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DENVER – In his first start as the quarterback of the CSU football team, Billy Farris put together a solid resumé, throwing for 187 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions, completing 73 percent of his passes.
Set up by a Jeff Horinek interception, Farris’ touchdown pass in the second quarter was the first of his collegiate career. Running out of the shotgun formation with Dion Morton lined up wide-right, Morton ran a post route and caught the 21 yard pass in the back of the end zone, cutting the Buffalo lead to 14-7.
The touchdown reception was only the second of Morton’s career.
“I was so excited. I was jacked. It was a lot of fun, and that’s what you play for,” Farris said
While his completion percentage was high, many of those passes were for only three or four yards and last-option reads.
After the game, CU safety Ryan Walters said that some of the Buffs main goals on defense were to prevent the Rams from completing deep and keeping the ball out of Kory Sperry’s hands. Farris agreed that CU did a good job in coverage.
“You want to throw the ball down field and complete the big play, but they weren’t giving it to us,” Farris said. “I had to do what I had to do, and for the most part, that meant checking down.”
CSU head coach Steve Fairchild said, off hand, he was pleased with Farris’ performance.
“Without looking at the tape, yeah, I am [impressed by Farris],” said Fairchild in his postgame press conference. “He had a couple things go wrong in that last drive; we were just doing that for sports, the game was out of hand, we we’re just working a two-minute drill . He’s a good, tough, smart kid and he’s gonna win some games for us.”
Both interceptions thrown by Farris were when the Rams were running the two minute drill. The first, and most important, came while CSU seemed to be making their first substantial drive at the end of the first half.
Following a 19-yard completion to Morton, Farris had Rashaun Greer open underneath at the CU 23 yard line, but an errant throw landed in the lap of the Buffalo’s Safety Walters with 16 seconds remaining in the half.
Even though the Rams did not win their first game, the team has faith in Farris and his ability to lead them this season.
“It was his first game and he came out and handled himself well,” said Gartrell Johnson III, CSU running back. “We just really have to put the drives together. We can’t just have a play here and there and then have to punt the ball. We should be scoring touchdowns.”
Football beat writer Matt Stephens can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.