“Let’s Keep it Grand”

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Oct 302006
 
Authors: Nick Hemenway

This is the last conversation that we will have before next week’s elections. Only one more week until I can watch “Jeopardy” without seeing ten thousand political ads. Yeah that’s right, I watch “Jeopardy.”

Regardless of which party wins Tuesday, our country’s path toward the future will inevitably change. We are now charged with the task of choosing which party steers the ship.

In my eyes, that’s a no-brainer. We must move forward with the Grand Old Party. Although we could sit here and go through every issue, I would implore you to vote Republican for two specific reasons: Taxes and the war in Iraq.

Beginning in 2001, Bush and the Republicans made several decent-sized tax cuts. Democrats tried to stand in the way. Here we are five years later, the stock market continues to soar into uncharted territory, people are keeping more of the money they earned, and Bush’s plan for debt reduction is way ahead of schedule.

The difference between the parties on the issue of taxes is that Republicans think American’s money is best when it’s in their own pockets, and Democrats think everyone’s money is better off in the government’s pocket.

So what would happen if the Democrats take over control of Congress? New York Rep. Charlie Rangel, the Democrat who would become the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, recently told Bloomberg News that he couldn’t think of one of Bush’s tax cuts that he would renew.

In case you didn’t catch that, that means the man who would have the biggest impact on tax legislation wants to raise our taxes. So if you feel you have too much control over your money, vote for the Democrats.

The second vital reason that we should keep Republicans in control is the war in Iraq. Although we are in the middle of a tough struggle, we must come out the clear victors in this critical region.

From this point, there are exactly two paths we can take in Iraq, no more, no less. One is finishing the job, the second is to cut and run. Leaving Iraq before the job is done would tell the new Iraqi government that we don’t care about them and that we won’t stand with them as they form a new democracy.

It would also send a signal to our troops that we don’t value the commitments and sacrifices that they have made for our country. Republicans are committed to winning the war. What would happen if the Democrats take over control of Congress?

Whether they call for a timetable-based withdrawal, or their favorite term “redeployment,” it all amounts to the same thing – they want to give up. That is the one thing that we cannot afford to do.

So as you head to the polls or mail in your ballot, take the time to think about what’s at stake. Your vote will do more than decide if you can smoke weed. Elections have consequences, and I pray that we as a country make the right choice.

Nick Hemenway is a senior mechanical engineering major. His column appears Thursdays in the Collegian. Replies and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

Student withdraws from CSU after sex charges

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Oct 302006
 
Authors: James Baetke

The CSU graduate and teaching assistant charged Monday for allegedly trying to meet a minor for sex has decided to withdraw from the university.

David Pepin appeared in Jefferson County District Court Monday to officially hear the charges against him of one felony count each of Internet luring of a child and promotion of obscenity to a minor.

Craig Chesson, interim director for Student Conflict and Resolution Services, says Pepin is in the process of leaving CSU.

“At this time, it is my understanding (Pepin) is going to separate himself through the university with our withdrawal process,” Chesson said.

Pepin was currently working toward his Ph.D. in ecology, overseen by the Department of Biology, and has taught numerous CSU courses since the fall of 2000 as a teaching assistant.

Police allege the 37-year-old graduate student tried to arrange a meeting with an undercover police officer posing as a 13-year-old girl, according to Pam Russell, spokeswoman for the Jefferson County district attorney’s office.

Under the direction of the Jefferson County district attorney’s Crimes Against Children Unit in conjunction with Fort Collins police, Pepin was eventually allegedly identified in a Yahoo Internet chat room with the screen name “tongueman30.”

In an Aug. 17 chat, Pepin is alleged to have had a detailed sexual conversation with “Keli,” an undercover officer posing as a 13-year-old girl.

Police say Pepin sent the fictional 13-year-old two photos, both of his penis.

Pepin was arrested Oct. 23 in Morgan Library. He posted a $25,000 bond the next day and was released from the Larimer County Detention Center.

Ellen Wohl, a CSU professor of geology, is currently part of Pepin’s graduation committee and was his instructor in a graduate course. Learning of the charges on Monday, Wohl was surprised Pepin, who she says was “dedicated” and “professional,” would commit such a crime.

