 rushes for 15 yards … sacked four times

    What to Watch For
    Last season, Sefo Liufau set almost three dozen new school records, including*most touchdown passes in a game (7, vs. Cal; old record: 5); most touchdown passes in a season (28; old record: 22); and consecutive games with at least one touchdown pass (20; old record: 9).
    So, with such an impressive resume,*why is anyone considering anyone other than Liufau for starter next fall?
    Well, it’s because of two other numbers: 18 … and zero.
    The “18” represents*the number of turnovers Liufau committed last season (15 interceptions; three fumbles). The cost to the team in terms of lost opportunities was significant, as the Buffs were a minus-nine in turnovers last year overall (20 giveaways; 11 takeaways).
    The “zero” represents the number of conference wins Colorado had last season. The 0-fer was the first for the University of Colorado in conference play since 1915, and while the winless streak is not solely the responsibility of the quarterback, it does represent a final measuring stick for Liufau’s play.
    That being said, do either junior*Jordan Gehrke or red-shirt freshman Cade Apsay have the talent to unseat the incumbent?
    Gehrke did have his first career start last season, but it was the unenviable task of taking on the No. 3 Oregon Ducks on the road in Eugene. Gehrke was as ineffective as the rest of the team, going 9-for-18 for 64 yards before being pulled in a 44-10 embarrassment. Colorado offensive coordinator Brian Lindgren has expressed confidence in Gehrke, but it remains to be seen if that confidence is based upon what Lindgren has seen on the practice fields and in the meeting rooms … or whether Lindgren is saying good things about Gehrke because that it what an offensive coordinator is supposed to say about his backup quarterback.
    And what of Cade Apsay?
    When last seen, Apsay was lighting it up as the*quarterback for*Canyon high in Canyon Country, California, in the fall of 2013. As a senior, Apsay earned third-team All-State honors from Cal-Hi Sports, while the Los Angeles Daily News named him second-team All-Area. He earned first-team All-CIF Southern Section-North Division honors as both a junior and senior, when he was also first-team All-Foothill League, and was the player of the year for both as a senior. For that season, he completed 207-of-321 passes for 3,103 yards and 28 touchdowns; that was a 64.5 completion rate as he threw just six interceptions. He rushed 110 times for 413 yards and four touchdowns, which included a 55-yard gallop. He had 10 games where he passed for 200 or more yards, three with 300-plus and one 400-yard game; he had three or more touchdown passes in seven games.
    Will*Apsay’s outstanding high school numbers translate to the college game? Has Cade Apsay used his red-shirt season well, learning the offense and taking advantage of the weight room?
    This spring will be his first opportunity to answer those questions.

    Coming Saturday: Running backs

    Originally posted by CU At the Game
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