Oct. 27, 2012
SAN ANTONIO, Texas - Sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton threw for 340 yards and three touchdowns and senior running back Kerwynn Williams added 90 rushing yards and two more scores to lead Utah State to an easy 48-17 road win against UTSA here inside the Alamodome Saturday afternoon. For USU, it marked the first time since 1990 that it has scored at least 40 points in three-straight games.
With the win, Utah State improved to 7-2 on the season and 3-0 in Western Athletic Conference play and is off to its best start to a season since the 1978 team also won seven of its first nine games, while its 3-0 conference start is its best since 2000 when that team won its first four Big West Conference games.
Utah State also set a school record with its eighth-straight conference win, bettering the previous mark of seven-straight league wins from 1979 to 1980. Overall, USU has now won five-straight WAC road games dating back to last year and six of its last eight road games overall.
Keeton finished the day completing 27-of-36 passes for 340 yards, to go along with three touchdowns passes in just three quarters of action. For Keeton, those 27 completions are a career-high, while his 340 passing yards are the second-most of his career and his third 300-yard passing game this season. Keeton also moved into a tie for eighth-place all-time at USU along with John Pappas as he now has 30 career touchdown passes, while his 19 scoring strikes this year rank tied for the sixth-most in school history along with Anthony Calvillo.
Williams finished the game with 90 rushing yards on just 13 carries, which included a 68-yard run on the first play of the third quarter. He then scored from 1-yard out two plays later to give USU a 34-3 lead just 51 seconds into the second-half. Williams also scored on a 1-yard run on a fourth down play in the second quarter to cap a 10-play, 71-yard drive to give the visitors a 17-3 advantage with 9:34 left in the first-half. For Williams, it was his third-career multi-touchdown rushing game.
Williams, who also had three receptions for 68 yards in the game, now has 16 career touchdown runs to rank 10th all-time in school history.
Utah State also got a pair of touchdowns from sophomore running back Joe Hill who carried the ball seven times for 21 yards and one score, and added three receptions for 65 yards and another touchdown. Hill's first score of the game was on a 1-yard run early in the third quarter to give Utah State a 41- 3 advantage, and his second touchdown came late in the third period on a 16-yard reception from Keeton to put the visitors ahead 48-10. Overall, Hill now has five rushing touchdowns and two receiving touchdowns on the season.
Utah State finished the game with 522 yards of total offense (394-passing, 128 rushing) and held the ball for 32:46. USU was also 10-of-17 on third-down, tying its season-high.
Utah State's special teams made the first big play of the day as junior cornerback Devonta Glover-Wright blocked a UTSA punt that went out of bounds at the 5-yardline on the first series of the game. Two plays later, Keeton hit senior tight end Kellen Bartlett from two yards out to make the score 7-0.
UTSA scored its only points of the first-half on a 29-yard field goal following an interception in the Utah State end zone on a tipped pass from Keeton. In all, the Roadrunners drove 68-yards in 10 plays before stalling at the USU 12.
For Utah State, the scoring drive was just the second allowed in the first quarter this season as it led 7-3 after the first 15 minutes of play Saturday and now holds an 89-6 scoring advantage in the first quarter this year.
Utah State increased its lead to 10-3 early in the second quarter on a 22-yard field goal by redshirt sophomore placekicker Nick Diaz. Williams then scored from 1-yard out, senior wide receiver Cameron Webb scored his first career touchdown on a 29 yard pass from Keeton with 6:44 to play in the half and Diaz added another field goal from 24 yards out to give Utah State a 27-3 halftime lead as USU has now led at the half in eight on its nine games this year.
After scoring 20 points in the second quarter, Utah State added 21 more in the third on Williams' second 1-yard run of the game to go along with Hill's two touchdowns as USU scored 34 straight points to put the game away.
UTSA's first touchdown of the game came midway through the third quarter on a 7-yard run from Evans Okotcha and the final points of the game were scored early in the fourth quarter on a 23-yard pass from Ryan Polite to Cole Hicks to make the final score 48-17.
Redshirt freshman linebacker Kyler Fackrell had a game-high seven tackles, along with junior linebacker Jake Doughty to lead Utah State. Fackrell also intercepted his second pass of the season in the third quarter. Senior cornerback Will Davis also recorded his second interception of the season on the last play of the first-half as USU snared two interceptions in a game for the first time since its 2011 regular season finale at New Mexico State.
UTSA finished the game with 299 yards of total offense (248-passing, 51-rushing).
Utah State returns to action on Saturday, Nov. 3 when it hosts WAC foe Texas State (3-4, 1-1) at 1 p.m. The game will be televised regionally on KMYU TV.
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