Utah State Suffers Last-Minute 23-20 Loss To San Jose State
Sept. 22, 2007
LOGAN, Utah - For the third time this season Utah State lost a lead late in the football game, as the Aggies fell to San Jose State, 23-20, Saturday night on USU's Homecoming at a damp and rainy Romney Stadium.
In a match-up of 0-3 teams, San Jose State scored a 31-yard TD pass from Adam Tafralis to David Richmond with :53 seconds left and Jared Strubeck's PAT put the Spartans ahead 23-20.
SJSU was flagged for excessive celebration and kicked off from their own 15 into the wind. Strubeck's kick hung in the air and dropped straight down at midfield and was covered up by the Spartans. Tafralis took three knees to run out the clock and give SJSU a win in the Western Athletic Conference opener for both teams.
The last five meetings between the Aggies and the Spartans have been decided by one score in each and a total of 21 points.
SJSU now leads the all-time series, 19-10-1, having won two in a row and 10 of the last 11, and the Spartans now lead 8-7 in games at Logan.
The loss rained on USU's parade for Homecoming games, snapping their two-game Homecoming streak and moving USU to 48-27-2 all-time in its games on Homecoming.
The last minute rally by the Spartans ruined the banner night for USU redshirt freshman Derrvin Speight, who had career-highs of 22 carries for 99 yards and a one-yard TD run with 6:12 to play in the game that put USU ahead, 20-16. Speight's TD capped an eye-bulging 18-play, 92-yard drive that ate 8:23 off the clock, all season longs, in which 17 of the 18 plays were rushes including 10 by Speight for a total of 39 yards.
USU rallied from a 9-0 deficit on an 82-yard kickoff return by senior WR/KR Kevin Robinson, which was his first kick return for a TD since his freshman season of 2004, with a 94-yard return against Louisiana-Monroe. It was Robinson's 23rd career TD, moving him into sole possession of No. 7 on USU's career TD list.
The Spartans rang up 524 yards of total offense, marking the second time in as many games that the Aggie defense yielded over 500 yards after allowing 617 at Oklahoma last week.
Tafralis was 35-of-48 passing for 426 yards with three TDs, but the USU defense picked him off twice, by junior safeties Roy Hurst and Caleb Taylor. It was USU's fifth interception in three games, as the Aggies need just one more to match last season's total of six.
USU's offense mustered 253 yards with 175 on the ground and just 78 through the air. Senior QB/P Leon Jackson III was 11-of-21 and was also picked off twice by SJSU. Jackson did eclipse the 3,000 yard mark of his career with an eight8-yard pass to Robinson at 5:53 of the first quarter, becoming the 10th player in USU history to reach that milestone.
Robinson had a season-high 276 all-purpose yards on the night, as he had also had a 53-yard punt return.
Defensively, USU was led by junior LB De'von Hall's game-high tying 11 tackles, including one tackle for loss and one pass break-up.
The Aggies play their final non-conference game next Saturday, Sept. 29, when they head to Salt Lake City to tangle with in-state foe Utah. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Tickets are still available through the USU Ticket Office at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, online at www.UtahStateAggies.com and clicking on "tickets" in left column, or by calling 1-888-U-STATE-1 or (435) 797-0305.
Utah State Football Post-Game Notes San Jose State at Utah State - Sept. 22, 2007
--SJSU now leads the all-time series 19-10-1, having won two in a row and 10 of the last 11 meetings... The Spartans now lead 8-7 in games at Logan.
--USU is now 48-27-2 all-time in Homecoming games, including 2-4 vs. SJSU.
--The Aggies have now started conference play with a loss in the last three years.
--The last five games in the series have been decided by one score and a total of 21 points.
--USU wore all blue uniforms for the first time this season and at least since 2005.
--Saturday was USU's earliest Homecoming game in school history, topping the previous record of Sept. 30, 2000 vs. Utah.
--Freshman TE Doug Barbour made his first career USU start.
--Senior WR/KR Kevin Robinson's 45-yard kick off return in the first quarter ties his season long against UNLV... before having a season-long 82 yarder return for a TD, his first kick return since 2004, his freshman season when he had a 94-yard return for a TD vs. Louisiana-Monroe.
--Senior QB/P Leon Jackson III's 8-yard pass to Robinson at 5:53 of the first quarter put him over the 3,000 career passing yards mark, becoming the 10th USU player in school history to reach that milestone.
--Robinson's kick return for a TD was his 23rd of his career, moving him to sole possession of No. 7 on USU's career TD list... It was Robinson's fifth TD on a return (three punt returns and two kick returns).
--Robinson's return was his second in as many home games vs. SJSU, as he had an 87-yard punt return in the match-up on Oct. 8, 2005, which resulted in a 21-14 USU victory.
--Senior RB Aaron Lesue's 50-yard kick return in the second quarter was a career-long.
--Junior FS Roy Hurst's INT was his second in as many games, becoming the first Aggie since Terrance Washington did it in back-to-back games on Oct. 25 and Nov. 1, 2003... However, Robert Watts and Antonio Taylor both had two interceptions in the same game vs. UNLV on Sept. 22, 2004.
--Saturday's attendance of 13,685 was USU's largest Homecoming crowd since 17,895 were at the USU vs. North Texas Homecoming game on Oct. 9, 2004, when the Aggies lost 31-23, to the Mean Green, whose head coach was current USU offensive coordinator Darrell Dickey.
--USU's 18 play, 92-yard scoring drive, took 8:23, all season-highs, and were all the longest drives since at least 2004... Of the 18 plays, 17 were rushes... 10 of those rushes were by redshirt-freshman Derrvin Speight, who had career-high 22 carries for 99 yards and his first career TD on a 1-yard plunge.