GREELEY, Colo. (AP) – Seth Lobato threw for 243 yards and a career-high five touchdowns to lead Northern Colorado to a 52-14 win over Idaho State and embattled coach Mike Kramer on Saturday.
Dominic Gunn caught two TD passes and Tromaine Dennis rushed for a career-high 178 yards and two scores for the Bears (2-5, 1-3 Big Sky).
Kevin Yost threw for 344 yards and two touchdowns for the Bengals (1-6, 0-4).
It was Idaho State’s first game since it was reported that Kramer is being investigated by the university and the Pocatello Police Department for allegedly shoving senior wide receiver Derek Graves to the ground two weeks ago in an incident caught on video.
Graves lodged a complaint with police on Oct. 14 that he was pushed by Kramer during an Oct. 3 practice. His attorney, Don Jackson, said Graves has suffered from neck and back spasms since the incident.
Kramer declined to talk about the incident or the investigation.
“I don’t have a comment on that,” he said.
Graves was inactive Saturday and has not played in the Bengals’ last three games. Kramer would not say why Graves was inactive.
“I have no comment. Nice try, though,” he said with a smile.
Idaho State players were not made available to The Associated Press after the game.
In the video, which was obtained by ESPN, Kramer runs toward a player on the field, puts his face close to his helmet, and then shoves him with two hands. The player falls backward to the turf, after which Kramer steps over his prone legs.
Kramer said the investigation had no impact on the game.
“No, not a bit,” he said. “I don’t think that had anything to do with the way we played.”
The Bengals fell behind early and never caught up. Lobato hit Jace Davis for a 26-yard touchdown and Dennis scored from the 2 to give the Bears a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.
Yost found Cam Richmond from 41 yards out midway through the second quarter, but Lobato hooked up with Gunn for two scores before the half, the last one with 14 seconds left to make it 28-7.
“It’s tough to come back against them because they play a three-man rush,” Kramer said. “Essentially (it’s) a college prevent-type of defense.”
Doug Steele scored on a 70-yard pass from Lobato on the second play of the third quarter to give the Bears a 35-7 lead. Dennis added a 15-yard TD run and Lobato connected with Dimitri Stimphil from the 3 to make it 52-7 after three quarters.
“They just blocked us. We had seven or eight guys who were unavailable this week for a major portion of the time in our front,” Kramer said. “Since we played Nebraska, we’ve been an absolute shell defensively because of the wear and tear on our front and our down guys.”
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