College football • Northern Colorado's offense stymies 'Cats.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Ogden • When it comes to defensive football, it is the unknown that is most hurtful.
Just ask Weber State, which dropped its final chance to win a home game in 2012, losing 42-34 on a cold, sometimes snowy Saturday afternoon at Stewart Stadium.
"They hadn't been playing the play-action stuff," Weber State coach Jody Sears said. "We hadn't seen any of it a little boot, a little play action. But the play-action downtown stuff, they were egg-beaters."
On Senior Day for WSU, it was Northern Colorado quarterback Seth Lobato who turned the Wildcats' scrambled defense into an omelet. Lobato completed 24 of 38 attempts for a season-high 418 yards the third most in school history and four touchdowns.
Lobato also rushed for a score early in the fourth quarter to give the Bears (4-6, 3-4 BSC) a 35-20 lead, one that would eventually give UNC its first-ever win against Weber State (1-9, 1-6) in seven tries.
Next week, the Wildcats travel to Idaho State in a battle of one-win teams.
"Their quarterback was on point today," said WSU linebacker Trevor Pletcher. "He was pretty accurate, but we should have played a lot better than we did today."
Throughout Weber State's disappointing season, it has been the offense that has played catchup. For example, the Wildcats finally scored a first-quarter touchdown 10 games into the season.
WSU quarterback Mike Hoke did enjoy his best game of 2012, throwing for 310 yards and four scores.
Hoke, however, wasn't satisfied.
"If we had 100 [total] yards, as long as we win," he said. "All the stats are irrelevant now. It felt good. We had a couple of series, it felt like our offense was where we're capable of being."
On Saturday, the defense, which had been playing well, gave up 540 total yards, a testament to poor tackling and pass coverage.
Northern Colorado had two scoring drives of two and three plays. The most damaging came moments after Weber State had closed the deficit to 35-27 midway through the fourth quarter.
Hoke and Brian Jankowski, who combined for a 3-yard scoring pass, had barely sat down when Lobato and Dominic Gunn, who caught 190 yards worth of passes, hooked up on a 69-yard strike to the WSU 2-yard line.
It was the first play of the drive, and UNC pushed it over for the score on the next play.