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Good defense not enough to keep BYU from victory over Utah State

October 7th, 2012 Posted in Sports

By Curtis Lundstrom

PROVO — The Old Wagon Wheel. The Beehive Boot. Bragging Rights.

All three were on the line when the Utah State football team took the field for its game against Brigham Young University Friday at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

But unfortunately for the Aggies, offensive miscues and special teams woes proved fatal as the Cougars’ defense kept USU out of the end zone en route to a 6-3 BYU win.

“You look at the stats and we played against a tremendous defense, obviously,” USU head coach Gary Andersen said. “We’re six weeks into the season and it’s happened week after week after week, but we did not play well enough on the offensive side of the ball to have a chance to win the football game – numbers will speak for that.”

After allowing the Cougars to drive the field at will on their first possession, the Aggie defense dug in and stopped a fourth down conversion to keep BYU off of the scoreboard. The Utah State defense held its own against freshman Taysom Hill and the Cougar offense throughout the entire first half – almost.

With 28 seconds remaining before the intermission, Hill marched the Cougars the length of the field to take the lead on a 3-yard pass to JD Falsev with three seconds remaining for a 6-3 edge after the point-after attempt missed left.

Matters took a turn for the worse for the Aggies when sophomore phenom quarterback Chuckie Keeton fumbled on USU’s opening possession of the second half, giving BYU first and goal from the 9-yard-line.

But the Utah State defense showed its prowess, stuffing the Cougars on four straight plays, including a 16-yard sack on a fake field goal attempt.

“Defensively we knew it was going to be a battle,” Andersen said. “We were going to have to play extremely well to get us into a position to have an opportunity to win the game. We did play well.”

While the defense excelled, the offense struggled against a Cougar defense ranked in the top 10 in the country. The Aggies – looking to defeat both BYU and Utah in the same season for the first time since 1974 — managed just two trips inside the red zone, coming away with a field goal.

Keeton finished 22-of-38 for 202 yards passing, but senior running back Kerwynn Williams was held to 18 yards rushing after back-to-back games of at least 100.

The USU defense has yet to allow any points in the first quarter this season, giving Utah State a 51-0 scoring advantage in the first 15 minutes of games.

“Regardless of rivalry or not, it’s a great in-state game. Besides just winning it’s really hard to win another football game. Utah State has earned the right to call it a rivalry with the way they play, so that’s what it is.”

The Aggies fell to 4-2 with the loss and remained winless in Provo since 1978. Utah State will regroup to begin the conference portion of its schedule starting Oct. 13 with a trip to San Jose State.


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