QB Montez rebounds to lead Colorado past Cal
Steven Montez responded to last week’s benching by returning to Colorado’s lineup and throwing for 347 yards to lead the Buffaloes to a 44-28 win over California on Saturday.
The junior quarterback, who missed the second half of the Buffs’ loss to Washington State, threw for three touchdowns as Colorado improved to 5-4, 2-4 in the Pac-12. Montez added a 7-yard rushing touchdown.
Devin Ross, Shay Fields and Jay MacIntyre were the biggest benefactors of Montez’s afternoon with each hauling in receiving touchdowns.
Fields finished with 101 receiving yards, 65 of which came on a touchdown strike to put the Buffs up 21-7 in the second quarter.
It was Nick Fisher’s 100-yard interception return for a touchdown that essentially quashed any hope for Golden Bears, putting the Buffaloes up 44-21 with 2:34 remaining.
Colorado tailback Phillip Lindsay rushed for 161 yards. It’s the 11th 100-yard game for the Colorado senior, who pulled within 100 yards of Rodney Stewart for No. 2 on the program’s career rushing list.
California (4-5, 1-5) has lost two in a row and five of its last six games.
Ross Bowers threw for 359 yards and three touchdowns to pace California. The Colorado front seven, however, applied plenty of pressure on the sophomore, including consecutive sacks by Jase Franke and Evan Worthington in the fourth quarter.
The Buffs’ defense finished with four sacks, six tackles for loss and broke up nine of Bowers’ 52 pass attempts.
Cal’s Kanawai Noa grabbed 108 receiving yards and a pair of scoring catches for 15 and 27 yards. Vic Wharton III not only hauled in a fourth-quarter touchdown en route to 79 yards via the air, but also connected with Noa on a halfback pass for a touchdown.
California’s Jordan Veasy led all receivers with 111 yards and a touchdown.
Colorado backup quarterback Sam Noyer (1-for-1 passing for 6 yards) saw action early in the second half as Montez dealt with an injured neck. Montez was able to return on the Buffs’ subsequent drive.