Aggies Clawed By 20th-Ranked Cougars, 35-17, Friday
Oct. 2, 2009
PROVO, Utah - Utah State battled but came up short, falling to No. 20 Brigham Young, 35-17, Friday night at a brisk, sold-out LaVell Edwards Stadium.
Friday's game completed non-conference play for Utah State, and the Aggies enter Western Athletic Conference action with a 1-3 mark. BYU improved to 4-1 on the season with the win, its 10th in a row over USU. The Cougars now lead the all-time series, 43-33-3.
Utah State tallied 322 yards of total offense, its 10th-consecutive game of 300 yards of total offense. Junior quarterback Diondre Borel was 20-of-28 passing for 213 yards with a TD to senior wide receiver Xavier Bowman in the waning seconds. Borel also had 38 yards rushing and another score, marking the third-straight game and fifth of his career that Borel has rushed and thrown for a TD in the same game. Senior wide receiver Omar Sawyer had a team-leading four catches for 58 yards, one of a season-high 12 different players with a catch.
BYU posted 431 yards of total offense, led by Max Hall's 218 yards passing on 16-of-23 with three TD's, but the Aggies intercepted him twice, the second two-pick game for the USU defense. Harvey Unga also ran for 118 yards with a TD. Luke Ashworth had a game-best 91 yards and a TD while Dennis Pitta had 83 yards and two TD's, each catching five passes.
Junior cornerback Rajric Coleman posted a career-high 13 tackles to go with his first career interception. Sophomore linebacker Bobby Wagner, who entered the game leading the WAC and ranking tied for 14th in the country in tackles with 11 per game, was one stop above his average with 12 tackles. Wagner, who added a fumble recovery Friday, registered his third double-digit tackle outing in four games this season.
Senior safety James Brindley added 11 stops to go with USU's lone sack of the game, while senior cornerback Kejon Murphy posted his first interception of the season.
After junior cornerback Chris Randle's fumble recovery on BYU's opening possession, USU took over and drove down the field before Borel scored on a 6-yard scamper. That would be the Aggies' lone lead of the game. The Cougars then reeled off 21 unanswered points on a 6-yard pass from Hall to Pitta, a 48-yard pass from Hall to Ashworth and a 3-yard run by Manase Tonga, which came with 29 seconds left in the half after a costly USU fumble.
Coleman's interception set up a 20-yard field goal by senior placekicker Chris Ulinski to pull the Aggies within 21-10, but that would be the closest USU would get. BYU scored on an 8-yard TD by Unga and a 13-yard pass from Hall to Pitta for a 35-10 lead before Bowman's TD catch for the final score.
Junior punter Peter Caldwell had a career day, booming five punts for a 49.2 ypg average, including a career-best three punts of over 50 yards and pinning BYU inside the 5-yard line twice.
Utah State opens WAC action next Saturday, Oct. 10 at Las Cruces, N.M. against New Mexico State in a battle of the Aggies at 6 p.m. (MT). USU returns home to host Nevada on Saturday, Oct. 17 at 1 p.m. (MT).
All Utah State football games are carried live on KVNU 610 AM and KLZX 95.9 FM in Logan; 1320 AM in Salt Lake City; on KLZX 105.3 FM in Montpelier, Idaho, and on the Internet at www.UtahStateAggies.com by clicking on "Listen Live." Al Lewis handles the play-by-play duties and Craig Hislop provides analysis.
For season and single-game ticket information, contact the USU Ticket Office at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, by phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or (435) 797-0305, or online 24 hours a day at www.UtahStateAggies.com and clicking on the "buy/renew tickets" under the "tickets" drop down menu.