Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Young gun Chuckie Keeton quarterbacks Aggies to victory
Tom Smart, Deseret News
BOISE, Idaho — It didn’t take long for Chuckie Keeton to get a lot of things accomplished in Utah State’s 41-15 win over Toledo in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Not only did the sophomore quarterback put the Aggies ahead for good with a 62-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, he also put his name in the record books before the half was complete — surpassing Jose Fuentes and establishing new single-season USU bests for completions (275) and passing yards (3,373).
“Chuckie has the ability to make that special play when things aren’t going so well,” said USU coach Gary Andersen. “Chuckie was very solid in his performance. In my opinion, (he’s) an elite quarterback and he will be an elite quarterback in the nation next year.”
Keeton capped off the best season in program history by completing 21-of-31 passes for 229 yards. He also rushed for 92 yards in quarterbacking the Aggies to their first bowl victory since 1993.
His best, however, may be yet to come.
“I’ve got two more years. Hopefully we can try and get a better one,” Keeton said. “But we’ve still got to worry about today. We’re happy about this one tonight.”
After capping the season with an 11-2 record, Keeton added that he couldn’t be happier for the seniors.
In turn, the graduating class expressed gratitude for Keeton and his leadership. Senior running back Kerwynn Williams, the bowl MVP who rushed for 235 yards and three touchdowns, predicts even bigger things out of Keeton in the years ahead.
“I expect great things from him in the future,” Williams said. “He’s a very mature player and I only expect him to grow.”
Before taking his turn holding the bowl trophy, Keeton credited his teammates for making things work out after a sluggish start. The Aggies led 10-6 at halftime and 13-6 at the end of three quarter quarters before erupting for 28 points over the final 15 minutes.
“The emotions were definitely high in this game,” Keeton said, while acknowledging that the offense didn’t really get off to a great start. “ ... In the second half excitement got way up there. Kerwynn ran his behind off and we’re grateful to have this offense.”
The production teamed with a solid defensive effort as USU capped off its record-setting campaign in style.
“It’s just great to have this team win,” Keeton said. ”This is definitely a team win today.”
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