MONTICELLO — Going into last weekend’s season opener, Arkansas-Monticello sophomore quarterback Colton Morrison had not played in a game in almost a year, after he suffered a season-ending injury at Fort Scott Community College in Kansas.
The rust showed a bit as the Boll Weevils lost 46-22 to East Central University in Ada, Okla., last Saturday. Morrison threw three interceptions in the game and had one fumble.
“It was the first game that I’ve played in about a year before I injured myself at the JUCO,” Morrison said. “So a little bit of rust.”
Morrison finished the game 38 of 55 with 241 yards, a touchdown and the three picks. He is the first UAM (0-1) quarterback to attempt at least 50 passes in a game since 2004.
“I feel like in the second half, I started to get a little bit more in a rhythm,” Morrison said. “And I felt a little bit more comfortable.
“I got to bounce back this week against Southeastern.”
With 11:13 left in the third quarter against ECU, Morrison completed an 8-yard touchdown pass to Cody Bordelon to trim the deficit to 33-15. Bordelon finished with 12 catches for 128 yards and the touchdown.
“He struggled a little bit,” UAM head coach Hud Jackson said of Morrison’s performance. “He had some interceptions and turnovers which are things we can’t have.
“He got a little bit better in the second half.”
Jackson credited some of the mistakes to it being Morrison’s first game in almost a year.
“It was the first time he got out there really and the bullets were flying a little bit,” Jackson said. “He grew up a lot in the second half and did some positive things.
“He’ll get it right by Saturday.”
Jackson said the game dictated the heavy pass offense, so it doesn’t necessary mean it will happen every game.
Sophomore quarterback Cody Trimble went 3 for 9 in relief of Morrison with 85 yards and an interception.
Morrison, who is 6 feet 7 inches tall, is a transfer from Fort Scott but is originally from Oceanside, Calif. In three games at the JUCO level, Morrison was 14 of 35 for 206 yards.
Morrison will make his UAM debut on Saturday when the Boll Weevils host Southeastern Oklahoma State University at Willis “Convoy” Leslie Cotton Boll Stadium at 6 p.m. in Monticello.
“I’m extremely excited for my first game at UAM,” Morrison said. “I have a bunch of family flying out from California, so it should be a great time.”
Southeastern’s Devlon Wortham piled up 220 yards and three touchdowns on 13 carries while leading the Savage Storm to a 56-50 win over Southern Arkansas in the season opener last week at Paul Laird Field in Durant, Okla.
“They could do a variety of things,” Morrison said. “They have a new defensive coordinator coming in and we saw a little bit of what they did against Southern Arkansas.
“They are going to try to scheme our offense so we are expecting a couple different things.
“We will be prepared.”
SAU’s Tyler Sykora completed 25 passes for 413 yards and four touchdowns against Southeastern’s defense. But he also had three interceptions.
“Mainly we are going through every single look we know we will get,” Morrison said. “We have to keep our tempo high and eliminate the turnovers.
“If we do that we should have a successful weekend.”