After a 36-year drought, the Aggies were ready for a change. Utah State hadn't beat BYU in Provo since 1978, but that all changed Friday night with a 35-20 win over the Cougars.
With that, it's time to hand out the report card for Utah State.
Darell Garretson could do no wrong. The sophomore quarterback was nearly perfect on the night, throwing for 321 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions. He picked the Cougars' secondary apart all night long and threw the deep ball with pin-point accuracy. Garretson did his part on the ground as well, rushing for a touchdown early in the game.
The Aggies had struggled to run the ball all year, but that changed Friday night, surprisingly due to the presence of linebacker Nick Vigil. Vigil's physicality, athleticism and strength paid off on the offensive side of the ball as he ran for 57 yards and a touchdown.
Hunter Sharp had a huge game receiving, catching five passes for 173 yards and a touchdown. Devonte Robinson added 98 yards and two touchdowns.
Overall, the Aggies were flawless offensively, putting up 457 yards of total offense. Garretson found a groove early on, and Vigil made sure BYU's defense stayed honest.
The Aggies' defense had a tough matchup on its hands as it faced Heisman-hopeful Taysom Hill. Hill played nearly the entire first half before fracturing his leg during a tackle. During the first half, the Aggies held Hill to 99 yards passing and 35 yards rushing. Hill scored two touchdowns before he left the game.
After Hill left the game, backup quarterback Christian Stewart came in to try to lead the Cougar offense, but Utah State's defense was too stingy. The Aggies kept constant pressure on Stewart, which resulted in several turnovers.
The defense snatched three interceptions from Stewart and recovered a fumble early in the game for four forced turnovers in the game.
The Aggies allowed 425 yards of total offense from the Cougars, but key stops on third and fourth downs, as well as forcing four turnovers, kept the Cougars out of the end zone. From the defensive front to the secondary, the Aggies looked sharp.
Place-kicker Nick Diaz made all five of his extra point attempts, something that hasn't been automatic for him as of late. Kicker Jake Thompson missed a field goal from 45 yards out, but four of his six kickoff attempts went for touchbacks, which kept BYU returner Adam Hine from having any impact on the game.
Punter Jason Betrude punted seven times for 270 yards, and while he didn't have any mind-blowing punts, the consistency was huge for Utah State as BYU had to start most drives in its red zone.
The kicking game can always improve, as field goals can be crucial in a close game. Being able to trust a kicker to put points on the board is vital going forward. The Aggies aren't quite there yet, and luckily for them, the game wasn't close enough for it to matter much.
It was clear from the start of the game that Utah State was extremely well coached. Matt Wells had a solid game plan, which offensively was to attack BYU's suspect secondary, and that resulted in tremendous success in the passing game.
Having Vigil play running back for some of the game was an extremely smart decision. The sophomore linebacker gave the Aggies a much-needed physical edge to their running game, which opened up the pass game for Garretson.
Overall, the coaching was exceptional on both sides of the ball, and it never felt like the Aggies were letting up in the game, even with a big lead. They kept the foot on the gas and continued to pressure the Cougars until the clock hit zero.
MVP of the game
While Nick Vigil was amazing on both sides of the ball, the MVP goes to Darell Garretson. The sophomore quarterback was near perfect, scoring four total touchdowns on the night. His accuracy was tremendous and gave the Cougars' defense no room for mistakes. Despite the loss of Chuckie Keeton earlier this year, the Aggies have a great quarterback going forward, who has shown he can fill Keeton's shoes.
The Aggies played a phenomenal rivalry game against a tough, ranked football team. A win against the Cougars in Provo gives Utah State the momentum that it needs going forward to gear up to compete for a Mountain West Conference title. Its next game is on Oct. 11 against Air Force.
You can follow Mitch Kunzler on Twitter at @MitchKunzler.