LOGAN It might be possible for the mood surrounding Utah State football to be worse than it was after the Aggies' 58-10 beating by Utah on Saturday night.
But USU coach Brent Guy can't imagine that would be possible.
"I told them we just hit ground zero," Guy said. "Now I've got to figure a way to get us out of it."
The Aggies with the possible exception of punt coverage were manhandled by the Utes and left Romney Stadium "embarrassed."
On 48 snaps, Utah State managed just 110 yards of total offense. And 42 of those came on a desperation drive in the final minutes against Utah's bench.
"We didn't compete at all period," USU receiver Otis Nelson said. "We let them give it to us."
If not for a couple of gifts from the Utes, the Aggies might have been shut out.
First, Utah's John Peel muffed a punt after the Aggies went three-and-out on their first possession. That eventually resulted in a 9-yard touchdown pass from Sean Setzer to Nelson.
The 7-0 lead Utah State's first lead of the season sent a charge into the crowd and gave them hope for something special.
"After that," Guy said, "we never really were very competitive in the game at all."
The only other Aggie score came as the result of another Utah turnover. Ute quarterback Brian Johnson fired a pass to the sidelines, only to have USU linebacker Paul Igboeli dive in front of the receiver for an interception to open the third quarter.
The Ags were unable to drive into the end zone, though, and settled for a 20-yard Peter Caldwell field goal to make it 30-10.
From that point, it was all Utes.
The Aggies managed just eight total first downs in the game and two of those came as a result of Utah penalties. On 26 carries, USU had only 21 rushing yards hardly the stuff needed to beat a visiting top-25 team.
"That was one of the worst performances, and I take total credit for it as the coach, since I've been here," Guy said.
Sophomore quarterback Diondre Borel, again coming off the bench and splitting time with Setzer, had 23 rushing yards and 62 passing yards. Setzer had 27 passing yards.
Perhaps as telling as anything was USU's dismal 2-of-12 third down conversion rate.
"We did not have any chance to win. They physically dominated us," Guy said. "We never really had any considerable offense."
The effort left Nelson biting his tongue as he tried to chose his words when asked about the offensive showing.
"We're embarrassed," he said.And with Idaho coming to town next week, the Aggies have one last chance to figure out how to move the ball before BYU makes a visit to Romney Stadium.
E-mail: [email protected]