LOGAN — Utah State won its sixth game of the season and clinched bowl eligibility Saturday as the Aggies pounded New Mexico State, 41-7, in front of 17,001 fans at Romney Stadium.
Big plays in the first half provided the early fireworks.
It didn’t take long for Utah State to jump out in front on the visitors. Quarterback Chuckie Keeton found Kerwynn Williams with a 76-yard screen pass for a touchdown on the first offensive play from scrimmage to give the Aggies a 7-0 just 22 seconds into the game, and they never looked back.
The big plays didn’t stop there for the blue-clad Aggies. Keeton hooked up with his favorite deep target Chuck Jacobs for a 49-yard bomb on Utah State’s next drive.
To start the second quarter the special teams got involved, blocking a New Mexico State field goal on the first play of the quarter. The block turned the ball over to Utah State at the 24-yard line and set the Aggies up for another 76-yard touchdown on the first play of the drive. This time Keeton did it with his legs, taking a read option the distance.
Williams finished off the scoring for USU in the first half with a 3-yard touchdown run to send the Aggies to the locker room up 28-0.
There weren’t as many big plays in the second half for Utah State, but the Aggies methodically pounded the ball and punished New Mexico State. Kicker Nick Diaz hit two field goals from 53 and 48 yards out in the second half and Keeton added a second rushing touchdown to give the Aggies 13 second-half points.
Keeton threw for 257 yards throwing while rushing 81 rushing. He combined for four total touchdowns. Williams led the Aggies with 82 yards rushing and 94 receiving.
Utah State continues WAC play with a road trip to University of Texas-San Antonio. The Roadrunners to San Jose State, 52-24, Saturday.
Kraig is a 2010 Utah State University graduate and regular Deseret News sports blogger. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or followed on Twitter at DesNewsKraig.