“I think very highly of him as a scientist,” Wohl said. “If these things are found true, I would be shocked.”

Colorado’s Internet Luring Law became a law earlier this year, making it a Class 5 felony to communicate with a child under 15 over the Internet in a way that describes explicit sexual conduct and invites the child to meet for any purpose.

Staff writer James Baetke can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

Tricks or Treats? Halloween myths revealed

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Oct 302006
 
Authors: Emily Polak

There have always been stories about the strange and unusual surrounding Halloween-poisoned candy, razor blades in fruit and tortured animals.

But officials say that these fears may be more fiction than fact and people should instead be more concerned with safety and public courtesy.

Myth 1:Poisoned Pop Rocks

Although poisoned Halloween candy continues to be a common concern among parents, there has never been a recorded case of someone handing out poisoned candy to children.

There have been a few incidents in which a child was killed by candy laced with poison, but these have been murder attempts aimed at specific children, not random poisonings of all trick-or-treaters who show up.

The National Confectioners Association has run a Halloween hotline for the past 10 years to answer questions about suspicious goodies and has never found a real case of poisoning.

Myth 2:Sharp surprises

The legend of razor blades being placed in candy apples began in the 1960s for no clear reason, according to Jack Santino, author of “Halloween and Other Festivals of Death and Life.”

Rumors spread quickly, and there were a few isolated cases, but none resulted in serious injuries. After the investigations, all of them turned out to be hoaxes.

“We haven’t had any candy poisonings or razor blades,” said Gary Kinsey, spokesman for Poudre Valley Hospital. “It is kind of an urban myth.”

Myth 3:Crossing a black cat’s path

Stories about torturing and sacrificing black cats in the days surrounding Halloween cause concern for many animal shelters and pet owners.

Although there are some isolated cases of cruelty to black cats around Halloween, it is not as widespread as legend may suggest.

The Humane Society of the United States researched news accounts of such maltreatment during Halloween of 1996 and did not find any reports confirming the rumors.

Many shelters still refuse to adopt cats around Halloween, including the PetsMart in Fort Collins.

“We don’t adopt black cats the three days surrounding Halloween just because of what people may do to them,” said Matt Berry, a manager at PetsMart and senior liberal arts major at CSU.

The real myths

So what should we be concerned about around Halloween?

According to the CSU Police Department, college students should make extra efforts to party safe.

“Obviously there are a lot of people wanting to have fun,” said Cpl. Yvonne Paez, public information officer for the CSUPD. “Be sure to party safely.”

Paez said there are more DUIs and other alcohol-related incidents in the days surrounding Halloween. She emphasized the importance of being safe and having a designated driver.

Staff writer Emily Polak can be reached at news@colleigan.com.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

Fraternity hopes to raise funds, awareness

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Oct 302006
 
Authors: Geoff Johnson

Mike Foxman, executive council member of Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity, wants to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association. Along the way, he’d like to make some connections and unify the CSU campus.

Fifty campus organizations have been enlisted to help with the implementation of the event.

“We’ve invited all the cultural and religious organizations,” Foxman said.

Along with other leaders from the fraternity, Foxman is planning what is now being called a Multicultural Holiday Fundraiser.

Foxman held a meeting for interested student groups, which included a conference call with public relations officials from the Alzheimer’s Association.

He said the actual event, which will take place between Nov. 27 and Dec. 1, will include booths highlighting various cultural and religious holiday traditions placed throughout the Lory Student Center.

Foxman expressed hopes to bring celebrities from the Denver Broncos such as Jake Plummer and CSU alumni Cecil Sapp and Eric Pears.

Through sponsorship of booths by local and statewide businesses, the event’s organizers hope to raise funds to help Alzheimer’s research.

“We’re hoping to raise between $20,000 and $1,000,000,” said Ben Tessler, Sigma Alpha Mu’s vice president and a freshman psychology major, at the organizational meeting Monday in the LSC.

En route to helping the Alzheimer’s Association, those organizing and those involved in the event said they hope to open lines of communication.

Keith Anderson, treasurer of Sigma Alpha Mu, said the event is also about celebration without exclusion.

