SAN JOSE, Calif. - Nine Aggies combined for a school-record 13 sacks, senior running back Kerwynn Williams scored three rushing touchdowns and sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton had four total touchdowns (3-pass, 1-rush) in leading Utah State to a convincing 49-27 Western Athletic Conference road win against San Jose State here Saturday afternoon at Spartan Stadium.
Overall, the Aggies scored touchdowns on its first four possessions of the game to record its largest road win since a 34-7 victory at North Texas in 1999.
Utah State improves to 5-2 on the season and 1-0 in league play with the win as USU has now won six-straight WAC games dating back to last season. USU has also won five of its last seven road games, including each of its last three in WAC play. Overall, USU has now won 10 of its last 13 games dating back to the 2011 season, which is its best stretch since the 1972 and 1973 teams combined for a 10-3 record during a 13-game stretch.
San Jose State had its four-game winning streak halted and falls to 4-2 overall and 0-1 in the WAC with the loss.
Utah State's defense set the tone for the game on the very first play as junior linebacker Jake Doughty sacked Spartan quarterback David Fales. Junior defensive lineman Connor Williams, junior cornerback Nevin Lawson, redshirt freshman linebacker Kyler Fackrell and redshirt freshman defensive lineman Jordan Nielsen all had a career-high two sacks in the game. Aggies with one sack against SJSU included senior linebacker Bojay Filimoeatu, senior defensive lineman Al Lapuaho, junior defensive lineman A.J. Pataiali'i, and sophomore linebacker Zach Vigil, along with Doughty.
Despite getting sacked on the first play of the game, San Jose State drove down to the Utah State 8-yardline before settling for a 25-yard field goal, marking the first time this year USU has allowed any points in the first quarter.
Utah State's first touchdown of the game came on a 17-yard pass from Keeton to senior wide receiver Chuck Jacobs midway through the first quarter after driving 86 yards in 13-plays, taking 4:10 off the clock. On its next series, Keeton hit senior wide receiver Matt Austin with a 5-yard pass as USU drove 53 yards in just four plays, using 57 seconds. The Aggies' third touchdown of the game came on the first play of its next series as Williams scored from 50 yards out. And USU's final touchdown of the first-half was on a 21-yard pass from Keeton to junior wide receiver Travis Van Leeuwen as USU drove 50 yards in 6-plays, taking 2:29 off the clock.
San Jose State then scored 17 points on its final three possessions of the second quarter to make the halftime score 28-20 in favor of Utah State as the Aggies now hold a 116-42 scoring advantage in the first half this year, including a 68-3 margin in the first quarter.
Williams got Utah State going in the third quarter as he scored from 86 yards out to give the visitors a 35-20 advantage. That 86-yard burst by Williams was the eighth-longest rush in school history and the longest since Robert Turbin had a school-record 96-yard run at Utah in 2009. On its next series, Keeton scored on a 28-yard run to cap an 8-play, 68-yard drive to make the score 42-20 with 9:55 to play in the third quarter.
San Jose State scored its only points of the second half late in the third quarter on a 4-yard touchdown pass from Fales to Noel Grisby, but the Spartans could not get any closer as Williams added his third touchdown run of the game from 12 yards out late in the fourth quarter to make the final score 49-27.
Williams finished the game with 176 rushing yards on just 15 carries (11.7 ypc) as he had scoring runs of 50, 86 and 12 yards. For Williams, it was his third 100-yard rushing game of the season and the fourth of his career. His three rushing touchdowns were also a career-high as he now has six rushing touchdowns this year and 13 in his career.
Keeton was 26-of-35 passing for 273 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions as those 26 completions are a career-high. For Keeton, it was his eighth-career 200-yard passing game and the third time he has thrown at least three touchdown passes in his career. Keeton also had 47 yards rushing on six carries including his 28 yard touchdown run, his first of the season.
Austin had a team-high six catches for 93 yards, including his fourth touchdown reception of the season and 10th of his career. In all, 10 Aggies caught passes in the contest.
For the game, Utah State had 485 yards of total offense (273-passing, 212-rushing) and averaged 8.2 yards per play, despite possessing the ball for just 21:36 and running just 59 offensive plays.
David Fales was 38-of-50 passing for 467 yards with three touchdowns to lead San Jose State as the Spartans finished with 471 yards of total offense (467-passing, 4-rushing). The Spartans ran 92 plays in the game (32 more than USU) had controlled the ball for 38:24.
Along with its school-record 13 sacks, Utah State also limited San Jose State to four net yards rushing to rank tied for the 14th-fewest rushing yards in a game in school history.
Along with his career-high two sacks, Fackrell also tied his career-high with 11 tackles (7-solo) to go along with a forced fumble and fumble recovery. Senior safety McKade Brady added 10 tackles (6-solo) for his fourth double-digit tackle outing of the season and the seventh of his career. Vigil also tied his career-high in tackles for the fourth time this season with 10.
Utah State returns to action on Saturday, Oct. 20 when it hosts WAC foe New Mexico State (1-5, 0-2) at 1 p.m. The game will be televised regionally on KMYU TV.
