LOGAN — Utah State finished the season perfect at home as it routed San José State 62-24 on senior night at Logan.
"A lot of teams get tired this time of year. They get physically tired. They get mentally tired. Our guys kcontinue to drink the Kool-Aid," said head coach Matt Wells after the game. "I'm just happy that we were able to send the seniors out the right way and were able to win. Going 6-0 at Maverik was a goal of ours."
"That was our goal at the beginning of the season to be 6-0 at home, and we accomplished that," said sophomore quarterback Jordan Love. "It's a testament to how fun it is to play at home. We've got a good crowd out there."
"First and foremost, I just want to say thank you to all the people who come out and support us," said senior safety Jontrell Rocquemore. "It means so much to us. It's not just the 6-0, it's going home and really protecting our home turf."
This is only the fourth time in Utah State history that the Aggies have been perfect in Logan. It also broke its single-game total offense record with 804 yards, a mark previously set just a couple of weeks ago against New Mexico. Another record fell on Saturday as Utah State beat its old single-season touchdown record of 60 before halftime, and the Aggies have two games left in the regular season.
Love set a new personal record with 491 yards passing and five touchdowns with one more on the ground for good measure. "It's just a really fun thing to be a part of to be able to do stuff like that every week," said Love. "It's a testament to what we do every week."
Running back Darwin Thompson also had a huge game with 140 yards rushing and a rushing touchdown to go along with 115 yards receiving and two touchdowns receiving, including an 88-yard TD reception.
"It's crazy because we go up against them every day in practice," said Rocquemore. "Watching them in action, still I'm like what is going on?"
The Aggie defense also had a good night against the Spartans as Tipa Galeai picked up his second interception of the season, which Gerold Bright turned into a 29-yard touchdown the very next play. Senior Deante Fortenberry also had an impressive pick as he tipped the ball to himself.
But it wasn't a completely flawless victory for Utah State. A bizarre sequence happened when punter Taylor Hintze fumbled the snap, picked it up and punted the ball four yards right to Tre Jenkins. Jenkins returned it 42-yards for what must be the easiest punt returned for a touchdown in football history. San José State actually tied the game at 10 with 13:53 left in the first half.
Then Utah State scored five unanswered touchdowns and put the game effectively out of reach.
Of course, it was also an emotional day for Rocquemore and the seniors as they were honored before the game. "I've been here since 2014. I've seen the senior classes go," said Rocquemore. "But now, this is my moment. This is the time that I go out and do this one more time at the Mav. I just try to take it all in and appreciate the moment and be thankful."
Utah State has accomplished several goals this season, but Wells was absolutely clear on what still remained for this team after the game.
"They're all small goals that lead to one. We want to be on a collision course for the Mountain West Conference championship," said Wells. "There's small goals along the way, whether it's beating a rival, putting a Wagon Wheel in here for two straight years. Getting the Rifle back. Going 6-0 at home. Yeah, there's small things like that. But the big picture. The big focus at the end is putting yourself with a chance to win a championship. And then the small focus is who is it each and every week. It will be round seven, Colorado State, on Monday morning."19 comments on this story
And while this is the final regular season game at home for the Aggies, wins against the Rams next week and Boise State the following one would put Utah State in prime position to host the Mountain West Conference Championship Game. But Wells and the Aggies haven't looked ahead all season, and they're not about to start now.
"I'm focused squarely on celebrating this weekend. We're going to play Colorado State next week. If we don't take care of Colorado State, we've got issues," said Wells.