The Utah State Aggies rode big plays by USU running back Kerwynn Williams in the fourth quarter to victory in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, defeating the Toledo Rockets 41-15.
The victory is USU's second bowl win ever and caps off the most successful season in the history of Utah State football. The Aggies finish the season with an 11-2 record and a national ranking.
Entering the fourth quarter, USU was nursing a 13-7 lead and Toledo had momentum.
The Rockets marched down the field and entered the red zone early in the fourth, but the USU defense buckled down and forced a turnover on downs at the 8-yard line. On the ensuing play, Williams broke into the secondary, but fumbled the ball and Toledo recovered.
Given his performance from then on out, perhaps he should have fumbled in the first quarter.
Toledo capitalized, scoring a field goal after Williams's fumble. Two plays into USU's next drive, however, Williams ran 63 yards to the end zone and gave USU a two-possession buffer.
Williams wasn't done there. On the following two Aggie possessions, he rushed for two more touchdowns, expanding the lead to 34-9 and making what had been a competitive game look like a blowout. He finished with 18 rushes for 229 yards, averaging 12.7 yards per carry.
The Rockets, attempting a comeback, returned a kickoff return for a touchdown, but failed to convert the 2-point conversion. They also recovered the ensuing onside kick, but failed to score.
Backup running back Joe Hill sealed the win with the fourth Aggie touchdown of the fourth quarter by rushing 24 yards for a score with 1:42 remaining.
The Rockets were held without an offensive touchdown.
At the half, USU led 10-6 in a contest that was defined early by tough defense.
USU sophomore QB Chuckie Keeton converted a 6-yard rush to gain a first down on 3rd-and-6 in the closing minutes of the first quarter. On the ensuing play, the Aggies ran a triple-option to the right. Keeton kept the ball, got past the defense and took it to the house. The Aggies led 7-3 at that point.7 comments on this story
The Aggies added to their advantage just before the half on a 27-yard field goal by USU kicker Nick Diaz. The Aggies drove more than 85 yards in less than 90 seconds but didn't have enough time to score a touchdown. With five seconds to go until halftime, the Aggies elected to kick a field goal rather than risk not scoring at all.
The Rockets drove down the field on their first possession of the game and opened up scoring with a 37-yard Jeremiah Detmer field goal. However, they went scoreless through the rest of the first quarter. Toledo added a second field goal in the second quarter, but was unable to get into the end zone.
The Aggies finish as one of the few teams in college football history to not allow a touchdown in the first quarter in any game this season.