Texas State 38, Idaho 7
San Marcos, Texas – It was a joyous homecoming for the Texas State football team, as it won its first ever Western Athletic Conference game, 38-7, over Idaho Saturday night at Bobcat Stadium. With the win, the Bobcats improved to 3-3 overall and 1-0 in conference play.
The Bobcats controlled the game early on, outgaining Idaho 265-165 in the first half. Texas State opened the scoring when Rutherford connected with Andy Erickson on a 31-yard touchdown pass for Erickson's third touchdown reception in as many games.
Rutherford extended the lead to 14-0 midway through the second quarter when he scampered in from eight yard on a 4th-and-1. It was Rutherford's second rushing score of the year. He finished the game with 85 yards rushing on 15 attempts.
Idaho pulled within seven with five minutes to go in the second quarter when James Baker had a three-yard plunge to cap a four-play, 70-yard drive.
Will Johnson attempted a 52-yard field goal right before the half, but it went wide right, as the Bobcats took a 14-7 lead into the intermission.
Texas State came out in the second half on fire, forcing a three-and-out on two of Idaho's first three possessions of the second half. After the first three-and-out by the Bobcat defense, Andy Erickson returned the ensuing punt to the 49-yard line of Idaho and six plays later, Terrence Franks extended the Bobcat lead, with a five-yard run for his first touchdown of the year.
On the Bobcats' next drive, Jaifus Gaines made a highlight catch going up in traffic down the right seam, and coming down with the ball at the Idaho 24. Following two holding calls, it was 3rd-and-30 when Terrence Franks had a 32-yard catch-and-run on a screen pass to the Vandal 14. The drive ended with a 35-yard field goal by Johnson, to give the Bobcats a 24-7 advantage.
Marcus Curry cemented the game for the Bobcats with a 24-yard run up the middle for his first touchdown of the day. It gave Texas State a 31-7 lead.
The final score of the game came on Duke DeLancellotti's first action of the season. The first-year quarterback for Texas State ran it in from six yards for a final score of 38-7.
The Bobcats will have a week off before returning to action, Saturday, Oct. 27, at San Jose State. It is the team's first road conference game of the year.
Rice 34, UTSA 14
HOUSTON — Charles Ross rushed for 117 of Rice’s season-high 301 yards and the Owls handed UTSA its first loss of the season, 34-14, on Saturday before 28,677 fans at Rice Stadium.
Rice (2-5), which rolled up 214 of its rushing yards in the second half, used the ground game to snap the Roadrunners’ (5-1) program-record six-game winning streak dating back to the final game of the 2011 campaign.
Ross needed just 16 carries to accumulate his season-best total, while quarterback Taylor McHargue added 68 and a pair of touchdowns on seven attempts.
The Owls compiled an opponent season-high 483 yards on 81 plays (58 rush/23 pass) and held UTSA to a season-low 239 and 13 first downs.
“Rice played very well today," UTSA head coach Larry Coker said. "We’ve been able to create turnovers all season, but we really weren’t able to do that today. Give them credit because they took care of the football and made some plays while we weren’t. We had a tough time stopping their running game and they rushed for over 300 yards. You’re not going to win many games that way."
A pair of first-quarter Chris Boswell field goals staked Rice to a 6-0 lead and it marked the first time the Roadrunners trailed after the first stanza in eight games (3-0, at McNeese State, Nov. 12, 2011).
The Owls used a trick play to extend their lead to 13 when Luke Turner took a pitch on a lateral and threw downfield to Donte Moore, who snagged the ball near the right sideline for a 38-yard touchdown reception.
After starting QB Eric Soza was forced out of the game for a series with a right leg injury with 10 minutes left in the second quarter, Ryan Polite came on in relief and led the Roadrunners on the final 14 plays of a 16-play, 87-yard scoring drive that was capped by a 20-yard field goal by Kristian Stern.
Rice opened the second half with a 12-play, 75-yard drive — all of which came on the ground — that resulted in a 1-yard scoring plunge by Turner Peterson, which made it 20-3.
After a 44-yard TD scamper by McHargue pushed the lead to 24, Soza found David Glasco II in the flat on a screen pass and he raced 36 yards to paydirt. A pass interference call on the initial two-point conversion attempt gave UTSA a second try and Glasco II found the end zone to pull the Roadrunners to within 16 at 27-11 with 5:30 remaining in the third stanza.
Erik Brown then picked off his team-leading fourth pass of the year and Stern drilled a 35-yard field goal to draw UTSA to within 27-14 with a little more than a quarter left to play. It marked the UTSA's 12th score off 17 opponent turnovers this season.
Rice answered and put the game away with an 11-play, 72-yard scoring drive that was finished off with a 3-yard option keeper by McHargue.
Soza finished 10-for-23 for 113 yards and a TD, while Glasco II had team highs of 41 receiving yards and 32 rushing yards.
Meanwhile, Brandon Reeves led the Roadrunners with 12 tackles (six solos), while Steven Kurfehs, Nic Johnston and Triston Wade added nine apiece.
