Utah State, San Jose State Pick Up Wins
SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton threw for 340 yards and three touchdowns and senior running back Kerwynn Williams added 90 rushing yards and two more scores to lead Utah State to an easy 48-17 road win against UTSA here inside the Alamodome Saturday afternoon. For USU, it marked the first time since 1990 that it has scored at least 40 points in three-straight games.
With the win, Utah State improved to 7-2 on the season and 3-0 in Western Athletic Conference play and is off to its best start to a season since the 1978 team also won seven of its first nine games, while its 3-0 conference start is its best since 2000 when that team won its first four Big West Conference games.
Utah State also set a school record with its eighth-straight conference win, bettering the previous mark of seven-straight league wins from 1979 to 1980. Overall, USU has now won five-straight WAC road games dating back to last year and six of its last eight road games overall.
Keeton finished the day completing 27-of-36 passes for 340 yards, to go along with three touchdowns passes in just three quarters of action. For Keeton, those 27 completions are a career-high, while his 340 passing yards are the second-most of his career and his third 300-yard passing game this season. Keeton also moved into a tie for eighth-place all-time at USU along with John Pappas as he now has 30 career touchdown passes, while his 19 scoring strikes this year rank tied for the sixth-most in school history along with Anthony Calvillo.
Williams finished the game with 90 rushing yards on just 13 carries, which included a 68-yard run on the first play of the third quarter. He then scored from 1-yard out two plays later to give USU a 34-3 lead just 51 seconds into the second-half. Williams also scored on a 1-yard run on a fourth down play in the second quarter to cap a 10-play, 71-yard drive to give the visitors a 17-3 advantage with 9:34 left in the first-half. For Williams, it was his third-career multi-touchdown rushing game.
Williams, who also had three receptions for 68 yards in the game, now has 16 career touchdown runs to rank 10th all-time in school history.
Utah State also got a pair of touchdowns from sophomore running back Joe Hill who carried the ball seven times for 21 yards and one score, and added three receptions for 65 yards and another touchdown. Hill’s first score of the game was on a 1-yard run early in the third quarter to give Utah State a 41- 3 advantage, and his second touchdown came late in the third period on a 16-yard reception from Keeton to put the visitors ahead 48-10. Overall, Hill now has five rushing touchdowns and two receiving touchdowns on the season.
Utah State finished the game with 522 yards of total offense (394-passing, 128 rushing) and held the ball for 32:46. USU was also 10-of-17 on third-down, tying its season-high.
Utah State’s special teams made the first big play of the day as junior cornerback Devonta Glover-Wright blocked a UTSA punt that went out of bounds at the 5-yardline on the first series of the game. Two plays later, Keeton hit senior tight end Kellen Bartlett from two yards out to make the score 7-0.
UTSA scored its only points of the first-half on a 29-yard field goal following an interception in the Utah State end zone on a tipped pass from Keeton. In all, the Roadrunners drove 68-yards in 10 plays before stalling at the USU 12.
For Utah State, the scoring drive was just the second allowed in the first quarter this season as it led 7-3 after the first 15 minutes of play Saturday and now holds an 89-6 scoring advantage in the first quarter this year.
Utah State increased its lead to 10-3 early in the second quarter on a 22-yard field goal by redshirt sophomore placekicker Nick Diaz. Williams then scored from 1-yard out, senior wide receiver Cameron Webb scored his first career touchdown on a 29 yard pass from Keeton with 6:44 to play in the half and Diaz added another field goal from 24 yards out to give Utah State a 27-3 halftime lead as USU has now led at the half in eight on its nine games this year.
After scoring 20 points in the second quarter, Utah State added 21 more in the third on Williams’ second 1-yard run of the game to go along with Hill’s two touchdowns as USU scored 41 straight points to put the game away.
UTSA’s first touchdown of the game came midway through the third quarter on a 7-yard run from Evans Okotcha and the final points of the game were scored early in the fourth quarter on a 23-yard pass from Ryan Polite to Cole Hicks to make the final score 48-17.
Redshirt freshman linebacker Kyler Fackrell had a game-high seven tackles, along with junior linebacker Jake Doughty to lead Utah State. Fackrell also intercepted his second pass of the season in the third quarter. Senior cornerback Will Davis also recorded his second interception of the season on the last play of the first-half as USU snared two interceptions in a game for the first time since its 2011 regular season finale at New Mexico State.
UTSA finished the game with 299 yards of total offense (248-passing, 51-rushing).
Utah State returns to action on Saturday, Nov. 3 when it hosts WAC foe Texas State (3-4, 1-1) at 1 p.m. The game will be televised regionally on KMYU TV.
San Jose State 31, Texas State 20
San Jose, Calif. - Trailing 20-17 at halftime, the San Jose State Spartans (6-2, 2-1 WAC) dominate the second half and defeated the Texas State Bobcats 31-20 on Saturday afternoon in Spartan Stadium.
San Jose State controlled the second half of the game on both sides of the ball. Defensively they held the Bobcats to just four first downs, 98 total yards and forced two interceptions.
Quarterback Shaun Rutherford, who led Texas State (3-4, 1-1 WAC) with 70 yards rushing, was kept in check with just 11 yards in the second half. He got 52 of his 130 passing yards in the final 30 minutes, as well, as the Bobcats were held off the scoreboard.
The Spartans scored two touchdowns while wracking up 312 total yards in the second half. They picked up 13 first downs and scored on a 78-yard pass play from Fales to David Freeman and a 32-yard dash from De'Leon Eskridge, who had 134 yards on 25 carries, to take a 31-20 lead with 5:23 to go in the third quarter.
Cullen Newsom led the Spartans with an interception and 10 tackles. Travis Johnson and Keith Smith each made six stops. Johnson had a sack and a tackle for loss. Smith had what turned out to be the game ending interception, when he picked off Rutherford at the 50-yard line with 3:21 to play.
David Freeman, a senior running back from Inglewood, Calif., had five carries for 18 yards including a 10-yard touchdown run to give the Spartans a 10-7 lead with 13:49 to play in the second quarter.
Then, on the Spartans second possession of the third quarter, Freeman ran an out and up, catching the ball on the west sideline and scampered 78-yards for his second touchdown of the day. He becomes the sixth Spartans to have two or more touchdowns in a game this season.
For the third time this season, the nation's most accurate passer, San Jose State's David Fales, tossed for more than 300 yards. He went 26-for-38 for 376 yards and two touchdowns against Texas State.
In addition to his touchdown strike to Freeman, he completed passes to eight other receivers, including a six-yard TD pass to Chandler Jones at the end of the second quarter, which knotted the game at 17-17. Noel Grigsby had six catches, to lead all receivers, and 75 yards. Ryan Otten had a game-high 85 yards on four grabs.
The teams traded scores in the first half. After Austin Lopez capped a 11-play, 65-yard drive for San Jose State with a 20 yard field goal, the Bobcats went for it on fourth and goal from the one and scored to take a 7-3 lead. A David Freeman 10-yard run put the Spartans back in front 10-7 with 13:49 to go before the half.
Rutherford ran for a 45-yard touchdown and a 29-yard field goal put Texas State up 17-10, before Jones' scoring grab. The Bobcats got a field goal with eight seconds to go to take the 20-17 lead into the locker room.
The Spartans next game is at Idaho on November 3. Kickoff, in the Kibbie Dome, is set for 2:00 p.m.