LOGAN Utah State's motto heading into Saturday's game with Louisiana Tech was "one more play, anytime, anywhere, anyone."
The Aggies, who suffered their school-record 14th straight loss with a 31-21 setback to the Bulldogs, had moments when one play here and one play there could have made the difference.
"We're a lot better than what our record shows," Utah State quarterback Jase McCormick said. "There are plays that we leave on the field and we just need to make more plays. Me included. We can't blame anyone. We just need to make more plays."
The Bulldogs fumbled three times and recovered all three when at least two of them were there for the Aggies' taking.
On another occasion, the Aggies had a potential interception slip through their fingers when they had the Bulldogs pinned deep.
And, just before the half, the Aggies had a field goal attempt, which could have tied the game at 10, blocked.
Then there were all the missed tackles that are too numerous to count.
Instead of taking another step forward, the Aggies took two more steps back.All of those plays overshadowed Leon Jackson III's 82-yard touchdown pass, a defensive stop on a fourth-and-inches inside the 5 and a nice 12-yard run by Utah State's Derrvin Speight on a fourth-and-two.
LJIII: Jackson had the best game of his career against the Bulldogs two years ago in Logan. He completed 27-of-44 passes for 372 yards, which was third-highest by an Aggie sophomore. The Aggies lost 27-17. Last year, Jackson didn't play after being benched earlier in the year for Riley Nelson.
On Saturday, he was 4-of-5 passing for 19 yards before being benched for a time for McCormick, who was seeing his first action since the Aggies' loss at nationally ranked Hawaii.
Jackson returned in the second quarter and threw an 82-yard touchdown pass to Jacob Actkinson.In split time, he completed 9-of-12 passes for 127 yards.
ANEMIC THIRD QUARTERS: In their last two third quarters, the Aggies have gained a total of 23 yards on 15 plays. Against Tech, they had 2 yards on seven plays, while against Nevada last week, the Aggies had 21 yards on seven plays.
LTU DEFENSE: When the Aggies played Louisiana Tech last year in Ruston, the Bulldogs had the worst defense in the country (119th). This year, they are up to 66th. They are ranked 11th in the country in interceptions with 13.
LIMITED TOUCHES: Utah State's Kevin Robinson touched the ball three times (two rushes, one catch) in the Aggies' opening drive, and he didn't have another reception or rush until the 9:28 mark of the second quarter. He did have a drop, though.
PORTER VS. USU: Tech's Daniel Porter tallied 178 yards on 24 carries against USU in his first career start last year, and this year against the Aggies, he had 129 yards on 22 carries and scored two touchdowns.
CREATING SCORES: After not having one kickoff or punt return for a touchdown last season, the Aggie have three this year (two kickoff, one punt), all by Robinson. In 2005, the Aggies had three returns two by Tony Pennyman and one by Robinson.
DRY STREAK: Earlier this year, the Bulldogs went 198 minutes, 32 seconds (12 quarters) without scoring a touchdown. They scored 12 points against California on Sept. 15 and didn't score another touchdown for nearly a month. They finally scored in the fourth quarter against New Mexico State on Oct. 13.
ROBINSON VS. TECH: Robinson has tallied the two best receiving games of his career against the Bulldogs with 141 yards (2005) and 131 yards (2006). He hasn't had a 100-yard receiving game since. He did come close at Hawaii, with six catches for 97 yards. Saturday, he had six catches for 68 yards and one touchdown.