Oct. 22, 2005
LOGAN, Utah - Jared Zabransky threw for 328 yards and four touchdowns to lead Boise State to a convincing 45-21 victory at Utah State here Saturday night. The Broncos improved to 5-2 overall and 3-0 in the Western Athletic Conference, while Utah State fell to 2-4 and 1-3.
Boise State struck first taking the opening kickoff and marching 77 yards on 12 plays to take an early 7-0 lead on the home team. USU responded later in the quarter as Leon Jackson threw the first of three touchdown passes on the night to Tony Pennyman to even the score.
After a BSU field goal, Jackson connected with Kevin Robinson on a 20-yard scoring pass to give the Aggies a 14-10 lead with just under 10 minutes left in the half.
The lead didn't last long as BSU scored four minutes later and then proceeded to improve its advantage to 31-14. USU scored again when Jackson found tight end Jason Stephens in the endzone from 10 yards, but the Broncos scored the game's final 14 points to record the win.
On the night Jackson connected on 16 of 29 attempts for 206 yards and three scores. He did not throw an interception on the night. The sophomore completed all nine of his attempts in the first half.
Jackson also led the team in rushing for the third time this season as he carried 22 times for 49 yards. He gained 97 positive yards, but suffered 48 yards in losses on the night.
Pennyman and Stephens led the team in catches as both had four receptions and each scored a touchdown. Matt Wiser was the game's leading tackler as he recorded a career-best 15 tackles, including one tackle for loss.
Next Saturday, the Aggies will head to Tuscaloosa, Ala. to face Alabama, which was ranked fifth in last week's Associated Press poll.
UTAH STATE NOTES
O - USU held Boise State to an opponent season low rushing total (previous low was 85 yards by San Jose State). However the Broncos produced a season high for the opponent in passing yards (previous most by an Aggie opponent was 268 by Utah in the season opener).
O - QB Leon Jackson III completed all nine of his passing attempts in the first half before missing on his first four attempts of the second half.
O - Jackson had a career three touchdown passes to three different receivers as well.
O - WR Kevin Robinson extended his streak of catching at least one touchdown pass to five straight games and his streak of catching at least two passes to 12 consecutive contests.
O - USU suffered its first home loss of the year en route to falling to 2-1 in Romney Stadium. USU also lost consecutive games for the first time this season.
O - For the sixth time in six games this year a player other than a running back has led the team in rushing.
O - FB/TB Lynwood Johnson entered the game with three career carries (all against Fresno State last week) and had 11 tonight.
O - WR Tony Pennyman recorded his first touchdown reception since his first game (USU's second) against UNLV (three games in between touchdown receptions).
O - USU used its tight ends in the passing game tonight. In the first four games the Aggie tight ends had caught a combined four passes and tonight had seven. Jason Stephens touchdown reception was just the second scoring catch by an Aggie tight end in the last two years (Chris Cooley caught six in his final year here in 2003). Jimmy Bohm caught one against New Mexico State last season.
UTAH STATE HEAD COACH Brent Guy
"That's a team that knows how to capitalize when another team makes a mistake and that is what I saw the most of tonight...Their ability to capitalize is the reason they have 29 straight wins and we are struggling to get a win."
"The hold on the punt and they go down and score we blow a coverage and they get a touchdown."
I feel like we showed a few signs of life and some improvement over the last game, but we are still making some of the same mistakes we always talk about...We need to get some of the individuals who are our playmakers to perform better."
"Chris (Forbes) will be back next week and (Ryan) Bohm will still be in there and we will use all three of those guys."
"We have got half a season left and Leon (Jackson) took some hits and got up from them, but you never know in Division I when that second guy is going to have to come in and perform."
"They got ahead and didn't panic. They wait for their chance and exploit it, and that is why they win...Boise has 29 wins and they are the team to beat in this league."
BOISE STATE HEAD COACH DAN HAWKINS
"I thought his (Coach Guy's) kids played hard. They are a well-coached team and they have some athletic guys and are going to get better. I thought they did some really good things out there today."
"We made some adjustments at halftime that helped us out a little bit. Coach Guy basically said, `hey we are going to give up a couple of throws, but we are not going to let these guys pound the ball on us."
"He (Quarterback Jared Zabransky) did a great job. I thought he did an awesome job and made some real key throws. The big thing was he played real clean and our whole team played that way by not turning the ball over and winning the turnover battle. You talk about momentum, when they fumbled the punt and we were able to get on it, that is big stuff."
"I like him (Utah State Quarterback Leon Jackson). The kid is every athletic and competitive. He can run around and he has a good arm and can throw the ball too."
"We have four running backs that can pack it in there and can all get hot...The nice things about our guys is they do whatever it takes to win. We probably have guys that if they carried it for other teams they might be a 1,000 yard back."
USU TIGHT END Jason Stephens
General comments on the game... "Coach [Mike] Santiago did a great job preparing us and he was able to find some weaknesses in their defense. We have [Tony] Pennyman and [Kevin] Robinson out there and they are our playmakers and so it really gives the tight ends an opportunity to step up and make some plays. When they give us that chance we need to come through."
USU QUARTERBACK Leon Jackson III
On his 20 carries in tonight's game... "I'm handling it fine. Coach Uyeyama is doing a great job of keeping us in shape and keeping me in shape. The carries don't mean anything, if coach Guy asked me to run through a wall I'll do it. A couple of weeks a go I had 25 carries. It doesn't matter as long as I can do what it takes to get a win."
On being nine-for-nine passing in the first half... "We had a good feel for what they were doing and we did a good job of executing in the first half."
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