Nov. 19, 2011
MOSCOW, Idaho - Utah State football did it again. The Aggies registered their third-straight game-winning TD in the final minute or with no time on the clock with a wild 49-42 double-overtime win over Idaho Saturday afternoon at UI's Kibbie Dome.
Junior RB Robert Turbin rushed for a career-high 208 yards with three rushing TD's, two coming in overtime while senior LB Bobby Wagner gathered in a deflection and collected an interception at the goalline to seal the win.
The victory evens USU's record at 5-5, the Aggies' first season with five wins since 2000 and best record through 10 games since that same 2000 season. Utah State has also won three in a row for the first time since 2001, in addition to being the Aggies' first three-game conference and FBS win streak since 2000. The Aggies improve to 3-2 in Western Athletic Conference action, their best WAC mark through five games in its seven years in the league and best conference ledger through five games since a 3-2 Big West record in 2003.
Saturday was USU's third-straight game in which the Aggies scored in the final minute or with no time on the clock as in OT, and was also USU's seventh game this season decided by one score, tying Louisville for the second-most in the country. Kansas State's 17-13 win over Texas was KSU's eighth game this year decided by one score.
Utah State's last three meetings with Idaho at Moscow have all be decided by one score, and all USU wins, as the Aggies won 24-14 in 2007, 52-49 in 2009. Overall, the Aggies have won four of the last five meetings with the Vandals and now lead the all-time series, 19-17-2.
With the loss, Idaho falls to 2-9 overall and 1-3 in WAC play on the season. The Vandals have played five games this season that the outcome has been determined by one score.
After not playing in an OT game since 2002, USU has now played in two this season with a 35-34 double OT loss to Colorado State on Sept. 24.
Turbin went over 3,000 yards for his career and broke USU's single-season rushing TD, single-season total TD, single-season scoring and the Aggies' career scoring records.
His three TD's give him a total of 296 points for his career, breaking the USU Career Points record of 284 points held by former placekicker Brad Bohn (1997-2000) with 284 points. Turbin also broke USU's Single-Season Rushing TD record, as his three on Saturday give him 19 on the year, breaking away from a tie with Abu Wilson (1996) who had the previous record of 16. The three TD's also set a new USU Single-Season Total TD's record, as Turbin now has 21 on the season, breaking his own record of 18 he set in 2009, which included a school-record tying five scores in USU's last game at Idaho as part of USU's 52-49 shootout at the Kibbie Dove. Furthermore, Turbin also broke his own USU Single-Season Scoring record, now with 126 points, breaking his 2009 record of 110.
Turbin also became just the fifth Aggie RB to rush for over 3,000 career yards, and the first since Demario Brown (1996-99), who is the school rushing record holder with 4,053. Turbin is the 26th WAC running back to reach the 3,000 yard plateau, and he has now broken into the top 25 on the WAC's rushing list.
USU had 310 total rushing yards as part of 492 yards of total offense, as junior QB Adam Kennedy was 13-of-18 passing for 182 yards with two TD's.
Idaho had 450 yards of total offense with 275 passing and 175 rushing.
The Aggies opened a 21-10 lead in the first half, but Idaho rallied with 18 third-quarter points and another TD in the fourth, knotting the game at 35-all with 9:14 left in regulation, forcing OT.
Junior S McKade Brady had a career-best 16 tackles, his second double-digit tackle outing in the last three games, while Wagner posted 11 stops, his eighth double-digit tackle outing of the season and 22nd of his career. Junior CB Will Davis, who is from nearby Spokane, Wash., and had a large contingent of fans, posting 10 tackles.
Senior RB Michael Smith rushed for two TD's, giving him seven rushing TD's for the season and 13 for his career, breaking into a four-way tie for 10th on USU's Career Rushing TD list.
Sophomore PK Josh Thompson was 7-of-7 on PAT's extending his USU Single-Season PAT record, now with 48 on the year.
Smith's first TD came on USU's opening possession, giving the Aggies an early 7-0 lead with 10:37 on the first quarter clock. Idaho scored on a 13-yard pass from Brian Reader to Mike Scott with 2:37 left in the first stanza to tie it at 7-all. USU scored on back-to-back possessions, as Kennedy hit sophomore WR Travis Van Leeuwen with a 3-yard TD toss and Turbin darted 80-yard to payturf on the first play of the Aggies' next possession. The Vandals' Trey Farquhar hit a 23-yard field goal with 2:23 left in the second quarter and the halftime scoreboard read 21-10 in USU's favor.
Farquhar opened the third-quarter scoring with another 23-yard field goal with 10:08 in the third, and Quin Ashley intercepted a Kennedy pass and scampered 78-yards to the endzone, knotting the score at 21.
USU regained a 28-21 lead on a 63-yard pass play from Kennedy to senior WR Stanley Morrison, but Idaho scored on a 1-yard TD run by Korey Toomer.
Smith's second TD of the game came on a 7-yard scamper to give the Aggies a 35-28 lead with 13:09 left in the fourth quarter, but the Vandals bounced back again, with Toomer scoring from a yard out with 9:14 in regulation to tie it at 35-all. Neither team scored again, forcing OT.
Idaho got the ball first in overtime period number one and Toomer darted in from 2-yards out. On USU's possession, facing a fourth-and-goal from the 1, the Aggies' offensive line plowed the way for Turbin's second TD of the game and Thompson's PAT sent the game to its second OT period.
The Aggies had the first possession of the second OT stanza, with Kennedy scampering for 18-yards to get USU near the goalline, and on the next play, Turbin went in from 2-yards out. Thompson's PAT gave USU the 49-42 lead.
USU's defense nearly won the game on a near-interception by junior CB Jumanne Robertson, but the play was reviewed and the ball came loose when Robertson hit the ground. Two plays later on a fourth-down play, Reader threw a wobbly pass that Micheletti dove and caught in a play that was also reviewed. After a long review, it was ruled that Micheletti did catch it, keeping the Vandals' drive alive at the USU 8. A 6-yard rush by Kama Bailey got the ball down to the 2-yard line, then the Aggie defense stuffed Bailey on second down. On third-and-goal, Bailey fumbled and Idaho's Taylor Elmore recovered at the 3. The Vandals suffered a delay of game penalty, pushing fourth down back to the Aggies' 8. On the next play, Reader tried a pass over the middle to the endzone, but Wagner got a hand on it, bobbling it twice before corralling it in, and was mobbed by teammates in a jubilant Aggie-pile.
The Aggies return home to the friendly confines of Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium to host Nevada on Saturday, Nov. 26 at Noon (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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