Colorado St. 39, Montana St. 14
FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP)—Quarterback Justin Holland expressed relief in finally getting a win. It didn’t matter against who or what classification as Colorado State struggled in its worst start under coach Sonny Lubick.
“We’d been waiting for a win for over three weeks,” Holland said. “We had to beat somebody.”
Holland threw two touchdowns passes and Jeff Babcock kicked three field goals to lead Colorado State to a 39-14 victory over 1-AA Montana State on Saturday.
“It felt great to get a decisive victory where we were crunching at the end to get a victory,” Holland said.
Colorado State had never started out 0-3 in the 11 previous years under Sonny Lubick. But then the Rams had never opened a season against Colorado, Southern California and Minnesota.
“Sometimes you have to be realistic in the teams you are playing,” Lubick said. “Still we played well at times and at times not so well against a team that made us fight the whole way.”
Holland, who had thrown eight interceptions in the first three games, was 21-for-35 for 311 yards and only one interception. Dave Osborn caught five passes for 101 yards.
Colorado State (1-3) was off to its worst start since opening the 1987 season with six straight losses.
Montana State (1-2) suffered its 18th consecutive loss to 1-A opponents. The Bobcats had 308 yards of total offense against a defense that had allowed 476 yards a game.
“Their experience against the three teams that beat them was the reason they played so well,” Montana State coach Mike Kramer said. “They played within themselves and played the way they needed to win.”
“Of course you can’t lose your starting cornerbacks early in the season and expect your backups to play well against anybody,” Kramer said. “Their receivers ran post routes, corner routes, slant routes, stop routes, out routes and in routes.”
Right cornerback Eddie Smith was lost for the season with a leg injury while left cornerback Kory Austin was unavailable because of a concussion suffered last Tuesday.
Quarterback Travis Lulay threw for 196 and two touchdowns and ran for 66 yards.
Holland threw two touchdown passes in the last two minutes of the first half as Colorado built a 27-7 lead.
Half back Joel Dreessen made a one-handed catch in the end zone on a 10-yard pass from Holland with 1:58 left made it 20-7.
The Rams got the ball back at the Montana State 38 with 45 seconds remaining after Adam Lancisero blocked Lulay’s punt. Four plays later Holland connected with David Anderson on a 12-yard scoring strike.
Earlier in the half, Colorado State’s Uldis Jaunarajs, who had 79 yards rushing, capped an 80-yard drive with a 1-yard dive for a touchdown.
Babcock booted field goals of 34 and 35 yards in the first half. Brandon Cathy set up the second field goal returning an interception 19 yards to the Bobcat 15.
The field goal woke up the Montana State offense.
Lulay had a second quarter quickly connected with Chaz Guinn on a 16-yard TD pass with 3:35 and again in the second half on a 5-yard touchdown pass.
Moments later Tristian Walker had a 3-yard TD run for Colorado State and Babcock later kicked a 30 yard field goal early in the fourth quarter.