“It’s not a matter of political correctness,” Anderson said. “It’s about actually including people (in holiday celebrations).”

Anderson cites previous years when the LSC decorated during the holiday season, using evergreen trees associated with Christmas.

“Not everyone celebrates Christmas,” he said. “People have felt excluded by that.”

By allowing cultural and religious groups to exhibit and educate people about their beliefs and practices in a heavily trafficked area like the LSC, the group hopes to facilitate discussion.

It won’t be only religious and cultural student organizations participating in the Multicultural Holiday Fundraiser, though, Foxman said. Secular groups will act as allies. In doing so, they can “become more tolerant and further evolve as people,” Foxman said.

“It’s good for the (different) groups to talk to each other,” said Daniel Limbert, co-president of Chabad Jewish Student Alliance, a group planning to participate in the Multicultural Holiday Fundraiser.

Daniel Croll, a member of Sigma Alpha Mu and a junior studying construction management, said he’s tired of separation on the CSU campus.

“We want people to be unified,” Croll said.

Staff writer Geoff Johnson can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

Doggies help fight depression

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Oct 302006
 
Authors: Amy Robinson

Four-legged friends can also help combat mental illness, according to Active Minds, a student group that wants to reduce the stigma of mental illness.

To prove it, they brought some furry bundles dressed in costumes to campus Monday.

The group sponsored the first annual “Doggy Delirium” on the Natural Resources Lawn.

“We are trying to increase awareness about the pet bond and the benefits of owning a pet,” said Tracy Ryan, Active Minds vice president.

Ryan attended the event with her 8-year-old Chinese pug, Quasimodo. The costumed bat snorted and wagged his tail as he eagerly greeted people passing by.

“I’ve always been an animal lover,” said Ryan, who has three dogs and does doggy foster care.

She added that her pets have always been there for her during rough times. Ryan said they are her family while she is across the country and away from home.

“They are non-judgmental. It’s nice to come home to a wagging tail, someone who’s happy to see you and gives you kisses,” Ryan said. “If you’ve had a bad day, they cheer you up.”

The graduate student, who is earning her master’s in agricultural extension education, said pets also serve as a fun, non-threatening way to help people learn more about Active Minds.

Members of the Larimer Animal People Partnership also participated in the event. The organization brings certified therapy animals to the community.

Sally Forman works with LAPP. She is the owner of a 15-year-old Chihuahua-terrier mix named Sprout and two Papillions, Gizmo and Mindy Sue. Forman visits nursing homes and schools with her furry friends.

“Animals provide unconditional love,” Forman said. “They are really adept at reading (people’s) vibes.”

Connie Fredman, another member of LAPP, echoed Forman’s sentiments about animals. She owns several animals including two dogs, a cat and two horses. Fredman takes her therapy dog, Boone, to the children’s hospital.

“Boone gets along with everyone. He loves attention,” Fredman said describing the three-legged Labrador Retriever’s personality.

Meghan Malone, president of Active Minds, said CSU’s chapter of the national organization strives to create a supportive atmosphere for everyone.

“It’s important that people realize mental health is part of their overall health and don’t dismiss it,” she said.

Active Minds, which was founded on campus last October, was recently named best chapter out of 56 at the National Conference in Washington, D.C., according to Malone.

Part of the reason Malone said she believes Active Minds has been so successful is because it brings “an issue kept in the dark and not discussed out into the open.”

The senior psychology and Spanish double major added that mental illness is a common problem, especially among college students.

However, she emphasized that Active Minds is not only about serious issues.

“We wanted to do something with dogs and pets,” she said. “It’s close to Halloween and it’s a fun event.”

Staff writer Amy Robinson can be reached at news@collegian.com.

_____________________________________________

Active Mind holds meetings at 6:30 p.m. the second Wednesday of every month in the Wellness Zone.

A depression and anxiety peer support group also is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Nov. 14 in Clark C 10-B.

For more information about mental health contact the University Counseling Center, located in Clark C-36, at 491-6053. Or visit the center’s Web site at http://www.counseling.colostate.edu.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

Chipotle celebrates Boo-rito day

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Oct 302006
 
Authors: Hilary Davis

Trick-or-treaters of the college set will be begging for a treat a little different today.

