5:30 PM ET, October 7, 2006
Hughes Stadium, FORT COLLINS, CO
FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) -- For one half, Colorado State's offense sputtered badly against UNLV, whose offense was playing equally dismally.
"We were self-destructing and couldn't do anything right in the first half," Colorado State coach Sonny Lubick said. "We couldn't make a fourth-and-1 and then we couldn't make a field goal.
"I guess you could say it was a tale of two halves because we started making plays in the second half," he said.
Quarterback Caleb Hanie threw for a touchdown and ran for another in the third quarter to lead Colorado State to a 28-7 victory over UNLV in the Mountain West Conference opener for both teams Saturday.
"We were close but didn't make plays," said Hanie, who finished 23-for-28 for 257 yards passing after going 13-for-16 for 162 yards in the first half. "We had some mental mistakes and then came out in the second half ready to play."
Damon Morton had five catches for 114 yards and a touchdown. Gartrell Johnson ran for a touchdown and a career-high 47 yards for Colorado State (4-1, 1-0 MWC).
The Rebels lost their 12th consecutive road game. They last won away from home on Oct. 8, 2004, at BYU.
"I felt like we played hard, competed hard and put ourselves in a position to win the game in the first half," UNLV coach Mike Sanford said. "We didn't do the things to have to win a game in the second half."
With the game tied at 7, Hanie got the Rams on track on their first possession of the second half. He completed all seven pass attempts in a 12-play, 80-yard scoring drive that consumed more than five minutes. The junior quarterback culminated it by running it in from nine yards out with 6:00 left and breaking three tackles in the process.
It was the CSU defense that made the next big play. Clint Kubiak and Darryl Williams stuffed Peeples for a yard loss on a fourth-and-1 at the CSU 36.
On the next play, Hanie hooked up with Morton on a hitch-and-go pass route that went the distance for 64 yards. Cornerback John Guice caught Morton at the 20, but Morton slipped away and high stepped into the end zone with 2:03 to go in the third quarter.
"We set that up great by throwing some short passes to get that deep ball," Hanie said. "We waited to hit a deep ball and did it."
The Rams put the game out of reach with 8:46 left in the game when Jeff Horinek reached high to intercept a pass thrown by Hinds and returned it 14 yards for a touchdown to make it 28-7.
"It was frustrating," Hinds said. "We moved the ball, but couldn't finish drives."
Both teams scored touchdowns on their first possessions, but not again in the first half.
Colorado State converted a fourth down drive 79 yards after taking the opening kickoff. Hanie had a 2-yard sneak on a fourth-and-1 at the UNLV 42 and completed a 33-yard pass to Morton to set up Johnson's 2-yard TD run with 8:34 left in the first quarter.
Peeples tied it at 7 with a 25-yard scoring run on a fourth-and-1. UNLV benefited on a roughing-the-passer call and an offsides penalty to get the 29-yard scoring drive going.
The Rams had two scoring chances the rest of the half. Johnson was stopped on a fourth-and-1 at the UNLV 8 on its second possession of the game and Smith missed wide left on a 43-yard field goal attempt with 11:39 to go in the second.
The Rebels never crossed midfield again until K.C. Asiodu recovered Damon Walker's muffed punt at Colorado State's 48 with 1:45 left before halftime. They netted no yards on three plays and punted.
UNLV had only 57 yards of total offense in the first half.
"The most encouraging thing was our defense was playing well," Lubick said. "We felt when we got up by two touchdowns they (UNLV) wouldn't be able to punch two touchdowns of their own."
Colorado State is off to its first 4-1 start since 2002.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||1-13||8-15|
|4th Down Conversions||1-4||1-2|
|TD||8:34||GARTRELL JOHNSON III 2 YD RUN (JASON SMITH KICK)|
Drive info: 12 plays, 79 yards.
|TD||6:29||DAVID PEEPLES 25 YD RUN (SERGIO AGUAYO KICK)|
Drive info: 4 plays, 49 yards.
|TD||6:00||CALEB HANIE 9 YD RUN (JASON SMITH KICK)|
Drive info: 12 plays, 80 yards.
|TD||2:03||DAMON MORTON 65 YD PASS FROM CALEB HANIE (JASON SMITH KICK)|
Drive info: 1 plays, 65 yards.
|TD||8:46||JEFF HORINEK 12 YD INTERCEPTION RETURN (JASON SMITH KICK)||7||28|