There was a point in Saturday’s 35-20 victory over Nevada where receiver Dion Morton had as many touchdown passes this season as quarterback Grant Stucker.
Is a quarterback controversy brewing in the Rams’ locker room?
“Nah I don’t think so. I don’t even know if I can take a snap under center, so you don’t have to worry about that,” Morton said jokingly after the game Saturday.
Stucker would go on to throw two touchdown passes later in the game to re-take the lead in the statistic more appropriate for his position.
“Dion threw his second touchdown pass and he came up to me, and he’s like ‘we’re tied now,’ and I was like, ‘I better step up,'” Stucker said.
Joking aside, head coach Steve Fairchild made clear there is no chance at a quarterback controversy as Stucker is plugged in as the starter. Morton gets his chances to flash his arm only on trick plays.
Morton threw his second touchdown pass of the season in the first quarter Saturday on a gadget play in which Stucker threw a lateral pass to Morton near the sideline and he then floated a 25-yard pass to tight end Eric Peitz for the score.
A former high school quarterback, Morton was offered to play quarterback at Northern Arizona University. The senior described his quarterbacking play as more of a runner than a passer, but anytime he gets the opportunity to throw the ball, he’ll take it.
“I mean, as you get put in a position to make a play, I was just trying to do my best at it,” he said.
Morton threw his first touchdown pass this season to his quarterback, Stucker, against Weber State on a double-reverse trick play.
In addition to the two Morton passing touchdowns, the offense has used a number of gadget plays in its first three games. The unit has also lined up in the Wildcat formation with running back John Mosure taking the direct snap and has also run a number of reverses.
Offensive lineman Tim Walter enjoys running these trick plays which keep the defense on its toes.
“It is fun. As an offensive lineman, we love grinding the ball, we love running that ball especially inside, but it’s a lot of fun to pull off these trick plays,” the senior center said. “It brings the morale up, it gets us excited to play because we want to see how these plays turn out.”
Mosure, who returned to the back field Saturday after sitting out the Weber State game due to a concussion, ran for 99 yards and a touchdown while lining up in several different positions.
“I just do what the coaches told me to and just go 110 percent when I’m out there,” Mosure said.
After seeing hints of the offense’s explosiveness in the first two games, the unit reached its full potential against Nevada, scoring 35 points and sustaining long drives with big third down conversions.
Walter credits the offenses’ early season success to the play calling of Fairchild.
“Coach Fairchild is a great play caller. He knows how to set-up his plays. He’ll set up one play and then come out with a play-action that mirrors that exact same play,” Walter said. “He’s just an incredible play-caller.”
Football beat reporter Stephen Meyers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.