TUCSON, Ariz. -
Sophomore Nick Hirschman will open at quarterback against Arizona, Colorado head coach Jon Embree announced on Saturday morning.
The Buffs and Wildcats kick it off at 11:30 a.m. at Arizona Stadium. The game will be televised on FX and broadcast on KOA (850 am).
Hirschman came out on top this week in competition with sophomore Connor Wood. Embree announced earlier in the week that those two would compete to see who replaced junior Jordan Webb, who had started CU's first nine games.
Webb was last in the Pac-12 Conference in passing efficiency (106.9 rating), No. 12 in total offense (142.8 yards a game) and No. 11 in passing yards per game (155.7). A change at the position was contemplated last week, but CU quarterbacks coach Rip Scherer said Webb once again outperformed Hirschman in practice.
Hirschman has one college start on his resume (last season at Arizona State), Wood none. Both have played in out-of-hand losses over the past month and both have attempted 29 passes. Hirschman has hit 13 for 160 yards and one score, Wood 14 for 160 yards. Both have been intercepted twice.
As it turned out last weekend, all three QBs played in the 48-0 loss against Stanford and were equally ineffective as the Buffs dropped to 1-8 overall and 1-5 in the Pac-12. In addition to being shut out at home for the first time since the mid-1980s, CU was held to 76 yards in total offense (minus-21 rushing). The three QBs combined to complete 12-of-23 passes for 97 yards, with Webb throwing a first-quarter pick six. Their individual stats: Webb - four-of-10, 19 yards; Hirschman - four-of-six, 12 yards; Wood - four-of-seven, 66 yards.
The lack of consistency at the QB position is mirrored in CU's offensive stats. The Buffs are last in the Pac-12 in scoring (16.1 points a game), total offense (293.0 yards) and passing offense (193.3 yards). They are 11th in rushing offense (99.7 yards).
While Embree would not rule out using Webb at Arizona, he said the QB who finished second in this week's competition would be Saturday's backup. Scherer added if that if this week's competition "is a dead heat through the course of the week, then maybe both of them (Wood, Hirschman) will play."
CU also is expected to start six freshmen Saturday - five on defense and tailback Christian Powell. The six on defense: corners Kenneth Crawley and Yuri Wright, safety Marques Mosley, and defensive linemen Josh Tupou and Samson Kafovalu.