Nov. 12, 2011
LOGAN, Utah - Junior quarterback Adam Kennedy threw a pair of late fourth quarter touchdowns rallying Utah State to a come-from-behind victory for the second time in as many weeks with a 34-33 win against San Jose State on a snowy Saturday at Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium.
Utah State, who scored the final 21 points last week in defeating Hawai'i (35-31), scored the final 13 points Saturday to erase a late 12-point deficit. USU entered its game against the Warriors last week having blown fourth-quarter leads in five of its first seven games.
Utah State, who has won back-to-back games for the first time this year, improves to 4-5 on the season and 2-2 in Western Athletic Conference action. USU has also won three straight games against the Spartans and now trails in the all-time series 13-20-1.
San Jose State, who has held double-digit leads in each of its last two games, falls to 3-7 overall and 2-4 in league play with the loss.
Kennedy finished the game with 255 passing yards and two touchdowns as he was 21-for-27 with one interception. Junior running back Robert Turbin added 128 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries giving him 1,049 yards on the season marking the 15th time in school history that a USU player has hit the century mark in a single-season and just the fifth to do it twice in a career.
Senior linebacker Bobby Wagner also had a milestone game for Utah State as he finished with 12 tackles for his 21st-career double-digit tackle game giving him 407 career stops to rank third all-time in school history and fourth all-time in the WAC.
Following 10 fourth quarter points from San Jose State to give the Spartans a 33-21 advantage midway through the final period, Kennedy led Utah State on an 11-play, 65-yard drive that culminated in a 14-yard touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Travis Van Leeuwen with 5:19 remaining to make the score 33-28 SJSU.
On the ensuing possession, Utah State's defense forced the Spartan's into a three-and-out and the Aggies got the ball back on its own 25-yardline with 3:43 remaining.
On its game-winning drive, Utah State ran the ball on its first five plays with three rushes from Turbin and two from Kennedy moving the ball down to the San Jose State 45. Kennedy then hit sophomore wide receiver Travis Reynolds for 17 yards and senior running back Michael Smith rushed for seven yards before Kennedy connected with senior wide receiver Matt Austin from 21 yards out with 47 seconds to play for the winning score. USU couldn't connect on its two-point attempt leaving the home team with a slim one-point advantage.
Utah State's final drive covered 75 yards in eight plays and took 2:56 off the clock.
On its last possession of the game, San Jose State drove from its own 28 to the 50 and attempted a game-winning 67-yard field goal on the final play of the game, but the kick was blocked by senior tight end Tarren Lloyd and returned by Wagner to the Spartans 24-yardline as time expired.
Utah State finished the game with 541 yards of total offense (286-rushing, 255-passing) and San Jose State had 394 total yards (54-rushing, 340-passing). USU also converted 9-of-14 third downs, but also lost four fumbles on the afternoon and have five total turnovers in the game.
San Jose State converted a pair of field goals on its first two possessions before Utah State took its first lead of the game on a 39-yard touchdown run by Turbin. SJSU immediately answered the Aggies' score with a 95-yard kick return and later scored again from 5-yards out giving the visitors a 20-7 lead after the first 15 minutes.
Following a scoreless second quarter, which left USU trailing at halftime for the second game in a row after not trailing at the break in the previous seven games of the season, Utah State took advantage of a short field early in the third quarter as senior defensive end Levi Koskan forced and recovered a fumble following a sack on San Jose State quarterback Matt Faulkner. Turbin then scored his second TD of the game from four yards out.
After San Jose State increased its advantage to nine at 23-14 following a 21-yard field goal, senior running back Michael Smith raced for a 77-yard touchdown run to get the Aggies within two late in the third quarter. Smith finished the game with 91 rushing yards on just eight carries.
Utah State continues Western Athletic Conference play next weekend at Idaho on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 3 p.m. (MT). The game will be televised live on Altitude Sports.
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