Aggies Nipped By Cougars, 6-3, In Defensive Battle Friday
Oct. 6, 2012
PROVO, Utah - Utah State lost to Brigham Young, 6-3, Friday night in a hard-fought, defensive battle royale Friday night at LaVell Edwards Stadium in a nationally televised game on ESPN.
USU is now 4-2 with the loss while BYU improved to 4-2. The Cougars now lead the overall series, 45-34-3, including 27-16-1 in Provo. The nine combined points between the Aggies and Cougars was the fewest in the series since a 0-0 tie in 1946.
Utah State was held to 243 yards of total offense, over half of its season average coming into Friday night. The Aggies had 202 passing as sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton was 22-of-38. USU had a season-low 41 rushing yards, its fewest since rushing for just 27 yards at home against Utah in 2008. Keeton had 23 yards on 10 carries while senior running back Kerwynn Williams had 18 yards on 14 carries.
Senior wide receiver Matt Austin led the team with a career-high seven catches for 72 yards while Williams added five catches for 39 yards.
Senior safety McKade Brady, who ran track as a freshman at BYU before transferring to Utah State, led the Aggie defense with 14 tackles while linebacker duo of sophomore Zach Vigil and redshirt-freshman Kyler Fackrell followed with 10 each. Fackrell also snared his first career interception,while Vigil's 10 tackles tied his career-high.
Senior punter Tyler Bennett punted seven times for a 42.4 yards per punt average with four inside the 20.
BYU was led by freshman quarterback Taysom Hill who had 235 passing yards, completing 24-of-36 passes. Hill also had 19 rushes for a total of 80 yards. Junior wide receiver Cody Hoffman led the BYU receiving corps with eight catches for a total of 114 yards.
The Cougar defense was led by Brandon Ogletree with seven stops, while Preston Hadley and Spencer Hadley had six tackles each.
The Aggies opened the scoring with a 26-yard field goal from junior placekicker Josh Thompson with 34 seconds left in the first quarter, capping a 13-play, 49-yard drive. It was USU's second-longest scoring drive of the season behind its 19-play scoring drive in the Colorado State game. The first quarter ended with the 3-0 score, as the Aggies have now out-scored their opponents in the first quarter, 54-0.
The score would remain 3-0 until three seconds were left in the half when BYU scored on a 3-yard pass from Hill to JD Falslev, but Riley Stephenson's PAT attempt was wide left, leaving the score 6-3 in BYU's favor heading into halftime.
On USU's first possession of the second half, the Aggies fumbled and BYU recovered at the USU 9, but the Aggie defense forced a Cougars' field goal attempt. BYU tried a fake field goal but the USU defense sniffed it out, as the Aggies chased BYU holder JD Falslev and he fell down for a 16-yard loss back to the 23-yardline.
The teams traded punts back-and-forth until early in the fourth quarter when Fackrell snared his first career interception, batting the ball out of the air and then snaring it, to give the Aggies the ball at their own 48. USU's offense took over with 10:21 to go and drove down to the BYU 20, but Thompson's 38-yard field goal attempt floated wide left, leaving the score still at 6-3.
USU's defense forced BYU to punt and got the ball back with 5:06 to go, but were 94 yards from the endzone. The Aggies got out to the 30, but the drive stalled and they had the punt it back to the Cougars with just over two minutes to play and USU with two timeouts.
Facing a 3rd-and-6 from the BYU 28, the Cougars picked up the first down with 1:44 left, and ran out the clock for the win.
Utah State continues action on the road, opening up Western Athletic Conference play at San Jose State on Saturday, Oct. 13 before returning home to host New Mexico State on Saturday, Oct. 20 at 1 p.m.
Utah State football tickets are available by contacting the USU Ticket Office at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum or by phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or (435) 797-0305.
Fans can follow the Aggie football program at twitter.com/USUFootball or on facebook at facebook.com/Utah State Football. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on facebook at facebook.com/USUAthletics.