Idaho State downs Western State Colorado 29-3
POCATELLO, Idaho (AP)
Idaho State scored on each of its first five possessions, punting for the first time with a little more than 13 minutes left in the game on the way to a 29-3 win over Western State Colorado.
The Bengals are 2-0 for the first time since 1999.
''It's been a long time since we've won two in a row,'' said Idaho State coach Mike Kramer. ''Now let's see if we can play well for the rest of the season.''
The Big Sky Conference's top passing game continued to perform well with ISU quarterback Justin Arias completing 37 of his 54 passes for 436 yards and two touchdowns. Arias also ran for another touchdown. It's the second week in a row that Arias has topped 400 yards passing, putting him atop the Big Sky in that category.
''Justin played pretty well,'' Kramer said. ''He was under duress, some of it was self-imposed. He'll play much better in weeks to come.''
Receiver Cameron Richmond was tops for the Bengals with 12 catches for 152 yards, finding the end zone once. Tight end Tyler Wright finished with 89 yards and a touchdown on seven catches.
The biggest play of the game for the Mountaineers came early in third quarter when they forced Arias to fumble at midfield and linebacker Kalvin Winter grabbed the ball and ran it to Idaho State's 3-yard line. But the Bengals defense denied the Mountaineers, putting together a four-down goal line stand.
''Defensively, to hold them, especially when we were at point-blank range, is indicative of the improvement we've made on our defense,'' Kramer said.
Idaho State, taking over on downs at its own 1-yard line, then went 99 yards on 12 plays, culminating with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Wright. Although it was used more sparingly, Idaho State's running game did average better than 4 yards per carry. Xavier Finney led the way with 52 yards on 11 carries.
The Bengals defense dominated Western State (0-2) for all 60 minutes on Saturday, allowing Mountaineer quarterback Brett Arrivey just 154 yards passing. He completed just 17 of his 37 attempts. The highlight of the Mountaineers offense was running back Austin Ekeler who ran for 106 yards on 20 carries, averaging roughly 5 yards per carry.