Instead of the normal confections of caramel and chocolate, some will be asking for rice, beans and extra guacamole for their Boo-rito.

“The Chipotle near CSU is one of the top restaurants in the country for this promotion,” said Jimmy Guerrette, an apprentice manager at the Chipotle at the intersection of College Avenue and Laurel Street. “. CSU always blows everybody out of the water. For college students, a free burrito is a very big deal.”

Since the Colorado-based restaurant’s founding in 1993, Chipotle has been giving away a free burrito to every customer who comes dressed as a burrito on Halloween.

Yes, a burrito.

“Most people just wrap themselves in aluminum foil, but I’ve seen some people get very creative,” Guerrette said. “I’ve seen women dressed in bikini tops and skirts, some people come as the Tin Man, I saw a salad once, one guy even dressed as a giant bag of chips – that was a good one.”

Boo-rito has been around for as long as Guerrette can remember, and he cites Chipotle’s creator Steve Ells’ commitment to the community as the main reason.

“This has been going on since 1993 when the company started,” Guerrette said. “It was important to Steve Ells to show customer appreciation. It’s become a fun day for Chipotle and the community to enjoy, and we’re glad that people come in to taste the integrity of food we have here.”

Guerrette estimates that more than 1,000 people attend Boo-rito at the Chipotle by campus each year. Last year the line circled the inside of the restaurant twice and then went out the door.

And that’s because for many CSU students Boo-rito has become a yearly tradition.

“My freshman year, my roommate and I dressed up like little girl and boy burritos,” said senior agricultural business major Dana Alexander. “I always go, everyone goes, so it’s really fun to see all your friends standing in line dressed ridiculously.”

However, Boo-rito is not for amateurs. Veteran participants offered a few words of wisdom for those who are getting their first taste of free-burrito goodness.

“Plan to dress warm under your aluminum foil,” Guerrette said. “The line always goes out the door, and it’s cold outside.”

“Make sure you hit the grocery store before everyone else does,” Alexander added. “Otherwise you won’t be able to find any foil.”

However people come dressed, Guerrette recommended appropriate costumes, asking people not to come as naked burritos.

“Be creative, but be appropriate,” Guerrette said. “We are still a family establishment.”

Staff writer Hilary Davis can be reached at news@collegian.com.

__________________________________

How To Become a Burrito:

STEP 1: Buy foil (lots of it) and duct tape.

STEP 2: Layer on the warm clothes.

STEP 3: Cut the foil in wide strips, for easier movement.

STEP 4: Wrap your entire body in foil.

STEP 5: Run, walk or waddle over to Chipotle and enjoy a free burrito.

Chipotle Mexican Grill

649 S. College Ave.

Free burritos served from 5 to 10 p.m.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

Thriller in the Rec

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Oct 302006
 
Authors: LYNDSEY STRUTHERS

Michael Jackson’s 1983 hit, Thriller, made a comeback Monday night as students gathered in the recreation center to shake and shimmy Michael Jackson style. During the event, students learned the steps to the dance in a Halloween celebration.

“It’s the Thriller, its like zombies and scary, it kind of fits the scary ghosts and goblins type idea,” said Mandy McLeland, the instructor for the Thriller event.

For Alex Griffin, a sophomore construction management and business major, Michael Jackson is an icon.

“I came out because Michael Jackson, as a musician, was my idol,” Griffin said.

While some of the patrons came because they are loyal fans of Michael Jackson, others like Meghan Tabberson, a freshman human development major, were inspired to attend by the rendition of the dance in the movie, “13 going on 30.”

And for others, it was a chance to let loose.

“It’s fun to be a dork sometimes, come on lets be honest,” said Marie Myers, a senior archeology major.

Nicole LaRocque, the strength and fitness coordinator for the rec center said that anybody could learn to dance the Thriller.

“We have people who have two left feet and people who dance all the time,” said LaRocque.

McLeLand said that with the exception of a few tricky steps, the dance is easy to learn. She learned the steps to the Thriller last year when she attended the event.

“I remembered most of it so I just had to watch the video a few times to remember some of the steps,” said McLeland.

