LOGAN — It’s becoming a routine for Utah State football. Another week, another blowout of a conference foe and another milestone reached.
Behind a huge first half from quarterback Chuckie Keeton, Utah State (8-2, 4-0 WAC) thrashed Texas State (3-5, 1-2) 38-7 in front of 17,222 fans at Romney Stadium. The win secured the Aggies their eighth victory of the season for the 10th time in school history and the first time since 1974.
“It’s great to hit these milestones,” USU head coach Gary Andersen said. “It’s an exciting time for everybody that’s associated with Aggie football."
Sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton led the Aggies to another day of explosive offense. Keeton finished 20 of 27 for 316 yards and four touchdowns, with another 48 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Matt Austin, Kellen Bartlett, Travis Reynolds and Bruce “JoJo” Natson were on the receiving end of Keeton’s touchdown tosses.
All five of Keeton’s touchdowns came in the first half, putting the Aggies up 35-0 at the break. Utah State has been getting off to hot starts all season and has now outscored opponents 206-45 in the first half and 103-6 in the first quarter.
Running back Kerwynn Williams didn’t score, but did run for 129 yards on 19 carries, putting him over 1,000 yards rushing on the season. Williams is the 11th Aggie in school history to hit the 1,000-yard mark on the ground in a single-season and also went over the 2,000-yard mark for his career.
“I can’t say enough about Kerwynn Williams and what he’s meant to this program,” Andersen said. “For him to get to a 1,000 yards is a great thing."
After netting 35 points in the first half, the Aggies would only score on a 48-yard Nick Diaz field goal in the second half. The team narrowly missed hitting the 40-point mark for what would have been a school record fourth-consecutive game.
On the other side of the ball it was the best all-around game for the Aggie defense, which gave up only nine first downs and 158 total yards. The Bobcats picked up four of their first downs and 63 of those yards on the first drive of the game before the Aggie defense put the clamps down. USU cornerback Will Davis ended the drive with an interception in the end zone and Texas State would only run three plays in Utah State territory the rest of the game. The 158 total yards were the fewest allowed by Utah State since 2008, while the 76 passing yards were the lowest since 2000.
The only points allowed by the Aggies allowed came after the Bobcats took the ball over at the USU 6-yard line following a Keeton interception.
“It took them the first drive to get used to the speed. After that I thought It was not good — it was great defense — and that’s their expectation level. It was very impressive,” Andersen said.
After 10 straight weeks of games the Aggies have a bye next week. Utah State’s next game will be in Ruston, La. on Nov. 17 for a showdown with the Top-25 ranked Louisiana Tech Bulldogs.
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.
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