Steven Montez got flagged for excessive celebration ... in the spring game.

Colorado's junior quarterback put a cap on his day in Saturday's annual spring showcase with what appeared to be a 44-yard touchdown run, followed by him dunking the ball over the goalpost.

"I didn't like it," head coach Mike MacIntyre said. "We pulled him out after that. He came and apologized to me. I told him, 'Two years ago you were so fat you couldn't have done that. Now you're in better shape.'

"He'll have a little bit of extra (work) on Monday's practice. I want him to have his passion in the run and the play; I don't him to go up and dunk it."

That play — ultimately ruled a 24-yard run and no touchdown — was all part of an up-and-down day for the Buffaloes' incumbent starter.

Montez completed 8-of-15 passes for 90 yards and two touchdowns, but also two interceptions. He also led the team with 43 yards rushing on three carries and had the only run of more than nine yards.

It was typical for Montez, who has never really had a great spring game. He's thrown four interceptions in three career spring games, with at least one each year.

"I was talking to some of the other quarterbacks on the sideline and I was like it almost happens like clockwork," he said. "Every year I practice well all spring and then I'll come out in the spring game and throw two picks or throw a pick and not practice very well.


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"That's just a testament that we're still learning. Still learning and I still have a ton of knowledge I need to acquire before the season starts. (Quarterbacks coach Kurt) Roper is helping with me that and (co-offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini) is helping me with that and we're getting better every day."

Also typical of Montez in the spring is that he doesn't let the interceptions affect him too much. Although his two interceptions came on back-to-back throws, his next throw was a 12-yard touchdown to Laviska Shenault.

Colorado quarterback Steven Montez throws a pass over linebacker Nate Landman on Saturday at Folsom Field.
Colorado quarterback Steven Montez throws a pass over linebacker Nate Landman on Saturday at Folsom Field. (Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer)

"(The interceptions are) going to happen, especially if we're calling stuff that's aggressive," Chiaverini said. "What I like about him is he comes right back and it doesn't bother him. Some guys will get shy and they won't want to let it go."

Montez's day also included a 24-yard touchdown pass to Shenault. MacIntyre was also pleased with Montez's awareness to slide, and his awareness to dive — instead of sliding — for a first down in the two-minute drill.

"I thought he did a really good job today on his slides and understanding, like on the two-minute there," MacIntyre said. "He thought about it and dove forward because he had to get the first down. That knowledge of all those game situations, he's really improved on it."

As for the dunk, Montez said that while he knew MacIntyre wouldn't be happy with it, it was somewhat pre-planned.

"I didn't think I was going to break a long run like that," he said, but added that he had told the other quarterbacks before the scrimmage that if he got loose on a long run, he would dunk the ball over the goalpost.

"Thankfully coach Mac didn't lose it on me, because he easily could have, but I think he understood that we were all just having fun out there and having a good time," he said.

The Buffs would prefer he has a good time without the showboating, however.

Still, as the Buffs prepare to close spring practices this next week, Montez believes he's a better quarterback now than he was last fall.

"I think I definitely have improved this spring a lot," he said.

Contact staff writer Brian Howell at howellb@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/BrianHowell33