LaRocque said that CSU has been celebrating Halloween with the Thriller since 2001, when students first mentioned the idea.

“It’s ever popular and ever growing, (students) expect it, they actually enjoy it,” said LaRocque.

She said that since CSU has adopted the event, other schools have called wanting to start their own Thriller event.

The event also included a zombie costume contest and a raffle drawing. Ryan Avery, a senior technical journalism major and Robin Le Sech, a sophomore theatre major, won the contest with their zombie prom queen and king costumes.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

Cross country teams fall just short at championships

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Oct 292006
 
Authors: Nick Hubel

Who says preseason polls don’t matter?

The CSU Rams cross country teams finished exactly where they were picked to at the beginning of the year in the pre-season polls, finishing second and third, respectively, Saturday at the Mountain West Conference Championships.

The women finished with 44 points, just nine points behind champion Brigham Young, which was picked in the preseason to run away with the conference title.

Head Coach Bryan Berryhill said that finishing that close with a team like BYU will give the team a great deal of confidence heading into the Regional Championships on Nov. 11.

“In order to beat a team like BYU we have to be clicking on all cylinders, everyone has to bring their A game and we were very close to doing that,” Berryhill said. “I think it’s going to keep them hungry for the next two weeks.”

The women were lead by senior Nicole Feest, who finished third overall with a time of 21:14.1 for the six-kilometer course. Junior April Thomas crossed the finish line second for the Rams and sixth overall with a time of 21:24.3.

The men’s team finished third overall in their race, scoring a total of 88 points. They were just 12 points behind second-place Air Force and 61 behind repeat champion BYU. The Cougars have won six of the last seven Mountain West Conference Championships.

Senior Rob Watson finished first for the Rams and eighth overall with a time of 25:05.5 for the eight-kilometer course. Finishing second for the Rams and 16th overall was sophomore Jeremy Freed, who turned in a time of 25:30.5.

Berryhill said the race was an improvement for the team, which has struggled to find a rhythm in the past few weeks. He said they should continue to improve these next two weeks in practice before traveling to Albuquerque, N.M., for the Regional Championship.

“I thought it was a little better race than the past few,” Berryhill said. “They just need to keep competing harder.”

Sports staff writer Nick Hubel can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

Special teams not so special for Rams

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Oct 292006
 
Authors: Sean Star

After a 20-19 gut-wrenching loss to New Mexico (5-4, 3-2) Saturday night, it’s safe to say the Rams (4-4, 1-3) have covered the bases when it comes to different ways to lose a football game.

UNM senior kick Kenny Byrd’s game-winning field goal as time expired capped off a three-game losing streak for the Rams in which they have blown an 18-point lead at halftime, got shutout by their arch rival and now lost on the last play of the game to a team they probably should have beat.

The Rams now find themselves ahead of only the lowly Nevada-Las Vegas Rebels in the Mountain West Conference standings with only one conference win in four tries.

Special teams undoubtedly played a factor in the Rams one-point loss in which the team missed a field goal and failed to convert an extra point in the second half.

After a sensational one-handed diving touchdown catch by junior wide receiver Damon Morton, junior punter Jimmy Kaylor mishandled the snap on the Rams’ extra point attempt, failing to increase the team’s lead to ten points.

“It was all on me,” said an emotional Kaylor in a quiet CSU locker room after the game. “Everything was there – no rush – it’s my fault we’re not still playing in overtime right now.”

If any Ram can relate to Kaylor’s situation, it is fellow special-teamer Smith.

Smith missed a field goal against Air Force two weeks ago in a game that was decided by three points.

“We know the importance of our play,” Smith said. “We both get two or three (plays) a game. We know what it takes. It requires a lot of mental toughness, just like any other position, but it is different. When I get off the field we can talk about what happened and what we do next time to learn from it.”

Much can be said about the missed extra point, but senior offensive lineman Clint

Oldenberg feels the offense is responsible for the defeat.

“We didn’t lose on that play. The offense lost it when it got the ball back with five minutes left in the game and couldn’t get a first down,” he said. “With that missed extra point, we still had an opportunity to win the game. All we needed was one first down. We didn’t even gain a yard, we lost two.”

