Sept. 3, 2009
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - Matt Asiata rushed for a career-high 156 yards and 19th-ranked Utah amassed 519 yards of total offense as the Utes extended its nation-long winning streak to 15 straight games with a 35-17 win against Utah State here Thursday night in both teams season-opener.
Sophomore RB Robert Turbin led USU's new spread-offense with a career-high 148 rushing yards, including a school-record 96-yard scamper in the second quarter. The 96-yard run tops the previous school record of 95 yards by Percy Hanson in 1920, the Aggies' longest individual record.
Turbin's 148 yards are the most for a USU individual since James Samuals's 159 yards vs. Troy State in 2002. USU ended the game with 221 yards rushing and 342 total yards.
Utah State's first drive of the season was its most impressive as junior college transfer RB Michael Smith ran for 11 yards on its first play, followed by two more on the next play before junior QB Diondre Borel connected with junior WR Stanley Morrison for a 48-yard pass play that gave the Aggies first and 10 on the Utes 18-yardline. Following a false start on its next play, the possession stalled and USU settled for a 29-yard FG by senior PK Chris Ulinski.
Utah State had a chance to extend its early lead as the Aggie defense forced the first turnover of the game on the Utes second play from scrimmage as junior DT Sean Enesi forced an Asiata fumble that was recovered by sophomore LB Bobby Wagner on the Utes 28. However, USU was unable to score as it missed a 48-yard FG.
Following the Aggies' first two possession, Utah quickly changed the momentum of the game as it scored back-to-back TDs on a 65-yard pass play and a 22-yard pass play to make the score 14-3 for the home team.
Utah State then cut the score to 14-10 on Turbin's 96-yard TD run to make the score 14-10 at the end of the first quarter as the Aggies had 179 yards of total offense as compared to 185 for the Utes.
Utah opened the second-half by scoring 12 straight points via an 11-play, 75-yard scoring drive, a safety following a blocked punt, and a 44-yard FG to make the score 26-10. USU ended the half on a positive note following an interception from senior S James Brindley as Borel capped a three-play, seven-yard drive with a 2-yard TD run with :51 remaining in the half to cut the Utes lead to 26-17.
An offensive explosion in the first-half turned into a defensive battle in the second-half as the only points scored after intermission were by the home team as Utah scored a TD midway through the third quarter on a 1-yard TD run by Asiata, and capped the scoring with another safety with :49 to play in the game.
Utah State managed just 120 yards of total offense in the second-half, but limited the Utes to 210 yards.
Brindley led the Aggies with 14 tackles in the game, one shy of his career-high, while Wagner posted a career-high 12 stops.
Following a bye week, Utah State will travel to College Station, Texas to face Texas A&M on Saturday, Sept. 19 at 5 p.m. (MT).
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