Sept. 2, 2006
LARAMIE, Wyo. - While the Utah State offense struggled, the Aggie defense kept the team in the game before finally wearing out in the fourth quarter as Wyoming posted a 38-7 victory in the season opener for both teams here Saturday afternoon.
USU produced just 129 yards on just 48 plays during the game, while Wyoming ran up 460 yards on 78 plays. The Cowboys scored 21 points in the fourth quarter to put the game away.
The Aggies ran only six plays for zero yards in the first quarter as Wyoming controlled the ball for 12:18. However, USU trailed only 3-0 at the end of the first 15 minutes. Wyoming gained 113 yards on 25 plays, but missed one field goal in the opening period.
By halftime the Aggies had 21 plays for 44 yards, while Wyoming had amassed 218 yards on 42 plays. The Cowboys had recorded 15 first downs to USU's two and owned a time of possession advantage of 18:53 to 11:07.
Despite Wyoming's statistical dominance, Utah State remained in the game thanks to Antonio Taylor's 45-yard interception return for a touchdown late in the second quarter which brought USU to within 10-7 at the half.
The score remained 10-7 until the Cowboys scored with :24 left in the third period to push their lead to 17-7. That score was the first of four straight possessions Wyoming scored on.
The Aggie offense produced just one offensive play longer than nine yards in the game, when Leon Jackson hit Kevin Robinson on a 33-yard pass in the fourth quarter. The Aggies threw for just 74 yards in the game, while rushing for just 55 more.
Marcus Cross made his debut at tailback for the Aggies and rushed 11 times for 44 yards. Robinson was the receiving leader catching two for 41 yards. Devon Hall and Jake Hutton each had nine tackles for USU.
Utah State will play at Arkansas on Saturday, Sept. 9. There is no television scheduled for that game. The Aggies' first home game will be Sept. 16 against Utah.
UTAH STATE POSTGAME NOTES at Wyoming, Sept. 2, 2006
* - Several Aggies made their first career starts today. On defense, CB Drew Pearson, S Caleb Taylor, LB Daryl Fields, and DE Darby Golden all started for the first time. On offense it was TB Marcus Cross, OT Shawn Murphy and OT Taylor Wallace.
* - Antonio Taylor's 45-yard interception return for a touchdown in the second quarter was the first by an Aggie since Toriano Taulogo returned one 44 yards vs. New Mexico State in 2004. It was also Taylor's third career interception.
* - USU played six freshmen in the game, including three true freshmen in S James Brindley, LB Paul Igboeli, and WR Xavier Bowman. The redshirt freshmen included DE Darby Golden, OT Taylor Wallace and DL Alan Bishop. Both Golden and Wallace were starters in their first collegiate games.
* - With the new rules involving the clock, Utah State ran 48 offensive plays, while Wyoming ran 78. Last year the Aggies averaged 68 plays per game, while the opponent ran 70.
* - QB Leon Jackson had thrown 64 passes without an interception dating back into last year before Wyoming returned one for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
* - USU scored its fewest points since losing 35-3 at Alabama last year.
* - USU has now lost nine straight season openers.
* - The last time USU failed to score an offensive touchdown was in a 21-0 loss at Middle Tennessee in 2004.
* - The last time USU failed to reach double-digits in first downs was when the Aggies netted just eight at Kansas State in 1999 (USU had seven today).
* - USU's 129 yards of total offense was its fewest in a game since recording 82 yards at Illinois in 1989.
* - WR Kevin Robinson has now caught at least two passes in 18 consecutive games.
* - WR Tony Pennyman had caught at least four passes in 10 straight games before catching just two today.
* - Utah State had just one turnover today (Interception), marking the fourth straight game dating back to last season that USU has had just one turnover in a game.
* - The 74 passing yards by Utah State is its fewest since throwing for just 48 yards against UNLV during the 1990 season. USU won that game 31-6.
* - The 55 rushing yards by Utah State is its fewest since rushing for just 44 yards at Fresno State last year.
* - Utah State had the ball for just 24:02 today, which is the shortest time of possession in a game since Sept. 11, 2004 against Idaho (23:03). The 48 offensive plays by USU is its fewest since the 1991 season (records do not go back further).
* - USU's 10 punts were its most since it had 10 at Middle Tennessee in 2004.
* - USU's 10 completions were its fewest since completing nine at Idaho during the 1999 season.
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