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Utah State football: Aggies demonstrate backbone in beatdown of Wyoming

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 12 2011 9:23 p.m. MDT

Wyoming defensive end Josh Biezuns (44) tackles Utah State running back Robert Marshall during their NCAA college football game on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011, in Logan Utah.

AP Photo/The Herald Journal, Eli Lucero

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LOGAN — Headed into last week's game with Wyoming the question surrounding Utah State football was whether the team was mentally tough enough to shake off three discouraging losses and avoid letting the entire season go down the drain. This week, after an emphatic 63-19 beatdown of Wyoming, the Aggies believe they have answered that question.

"A lot of people have asked about the confidence of this football team; this is a confident team," said offensive coordinator Dave Baldwin. "I don't think the three losses destroyed us at all; I think it made us tougher. I think we showed our character in this last game.

"Coach Andersen has said all along that this is a tough football team. We dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides, and that's how you win football games. It was a big win for us to get on the right track."

RECORD BREAKER: With 305 yards against the Toronto Argonauts on Monday in Montreal, former Aggie quarterback Anthony Calvillo became professional football's all-time leading passer.

Calvillo brought his career passing yards to 72,429 to pass Damon Allen in the CFL record books and all of pro football, having passed NFL record holder Brett Favre's 71,838 earlier this season.

The 1993 Las Vegas Bowl MVP has played in the Canadian Football League since graduating from Utah State in 1994 and has been the star of the Montreal Alouettes since 1998.

In his 17-year career Calvillo has set CFL records in career passing yards, career passing touchdowns (415), career completions (5,370), career yards thrown in Grey Cup games (2,470) and most completions in a regular season game (44).

The Alouettes have clinched a playoff spot and will aim to defend their Grey Cup title this season and claim their fourth championship with Calvillo at quarterback when the CFL playoffs begin in November.

CHUCKIE STIKES AGAIN: Current Aggie quarterback Chuckie Keeton was named the WAC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance against Wyoming.

Keeton tied the team record — last matched by Calvillo — of five passing touchdowns in a game and finished 16-21 throwing for 228 yards and added 44 yards on four rushes.

The award was Utah State's first WAC Player of the Week of the 2011 season and the first time an offensive player had been given the award since Robert Turbin in November of 2009. For the season Keeton has thrown for 800 yards and nine touchdowns without a single interception while adding another 194 yards rushing.

"It's the closest our O-line has gotten to make Chuckie perfect," said Baldwin. "If you watch the film, you can see that Chuckie only had to scramble one time. It was more of a 7-on-7 feeling for him, rather than moving in the pocket and throwing quickly. Our line dominated and gave him time to throw the ball."

GETTING HEALTHIER: After losing seemingly half the team to injury last year, this year's Aggie squad has maintained good health and should have everyone available for the WAC opener at Fresno State on Saturday.

"Kerwynn (Williams) is fine. He practiced yesterday, he ran around. He's had ankle problems, but he's fine. Our right tackle (Eric Schultz) had hand surgery, but he's fine. He'll be released to play later this week," said Baldwin.

If Schultz is limited on Saturday Tanner Richins is expected to step in at tackle.

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