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Utah State football: WAC newcomer UTSA no problem for Aggies

By Danny Sanchez

For deseret news

Published: Saturday, Oct. 27 2012 8:39 p.m. MDT

Utah State receiver Cameron Webb eludes UTSA defender Darrien Starling (24) en route to a touchdown during a USU win Saturday.

Billy Calzada, AP

SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio is a well-known tourist destination, with must-see attractions like the Alamo and Riverwalk conveniently located near the Alamodome.

But for the Utah State Aggies, this was not a vacation. It was a business trip. And the Aggies stuck to their plan and took care of business as quickly and efficiently as they have all year.

Behind the stellar performance of quarterback Chuckie Keeton, who was 27-of-36 for 340 yards and three touchdowns, Utah State (7-2, 3-0) outmanned the UTSA Roadrunners (5-3, 1-2) 48-17 in front of a crowd of 23,519 at the Alamodome.

"We can't sleep on anybody. We have to keep battling every snap, every quarter and every game," said Keeton, a Texas native from nearby Houston. "It's another WAC game and just one step closer to our goal for the year, and that's winning the WAC championship."

Keeton kept the Aggies on track to their best start since 1978 and atop of the WAC with their eighth straight conference win. He spread the wealth, as 12 different receivers caught passes.

For Utah State, the game plan looked eerily similar to its last game, when it scored on their first play from scrimmage.

A blocked punt by Devonta Glover-Wright, the fifth by the Aggies this season, set them up at the UTSA five-yard line. On the second play from scrimmage Keeton hit Dellen Bartlett for a two-yard pass to make it 7-0 at the 12:11 mark.

UTSA would fight back with a 29-yard field from Kristian Sterns, and ended the first quarter down only 7-3.

Then Utah State would go on to score 34 unanswered points, capped by running back Joe Hill's 1-yard run up the middle, making it 41-3 with 11:14 left in the third quarter.

"That's huge. Division I football games are very, very hard to win," Keeton said. "We found that out all last year. Thirty-four unanswered points is a huge thing, not only for the players, but the coaches. It was an amazing game for us."

This was the third consecutive game the Aggies have scored 40 points or more, and their potent offense amassed 522 yards of total offense, their third highest total all year.

They also got 128 yards rushing on 37 carries, with 101 coming from Kerwynn Williams.

"First of all, it's all about the players and it will never be any different for me," Utah State head coach Gary Andersen said about his high-powered offense. "Once you get to, in my opinion, about game seven, you're kind of who you are. Things aren't going to change a lot. If you find an opportunity to take advantage of something as a coaching staff, in my mind, that's what good coaches do."

It was a tough hill to climb for the youthful Roadrunners, who are in their second season of football. They're on a three-game losing streak after the upstart program went 5-0 to start the season.

But facing the stiffest competition on their schedule and missing veteran quarterback Eric Soza to a hip injury has brought the birds back down to earth.

In his place, quarterback Ryan Polite started his second game and was 21-of-36 for 248 yards and one touchdown.

"They had a pretty good defense," Polite said of the Aggies. "They were big and they were fast, but we expected that. We expected to score a little bit more than we did. We just need to execute better."

UTSA managed only 51 yards on 28 carries on the ground, though Evans Okotcha's rushing touchdown was only the second rushing touchdown the Aggies have given up all year. He got that on a 7-yard run up the middle that made it 41-10 with 8:55 left in the third quarter.

For Utah State, this was a welcome trip to the Lone Star State, where they got the win in their first-ever meeting with UTSA. Next week the Aggies will be back at home to host to Texas State University, the other new member to the WAC.

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