Aggies Hold Off San Jose State Rally For 24-17 Victory
Oct. 8, 2005
LOGAN, Utah - Kevin Robinson scored three touchdowns, including an 87-yard punt return to lead Utah State to a 24-17 win against San Jose State here Saturday afternoon. The Aggies held a 24-17 lead after Justin Hamblin kicked a 33-yard field goal with 8:10 left in the third quarter. The visiting Spartans rallied, scoring later in the third and then kicking a field goal with 1:18 left to trail 24-17.
The Spartans recovered the ensuing onside kick and reached the USU 39-yard line before a sack by John Chick and two straight incomplete passes ended the game. Utah State improved to 2-2 overall and recorded its first ever Western Athletic Conference win, improving to 1-1 in the league, while San Jose State fell to 1-4 and 0-2.
Robinson ignited the Aggies by scoring on an 87-yard punt return late in the first quarter. The return tied him for the school record with three career punt returns for scores. The 87-yarder was also the third longest in school history behind his own 90-yard return last year against Troy and a 90-yard return by Dale Leathem in 1950.
USU scored again early in the second quarter when Leon Jackson III connected with Robinson on a 39-yard pass to put the Aggies up 14-0. The pass play was the longest of the season for USU.
After a San Jose State touchdown, Robinson caught a 27-yard scoring strike from Jackson to put USU up 21-7 at the break.
For the game Robinson caught a team-best five passes for 91 yards and two scores, while he also led the team in rushing with three attempts for 46 yards. He returned six punts for 105 yards.
Jackson connected on 17 of 26 passing attempts for two touchdowns and 200 yards. Tony Pennyman was on the receiving end of five of those completions as he recorded 56 receiving yards.
Defensively Matt Wiser posted a team-best 12 tackles, while fellow starting linebackers Jake Hutton and D.J. Brookter had nine and eight stops respectively to rank second and third. USU also posted three sacks, including two by Chick and one by Brookter.
The Aggies will travel to Fresno State on Saturday, Oct. 15 for an 8:05 p.m. mountain time meeting against the Bulldogs. San Jose State will travel to Boise State.
POSTGAME NOTES vs. SAN JOSE STATE Oct. 8, 2005
O - For the fourth time in four games this year, a player other than a running back led USU in rushing as WR Kevin Robinson led for the second time this year (he also led against UNLV). QB Leon Jackson led in the other two games.
O - PK Justin Hamblin's 33-yard field goal was the second of his career. He made a 21-yarder against Utah in the 2003 season. After his made field goal he is now 2-7 on field goal attempts in his USU career.
O - USU won its first ever WAC game in its second opportunity (lost at Idaho last week)... USU has now won three straight home games... USU improved to 2-2 to match its best four-game start in the last eight years (were 2-2 last season)... USU improved to 8-2 in its last 10 conference home games... USU snapped a two-game homecoming losing streak.
O - QB Leon Jackson recorded the second 200-yard passing game of his career (threw for 212 against UNLV earlier this year).
O - USU's 285 yards of total offense marked its second most this year (293 last week at Idaho).
O - Six different Aggies made their first season starts today, including DT Frank Maile and S Andre Bala on defense and OT Ryan Pahua, TE Jimmy Bohm, WR Otis Nelson and TB Chris Forbes. Pahua and Nelson started for the first times in their career.
O - Sophomore Kevin Robinson tied a school record for career punt returns for touchdowns with his third today (had two last season). He now shares the mark with John Strycula and Bob Wicks, who each returned three back in 1969-71. The 87-yard return was also the third longest in school history behind his own 90-yarder against Troy last year and a 90-yarder by Dale Leatham against Wichita Sate in 1950).
O - Through halftime Kevin Robinson has scored six touchdowns in the last three games (four receiving, one rushing and one punt return). He has three at halftime. The school record for single game touchdowns is five by Jack Hill back in 1956. Hill passed away earlier this month.
O - Robinson's punt return for a score was USU's second return for a touchdown this year as Tony Pennyman returned a kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown against UNLV.
O - Robinson extended his streak of catching at least two passes to 10 consecutive games.
O - USU's 21 points in the first half were its most in a half this season In fact, it was the second most points USU has scored in a game this year (31 vs. UNLV and then 13 at Idaho and seven at Utah).
O - SJSU's seven points were the fewest USU has allowed in a half this season as well as in the last five games (held Arkansas State to seven in the second half in the 10th game of last year). The last time an opponent scored fewer than seven points in a half against USU was Idaho (0 points) in the second game of last year.
O - USU's 14-point margin at different points in the game was its largest advantage of the year.
O - USU entered today 0-1 when scoring first this year. The Aggies were 2-1 last season when scoring first. USU is also 1-0 when leading at half this year.
O - USU's missed field goal on the final play of the half stopped its perfect streak of scoring on all six of its trips into the Red Zone this year.
UTAH STATE POSTGAME QUOTES Vs. San Jose, Oct. 8, 2005
UTAH STATE HEAD COACH Brent Guy "If they won't buy tickets to see that, I don't know what we need to do... Somehow we held on in the second half making about every mistake that you could make... The sack by (John) Chick made a big difference... We have got to learn to play smarter football... We played another freshman today, Caleb Taylor, our count is up to 18... The offense did exactly what we talked about, they have to come out and march that ball down the field and they did that... We wanted to defend our home field and we did that today... It's good to see Kevin Robinson break out. The punt return was huge and I think that set the tempo... No interceptions, no fumbles, on a day like this that is pretty remarkable... Today's game ball was dedicated to President Stan Albrecht not only for our first WAC win, but for all the adversity he has had to fight during the last two weeks (tragic van accident involving the School of Agriculture that killed eight students and one instructor. Two others remain hospitalized)."
SAN JOSE STATE HEAD COACH DICK TOMEY "The loss is very disappointing... We had a lot of chances, but we couldn't cash in... We gave too much up on defense in the first half.... Our special teams didn't have their best day, or a great day, or even a good day... Offensively we were totally inconsistent in terms of being able to move the football... Utah State has played outstanding defense this year and they probably lead the conference in total defense... They have been very stingy... They were in a commanding position the entire game and we were playing catch up... We had a chance at the end to make a play, but we couldn't make one... I holdout belief that we will be a good football team at some point this season."