Every quarterback remembers his first official pass at any level of competition. If that pass turns out to be a completion that goes for a touchdown, the memory becomes that much sweeter.
Steven Montez enjoyed exactly that sort of memorable moment Saturday afternoon at Folsom Field, yet the redshirt freshman was quick to deflect credit when his first official pass as a Buff turned into a 69-yard scoring play to Kabion Ento.
Ento did most of the heavy lifting, cutting inside after hauling in a reception on a curl route and outracing the Idaho State defense for a touchdown in the final minute of CU's emphatic 56-7 drubbing of the Bengals. Montez was more than appreciative of his teammate's effort.
"I dropped back and see KB is open on a come-back, I get hit as I throw, but after that it was completely all KB," Montez said. "I don't want to take any credit for that. He absolutely just went off on that play and got loose."
Montez hooked up with Ento once again for a touchdown midway through the third quarter, displaying poise as he attacked the line of scrimmage on a rollout as if ready to run before flipping the ball to a wide-open Ento along the sideline.
Although Montez turned in some mop-up duty last week against Colorado State, Saturday's appearance marked his first significant playing time as a Buffalo. He finished with six completions in 10 attempts for 117 yards and the two touchdowns to Ento.
Montez also gained 34 yards on four rushing attempts.
"It was just a great time getting out there and playing at Folsom for the first time," Montez said. "It was really fun. It felt like it was getting familiar again after not playing for over a year, you start getting snaps again, getting on the field and seeing defenses live actually. It kind of makes you feel like you're back in high school. It's a little faster, but it's something familiar. It's nice to feel that again."
While starter Sefo Liufau is firmly entrenched at the No. 1 quarterback spot — particularly after leading the Buffs to 1,175 yards and 100 points in two games — getting Montez meaningful playing time could prove critical given the game's always-precarious injury situation. Granted Montez's performance shouldn't be overly analyzed against a defense that was overmatched and already beaten when he entered the game, he nonetheless acquitted himself well during his first extended time on the field.
"I thought he did well," CU coach Mike MacIntyre said. "You saw his strong arm on the curl route that Kabion made those guys miss. "You saw him make a couple nice runs, which he can run. You saw him improvise one time when he had them come at him and he was able to dump it over. He has those intangibles. It was good to see him doing that."