Oct. 8, 2011
LOGAN, Utah - Freshman quarterback Chuckie Keeton threw for 228 yards and a school-record tying five touchdowns and junior running back Robert Turbin rushed for 111 yards and added two more scores as Utah State scored the final 42 points in a dominating 63-19 home win against Wyoming Saturday inside Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium. In all, USU scored TD's on its first eight possessions of the game.
For Utah State, the 63 points scored are its most since winning at Idaho, 63-17, on Oct. 25, 1997, while its 44-point margin of victory is its largest since defeating New Mexico State at home, 47-2, on Nov. 29, 2008.
Utah State, who snapped a four-game losing streak to Wyoming with the win, improves to 2-3 on the season and 35-24-4 all-time against the Cowboys. UW falls to 3-2 with the loss.
With the five TD's, Keeton becomes the fourth different Aggie QB to hit the school record, and the sixth time, and the first since Anthony Calvillo threw for five scores against BYU in 1993. Calvillo and Tony Adams had accomplished the feat twice each while Brent Snyder reached it once.
Keeton finished the game completing 15-of-20 passes and added 44 rushing yards on four carries, while Turbin posted his fourth-straight 100-yard rushing game to move into sixth-place all-time at Utah State as the junior now has 2,397 career yards. Senior running back Michael Smith added a career-best three touchdowns during the game as he finished with 36 rushing yards on seven carries and two receptions for 68 yards. Smith's three TD's are the most since Turbin had five total scores in the Idaho game in 2009.
Wagner led Utah State's defense with 12 tackles as he moved into sixth-place all-time at USU and sixth-place all-time in the Western Athletic Conference with 360 stops. Wagner, who added his third career interception late in the second quarter, has now recorded double-digit tackles 19 times in his career including in each of his last five outings. Wagner's oskie was the first interception of the season for the Aggie defense.
Wyoming took the opening kickoff and drove 77-yards on seven plays to take a 6-0 lead after its two-point conversion attempt failed. On the ensuing kickoff, USU's Kerwynn Williams was unable to gain position of the ball and UW recovered it in the end zone for a 12-0 lead just 2:54 into the game after missing the extra point.
Williams followed up his miscue with a 50-yard return on Wyoming's next kickoff, leading to a 1-yard touchdown run by Turbin for Utah State's first score of the night. USU took its first lead of the game on its next possession as it went 80-yards in just six plays, culminating with a 53-yard screen pass from Keeton to Smith giving the home team a 14-12 lead.
Both teams traded touchdowns early on in the second quarter as Utah State went 99-yards in just seven plays and Wyoming answered with a five-play, 60-yard drive to make the score 21-19 Utah State with 12:54 remaining in the first half. It was the Aggies' second 99-yard drive this season and USU now has four drives this season of at least 90 yards.
From there on it was all Aggies, as Utah State scored the final 21 points of the first half on touchdown passes of 18 yards to D.J. Tialavea, eight yards to Stanley Morrison and six yards to Tarren Lloyd to make the score 42-19 at intermission. Tialavea's TD catch was not only the first of his career, but the first by a tight end this season, and Lloyd's was the second.
Utah State opened the second half just as it ended the first as Smith scored on a 14-yard rush to cap a three-play, 33-yard drive. Smith scored his second touchdown of the quarter and third of the game on USU's next possession from 1-yard out to cap an 11-play, 82-yard drive.
Utah State finished the game with 548 yards of total offense (318-rushing, 230-passing) and Wyoming produced 394 yards (129-rushing, 265-passing). The Aggies' 548 yards was tied for No. 7 on the most total offense yards in school history, marking the third time to hit that total offense output, joining 548 vs. UNLV in 1995 and Montana in 1965, and the most since 567 Montana in 1968.
USU, who averaged 6.0 yards per play on the night, finished with 29 first downs and converted its first eight third downs. UW won the time-of-possession battle, 31:06 to 28:54.
Next up for Utah State will be its Western Athletic Conference opener at Fresno State on Saturday, Oct. 15 at 8 p.m. (MT).
USU returns home to the friendly confines of Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium to host Louisiana Tech on Saturday, Oct. 22 at 1 p.m. (MT).
To purchase tickets, or for more Aggie Athletics ticket information, fans can contact the USU Ticket Office at 1-888-USTATE-1 or 435-797-0305, in person at the USU Ticket Office inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, or on-line 24 hours a day at www.utahstateaggies.com by clicking on the "tickets" button.
Fans can follow the Aggie football program at twitter.com/USUFootball or on the USU football blog at usufootball.wordpress.com. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on facebook at Utah State University Athletics.
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