USU, BYU football: Aggies steam to 31-16 victory over Cougars
Aggies dominate stumbling Cougars in Logan
Ravell Call, Deseret News
LOGAN — In the end, Utah State partied like it was 1993.
It marked USU's first win in the series since a 58-56 triumph in October 1993 — and Aggie fans rushed the field to celebrate.
"A tremendous victory for us. It was something we have been looking for, obviously, for a long time," said USU coach Gary Andersen. "Against a quality team, in a packed house, on ESPN, I guess we can call it a rivalry now, huh? We finally got a victory."
Yes, perhaps the rivalry between the pair of in-state teams was reborn.
"It was a nice win for Utah State and their program and their fans," said Cougars' coach Bronco Mendenhall.
BYU suffered its fourth consecutive loss this season, and it's the first time the Cougars have had a four-game losing streak since 1993. Ironically, the fourth setback that season was also courtesy of USU.
BYU is reeling like it's 1973, which is the last time the Cougars opened a season with a 1-4 record.
"This is BYU football. We're better than that," said disappointed true freshman quarterback Jake Heaps, who completed 27-of-55 passes for 270 yards and two interceptions. "Utah State came out and played a great game."
So what went wrong for BYU Friday night? Just about everything. And the Cougars' troubles were similar to the ones in their previous three losses.
Once again, they had trouble scoring, they gave up big plays and they generally looked out-of-sync.
"Just execution," Mendenhall said when asked to explain his team's struggles. "In multiple situations over and over and over again. We continue to need to play more cleanly and more precisely, to move the football and make critical stops when we need to."
And this wasn't a blowout loss to a team with a winning record, like Air Force, Florida State or Nevada. USU entered Friday's contest with a 1-3 record and coming off a humbling 41-7 loss at San Diego State.
By the way, what team is up next for BYU? That would be San Diego State.
The Aggies looked faster, hungrier and more prepared than the Cougars and controlled the game from start to finish.
After taking the opening kickoff, BYU drove to the Utah State 38 but was forced to punt. The Aggies and Cougars then traded punts before quarterback Diondre Borel connected with Xavier Martin on a 79-yard touchdown pass to give USU the early lead, 7-0.
"I don't feel like that was devastating at all," said senior cornerback Brandon Bradley of that play. "It was just a missed assignment. They ended up making a big play on it and they capitalized on our mistake."
Suddenly, the momentum was on USU's side, and it stayed there for the remainder of the contest.
The Cougar offense sputtered and the Aggies took a 10-0 advantage at the end of the first quarter on a 34-yard field goal by Braeden Loveless.
USU increased its lead to 17-0 after a 12-play, 62-yard drive that took 4:35 off the clock and culminated with a one-yard TD run by Borel midway through the second quarter.
For the game, Borel completed 10-of-13 passes for 192 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed 10 times for 68 yards and another TD.
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