"I told our team, 'It’s not about what happens to you, it’s what you do about what happens to you,'" Coker said. "We’ve got to get in the film room, correct some things, grow up and press on."
Saturday was the first meeting between the two schools and UTSA will join Rice as a member of Conference USA next fall.
The Roadrunners return home next Saturday, Oct. 20, to host San Jose State (4-2, 0-1 WAC) for Homecoming. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. and the game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN3.
Texas A&M 59, Louisiana Tech 57
SHREVEPORT, LA - No. 22-ranked Texas A&M scored the first 27 points of the game and then withstood a furious comeback to hang on and defeat No. 23 Louisiana Tech 59-57 before 40,453 fans at Independence Stadium late Saturday night.
The Bulldogs (5-1) had two different opportunities to tie the game on two-point plays in the final quarter, including one with 38 seconds to play in the game, but the Aggies (5-1) escaped Shreveport with the win, snapping LA Tech's 12-game regular season winning streak.
Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel proved as good as advertised as the freshman passed for 396 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for another 181 yards and three more scores, including a 72-yard run with only 2:04 to play that gave the Aggies a 59-44 lead.
"He is a very special player," said Tech head coach Sonny Dykes. "We knew coming in he was going to be hard to stop. We had a hard time adjusting to his speed early in the game. I thought our guys got more settled in and made some adjustments and made some plays in the second half. We just couldn't stop him in critical situations. That's what good players do, they make plays."
Manziel wasn't the only signal caller that brought their A-game as Bulldog senior Colby Cameron completed 44-of-59 passes for a career-high 448 yards and five touchdowns without throwing an interception. Cameron tossed two touchdowns - a 62-yarder to Quinton Patton and a 13-yard toss to Ray Holley - in the final two minutes of the game to give the Bulldogs one final shot to tie it.
However, following the touchdown to Holley, Cameron's two-point conversion pass to RP Stuart was high and the Aggies sealed the victory by recovering the onside kick and running out the clock.
"They kept playing," said Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin. "Both teams made some plays. You have to give (Louisiana Tech) credit. They average those points for a reason. They are well coached and have players. It took our best effort to get out of here with a win.
"That's a good football team. We needed to get out of here and get back home. We were lucky to get out of here. It was a great game."
"I thought our guys played incredibly hard," Dykes said. "I think any time a team faces the adversity we faced and battles, it is a credit to them. We didn't start the game out well, but our guys kept battling and battling and battling and had a chance to win the football game."
Cameron had plenty of help from his No. 1 target in carving up a Texas A&M defense that entered the game ranked among the nation's best. Patton tied the LA Tech single game record with 21 receptions for a career-high 232 yards and a career-high four touchdown receptions, covering 11, 2, 5 and 62 yards.
The 21 receptions tied Troy Edwards mark set against Nebraska in the season opener in 1998 in a 56-27 loss to the Cornhuskers.
Tech's 57 points were the most since the Bulldogs scored 61 in a victory over Mississippi Valley State in 2000 and it marked the fifth time in six games that LA Tech has eclipsed the 50-point plateau.
Texas A&M started the game off strong, taking a 21-0 lead after one quarter thanks to the arm and legs of Manziel, who found Lekendrick Williams for a 20-yard score and also hit paydirt on a 15-yard run.
After a pair of field goals by the Aggies to open the second quarter and push the lead to 27-0, Tech struck on an 11-yard pass from Cameron to Patton with 5:32 to play in the quarter. However, the Bulldogs momentum was short-lived as Manziel hit Mike Evans on a 75-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage of the following possession to push the lead back out to 34-7.
Kenneth Dixon, who finished the night with 112 yards rushing and two touchdowns for Tech, scored on a six-yard run with 2:55 to play in the second quarter. However, Matt Nelson's extra point was blocked and returned the length of the field by Dustin Harris for two points as the Aggies led 39-13. Nelson ended the half with a 43-yard field goal as Tech trailed 39-16 at the break.
The second half was almost all LA Tech as the Bulldogs scored 41 points and amassed 365 yards of offense following intermission - Tech totaled 615 for the game.
While the Bulldog offense was finding its rhythm, the LA Tech defense played much better, including forcing the only turnover of the game when Shakeil Lucas intercepted Manziel and returned it five yards for a touchdown, making the score 46-44 with 11:59 to play in the game. After Tech's game-tying two-point conversion attempt failed, Texas A&M scored two touchdowns to push the lead back out to 59-44 with just over two minutes to play before Cameron directed the final two scoring drives to give the Bulldogs a chance to tie.
Jamel Johnson led Tech's defense with 12 tackles while Chip Hester added eight stops and Lucas chipped in with seven tackles and his first career interception.
As a team, LA Tech amassed 37 first downs and 615 total yards of offense, including 450 passing and 165 rushing. Texas A&M recorded 27 first downs and 678 total yards of offense - 395 passing and 283 rushing.
Tech returns to action Saturday when the Bulldogs host Idaho at 6 p.m. at Joe Aillet Stadium in its Western Athletic Conference opener.