Pack loses to Colorado State, drops to 0-2
FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) – Dion Morton figured he had thrown his final pass in high school.
Keep this up and the Colorado State senior receiver may be flinging a few more.
Morton threw a touchdown pass and hauled in another, leading the Rams to a 35-20 win over Nevada on Saturday. He has now thrown two touchdown passes on two attempts this season.
That’s making starter Grant Stucker take notice. He’s not worried – yet.
“I better step up,” Stucker said, grinning. “It’s good competition.”
A standout quarterback at John W. North High School in Riverside, Calif., Morton didn’t receive many scholarship offers for his arm, despite throwing 32 touchdown passes his senior season.
He has grown into his role as a receiver at Colorado State, developing into a dangerous deep threat.
Still, Morton keeps the rust off his arm by throwing a few passes in practice from time to time – just he case he’s called on by the Rams.
On Saturday, Morton harkened back to those high school days, tossing a 25-yard strike to Eric Peitz on a gadget play in the first quarter. Morton took a lateral from Stucker and lofted it to a wide open Peitz.
Just like old times.
“It is bringing me back a little bit,” Morton said. “I do like to throw the ball.”
So does Stucker, who tossed two touchdown strikes – including a 49-yarder to Morton – and scored another TD on a 35-yard run.
“Grant stepped up and made some plays for us,” Rams coach Steve Fairchild said.
With the win, the Rams moved to 3-0 for the first time in 15 years. They also improved to 6-0 against the Wolf Pack (0-2) in Fort Collins.
John Mosure returned to Colorado State’s backfield after sitting out last week’s game with a head injury and rushed for 99 yards and a score.
“It was nice to be out there,” Mosure said. “I feel like my old self again.”
The Rams took advantage of the error-prone Wolf Pack offense, intercepting two passes and recovering three fumbles. The miscues set up 28 of the Rams’ points.
“You have five turnovers and you aren’t going to win any ballgames,” Nevada coach Chris Ault said. “It’s just that simple.”
Vai Taua rushed for 95 yards, adding touchdown runs of 31 and 2 yards for Nevada. Brandon Wimberly had a 13-yard TD catch as time expired. He finished with seven catches for 104 yards.
The Rams clamped down on versatile quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who finished with 24 yards rushing and 251 through the air, most coming late in the game. Kaepernick also threw two interceptions and had a fumble.
This was the second game in which Kaepernick and the offense have struggled. The team was stymied by Notre Dame, 35-0, in the season opener.
“I’m concerned about Colin,” Ault said. “He was inconsistent all day. I never thought Colin ever got comfortable even though we were moving the ball. You can’t play that way. The quarterback has to know what he’s doing. He has to make plays when he has the chances.”
Kaepernick echoed his coach’s thoughts.
“I have to make plays. The plays were there for me,” he said. “I have to make the throws … We were off again. We have to (be) on the same page, all of us. Everyone appears to know what they’re doing. We just aren’t on the same page.”
The win over Nevada tied Fairchild with Sonny Lubick at 10-6 for the second-best start by a coach in program history. Bob Davis has the best mark, going 10-5-1 through 16 games in 1947-48.
But now the Rams move on to their biggest challenge yet – facing a ranked Brigham Young team in Provo, Utah.
“We need to focus our attention on BYU,” Morton said.
And BYU might be focusing its attention on Morton.
Especially if Morton drifts back to pass.
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