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USU football: Kerwynn Williams' career night lifts Utah State past Colorado State, 31-19

By Doug Hoffman

For the Deseret News

Published: Sunday, Sept. 23 2012 2:41 p.m. MDT

Colorado State defender Austin Gray, top, drills Utah State receiver Matt Austin jarring the ball loose during their NCAA college football game in Fort Collins, Colo., Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012. Gray was penalized for unnecessary roughness on the play. Utah State won 31-19.

The Fort Collins Coloradoan, Rich Abrahamson, Associated Press

Senior running back Kerwynn Williams rushed for a career-high 205 yards and scored two touchdowns to lead Utah State to a 31-19 road win against Colorado State Saturday night at Hughes Stadium.

Utah State continued its stellar play on defense as it has now out-scored its opponents 51-0 in the first quarter this year after leading 10-0 tonight following the first 15 minutes. The team has not allowed a first-half touchdown as the Aggies have a 65-9 scoring advantage in the first-half this year.

With the win, Utah State improves to 3-1, which is its best start to a season since the 1978 team won its first five games of the year. USU also snapped a four-game losing streak to CSU as the series is now 36-31-2 in favor of the Rams. USU has now won eight of its last 10 games dating back to 2011, including four of its last five on the road.

Williams, who recorded his second-career 100-yard rushing game and his first this year, carried the ball a career-high 21 times highlighted by a career-long 58-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. Williams now has 10 career rushing touchdowns after his first-career multi-touchdown game.

Utah State finished the game with 440 yards of total offense (262-rushing, 178-passing) and had 24 first downs that translated into possessing the ball for 31:04 of the game. USU also converted a season-best 10 third downs on 17 attempts.

Williams scored Utah State’s first touchdown of the game with 9:52 to play in the first quarter on a 26-yard run to cap an 8-play, 77-yard drive. Junior placekicker Josh Thompson made the score 10-0 later in the first-quarter on a 20-yard field goal after the Aggies’ 9-play, 45-yard drive stalled at the 1-yard line.

Utah State extended its lead to 17-0 in the second quarter as sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton connected with senior wide receiver Matt Austin for a 1-yard touchdown pass on fourth down. USU’s scoring drive covered 85 yards in 19 plays and took 7:46 off the clock. For USU, those 19 plays were the most in a drive since at least the 2004 season, according to available records. The drive was also its longest in terms of possession time since 2007.

Colorado State scored back-to-back field goals in the third quarter to get within 17-6 before Williams extended the Aggies advantage on his 58-yard scoring run. CSU scored its first touchdown of the game early in the fourth quarter but failed on its two-point conversion to make the score 24-12.

Utah State’s final touchdown of the night came on a 15-yard run by sophomore running back Joe Hill, his fourth rushing touchdown of the season, to up USU’s advantage to 31-12 midway through the fourth quarter. The Rams added another touchdown with 1:43 to play on a 29-yard pass play to make the final score 31-19.

Defensively, Utah State was led by senior safety McKade Brady, who tied his season-high with 10 tackles for his fifth-career double-figure tackle outing. Sophomore linebacker Zach Vigil added seven tackles and had career-highs with three tackles for loss and two sacks, while senior cornerback Will Davis had three pass breakups to go along with four tackles.

Colorado State finished the game with 331 yards of total offense (224-passing, 107-rushing), most of which came in the second half as USU limited the Rams to just four first-half first downs and 61 yards on 27 plays in the first half.

After back-to-back road games, Utah State returns home to host UNLV on Saturday, Sept. 29, in its annual Homecoming game. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.

Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.

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