Keith Johnson, Deseret Morning News
Utah State defenders gang up to stop Utah receiver Freddie Brown Saturday at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

Losing is never fun. But even as Utah State dropped to 0-5 with its 34-18 loss to Utah, the team is continuing to try to find ways to keep a glass-is-half-full-type of attitude.

"We still keep our heads up. We have to, we can't look down," said defensive back James Brindley. "We have to keep moving forward, hope for the best and keep working hard."

It may still be another notch in the "L" column, but the Aggies had several positives during the game that they can look back upon and build from as they continue to look for that first victory.

Brindley made the first big play of the game, intercepting a Brian Johnson pass and returning it 64 yards to the Utah 1-yard line. Quarterback Leon Jackson III punched it in from there, giving the Aggies the early lead.

After trailing at the half, Jake Hutton added a big interception on the Utes' first possession of the third quarter and at least set up the offense once again deep in Utah territory.

"I was just doing my job," Hutton said. "I dropped back in my zone and saw the ball in the air and picked it off."

Receiver Otis Nelson made his return to Rice-Eccles Stadium, where he played while in high school at Hunter. He made a couple of impact plays, catching three passes for 35 yards, including a 10-yard touchdown catch.

"The defense was kind of worried about getting to the back of the end zone, so Leon kind of talked about it and said, 'Look back shoulder,"' said Nelson. "I just thought I would go make a play for him and he threw a perfect ball."

Another thing that was very evident was that the Aggies never quit. Down 34-10, they kept plugging away and eventually scored on Nelson's touchdown and followed it by recovering an onside kick. With realistically very little chance of getting the win, the effort was still at 100 percent.

"The majority of these guys playing are older, and when the older guys are playing they have a lot more fight in them than a younger kid does," said coach Brent Guy of his players' resolve. "They continue to fight and are upset in the locker room when they lose games. I've always felt that is a good thing before, and I feel like it today."

Not quitting, creating big turnovers and gaining confidence were all characteristics demonstrated by the Aggies. Now, if the team can just take the next step and get its first victory.

"We will keep at it," said Nelson. "We can learn from our mistakes and grow from them and maybe then we can get that win."

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