Despite leading for all but one second in the fourth quarter, the Rams managed only two rushes for one negative yard in the final fifteen minutes of the game, which was indicative of their season-long struggle to run the football.

After a Kaylor punt with less than four minutes left in the game, New Mexico redshirt freshman quarterback Donovan Porterie led his team on a 10-play, 63-yard drive to the CSU 16-yardline to set up Byrd with a 33-yard attempt to win the game.

Despite the will of an enthusiastic CSU student section, Byrd’s kick was essentially good even before the ball was snapped.

The former walk-on has now made 22 straight field goals inside 40 yards. Even though Kaylor may carry the team’s best chance at an all-conference selection, he admits the dropped snap may linger in his head into the future.

“It’s going to be hard to forget,” he said. “I feel like I lost it.”

Football beat writer Sean Star can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

From the Sidelines

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Oct 292006
 
Authors: Collegian sports staff

UNM 20, CSU 19

UNM 10 0 0 10 20

CSU 0 10 9 0 19

First Quarter

NM- Ferguson 5 run (Byrd kick), 8:12.

NM- FG Byrd 39, :00.

Second Quarter

CSU- Da.Morton 4 pass from Hanie (J.Smith kick), 7:58.

CSU- FG J.Smith 49, 1:36.

Third Quarter

CSU- FG J.Smith 38, 5:52.

CSU- Da.Morton 30 pass from Hanie (run failed), 2:05.

Fourth Quarter

NM- Tr.Brown 35 pass from D.Porterie (Byrd kick), 14:34.

NM- FG Byrd 33, :00.

Attendance: 22,011

TEAM STATS

UNM CSU

First downs 15 17

Rushes-yards 31-79 26-37

Passing 195 254

Comp-Att-Int 15-25-0 25-40-1

Return Yards 36 35

Punts-Avg. 6-42.3 4-40.5

Fumbles-Lost 3-1 1-0

Penalties-Yards 6-57 4-40

Time of Possession 28:33 31:27

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING- UNM: Ferguson 21-80, Epps 3-6, M.Smith 1-2, D.Porterie 6-(minus 9). CSU: Ohaeri 12-24, Hanie 9-13, Da.Morton 3-2, J.Walker 2-(minus 2).

PASSING- UNM: D.Porterie 15-25-0-195. CSU: Hanie 25-40-1-254.

RECEIVING- UNM: M.Smith 6-81, Tr.Brown 3-56, Wilson 2-18, Caprioli 2-11, Mulchrone 1-23, Ferguson 1-6. CSU: Da.Morton 7-94, Osborn 6-88, J.Walker 5-39, Sperry 3-10, G.Hill 2-8, Roberts 1-8, Ohaeri 1-7.

Collegian game ball goes to. wide receiver Damon Morton

Morton continued his stellar season with a seven catch, 94-yard effort. His two touchdowns brought his season total to five. Morton also made one of the better catches in Rams history (see Play of the day).

Quote of the day

“We know that the team that has come out in the last three weeks is not who we are.”

-Defensive end Jesse Nading following CSU’s third straight conference loss. Nading returned from an ankle injury, which had forced him out of the Wyoming game.

Play of the day

All season long, wide receiver Damon Morton has made plays. But none have been better than the one he made during the third quarter of Saturday’s game. On the play, Morton ran an out-and-up move before running along the sideline. Caleb Hanie’s pass threaded the needle and landed squarely in diving Morton’s outstretched right hand. Morton’s one-handed touchdown gave the Rams a 19-10 lead.

Eight down, four to go

The Rams will have to recover from this heartbreaker quickly with the Brigham Young Cougars next on the docket. The Cougars are undefeated in the Mountain West and have a two-game lead in the conference race. Next week’s game starts at 4 p.m.

Mountain West Standings

Conf. Overall

W-L W-L

BYU 4-0 6-2

UNM 3-2 5-4

Utah 3-2 5-4

Wyo. 3-2 4-5

AFA 3-2 3-4

TCU 1-2 5-2

SDSU 1-2 1-6

CSU 1-3 4-4

UNLV 0-4 1-7

 Posted by at 6:00 pm