Getting to Know Sam Noyer: Starting Quarterback

It came as quite the surprise.

Karl Dorrell announced Friday that CU’s starting quarterback for the 2020 season opener against UCLA would be senior Sam Noyer, choosing Noyer over junior Tyler Lytle.

Noyer won what Dorrell called a “very, very close” competition with Lytle in training camp.

“It wasn’t like Sam was light years ahead of Tyler,” Dorrell said. “It was really close. We went with Sam mainly because he’s able to function a little more seamlessly with the offense. Tyler was closely second on that, but that was the determining factor.”

It wasn’t as if Karl Dorrell and quarterbacks coach Danny Langsdorf haven’t been dropping hints. From the first scrimmage, it was clear that true freshman Brendon Lewis wasn’t going to be part of the mix this fall. “We’ve really put (senior) Sam (Noyer) and (junior) Tyler (Lytle) in a really good competition mode,” Langsdorf said after the first scrimmage of Fall Camp. “They’ve been splitting reps, and alternating (working with the) ones and twos every every day and every period.”

But Noyer over Lytle?

“We had only a short period of time,” Dorrell said. “Not having spring ball and not having the chance to see growth from spring through training camp was a challenging aspect. We couldn’t see the areas you normally see. We had to make a decision off of a few weeks of practice.”

A tale of the tape didn’t give the casual observer much to go on.

Noyer has appeared in eight games at quarterback for Colorado, with 21 completions in 41 attempts for 179 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. His last appearance at quarterback came in 2018 in the 11th game of the season against Utah, when he relieved starter Steven Montez and completed four of six attempts.

Meanwhile, Lytle has appeared in seven games at quarterback at Colorado, with four completions in six pass attempts for 55 yards, no touchdowns and an interception. His last appearance came last year at Washington State.

So, who is Sam Noyer?

Sam Noyer came to CU as part of the Recruiting Class of 2016, recruiting by offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Brian Lindgren on behalf of then head coach Mike MacIntyre. Noyer, from the Portland suburb of Beaverton, Oregon, was considered to be a three-star prospect, but had only three scholarship offers: Colorado … Wyoming … and Eastern Washington.

After red-shirting during CU’s run to the Pac-12 South division title in 2016, Noyer saw some limited action over the next two seasons. His most extensive duty came in a blowout loss to Washington State in 2017, when he played most of the second half, completing 7-of-18 passes for 53 yards.

Then the odyssey began.

Buried in the depth chart behind incumbent Steven Montez, backup Tyler Lytle, and promising Blake Stenstrom, Noyer made a move. Last August, during Fall Camp under first year head coach Mel Tucker, Noyer moved to the other side of the ball. Noyer saw action in 11 games, including four on defense at safety; he was in for 24 snaps total on defense but did not record any statistics. He earned five special team points on the season, two on assisted tackles with one coming inside-the-20 (the latter at Washington State), along with two knockdown blocks.

As a result of the successful move, Noyer became just the sixth player at Colorado since 1965 (following the end of the platoon era) to letter at quarterback, switch positions and earn another letter at his new position.

With Colorado thin in the defensive backfield, especially at safety, it seemed that Noyer had finally found his niche. Instead, Noyer decided to graduate leave Boulder.  Noyer indicated that he wanted to use the rest of his college eligibility to play quarterback elsewhere.

Noyer moved out of his residence in Boulder, returned home to Oregon, and had multiple transfer options to mull over.

“I was gone,” Noyer told CU’s beat writers earlier this month. “if you would have told me I would come back here, I would have said you’re crazy … All I’ve wanted from the start (is) an opportunity”.

That opportunity did not appear to be a possibility at Colorado, and then …

After Mel Tucker bolted to East Lansing, and the Buffaloes’ new coaching staff was formed, that opportunity to come back to CU presented itself. Noyer removed himself from the transfer portal and was back in Boulder when voluntary summer workouts began in mid-June.

“(Quarterbacks coach) Danny Langsdorf and (head) coach (Karl) Dorrell implied some things but when (Darrin) Chiaverini got the (offensive coordinator) job and he told me the offense we were going to run, it felt like it suited me really well,” Noyer said. “I do think a lot of things going on kind of correlate to my style of play and I think you are going to see that. Coach ‘Chev’ and I have had a great relationship throughout my years here.”

Noyer now believes that his time in the defensive backfield will help him as CU’s designated starter at quarterback.

“I see the defense from a completely different perspective now,” Noyer said. “Going out there and working with Coach Tucker, Coach (Tyson) Summers and Coach (Bryan) Cook, I was up in their office every day. I was grinding to understand the schemes and learn the ins and outs and the details of the defensive scheme. When I brought that back to the offensive side now, it is kind of slowing things down for me. I really feel comfortable back there and I can identify things.

“And just overall, I understand the game better with this being my fifth year. I have gotten in a good rhythm and understand what game day is like and I learned under two great quarterbacks, Sefo and Steven. I learned how they would prepare in a game week and how they would act on game day. I think that is going to help me a lot as I prepare for each opponent.”

With a novice at quarterback, it would be realistic to expect a conservative game plan in the opener against UCLA. “We have a lot of depth in our running back group,” Noyer said. “As a quarterback, your best friend is the running back. Our offensive line has done a really good job of stepping up this camp and keeping us protected. Our receivers and tight ends, all of those guys are doing a great job. We have a lot of depth. I feel a lot more comfortable and I think we have the guys to do it. Now, it is just time to get it done.”

Time to get it done, indeed.


3 Replies to “Getting to Know Sam Noyer: Starting Quarterback”

  1. Hope Noyer does well. But this seems like short sighted thinking for the program. Why not build for the future with an eye on next season? Treat this as an exhibition/practice season with only 7 games and give Lewis and Lytle the reps. I see WSU started a freshman QB. Oh well, best of luck to Noyer and the Buffs.

  2. I don’t to seem like a doubter but, What does this really say about our QB room?
    1. You have a QB that was #3 last year and went to play Safety and didn’t really do much in that position. It does show he is a heck of an athlete but not a PAC 12 QB . Then Look at the QB room It speaks even less about Lytle!!! He couldn’t beat him out!!! and the Coach knew it from the start because he asked or should I say begged Noyer to not transfer. Clearly this shows to me the future is Lewis!!! Just speaking out loud!
    Go Buffs!!!

  3. Well it’s pretty clear that in his 4 years his qb coaches pretty much were the worst. So?

    I mean look at who is head coach was for 3 years. At all positions he played his favorite (hence his quick demise in to nowhere ville) He never played the backups.


    Don’t if he is better than Lytle. But the three who chose him , well, I have a good confident feeling about. I also have a good feeling that if they are proven wrong and the kid can’t handle it, they will make the switch.

    Happy Halloween dudes and dudettes

    Set yur clock back

    Go Buffs.

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