LOGAN— Utah State senior running back Kerwynn Williams helped the West squad to a 28-13 win in the 88th East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Saturday. Williams is the first Aggie to play in the East-West Shrine Game since De’von Hall in 2008.
Williams, a 5-8, 189-pounder from Las Vegas, Nev. (Valley HS) had eight carries for 28 yards (3.5 ypc), including a long run of 12 yards. Williams also had one kick return for 37 yards in the second quarter to set up a touchdown, and returned one punt for eight yards.
During the 2012 season, Williams was named an honorable mention All-America by SI.com and a first-team all-Western Athletic Conference honoree as he finished the year ranking 10th in the nation in all-purpose yards (171.2 ypg), 13th in rushing (116.3 ypg) and tied for 20th in scoring (9.2 ppg). Williams rushed for 1,512 yards in 2012 to rank fourth all-time at USU for a single-season. He also ranked second all-time in school history in a single-season in points scored (120), second in total touchdowns (20), third in rushing touchdowns (15) and third in rushing average (6.9 ypc).
Williams also finished his senior season ranking second on the team in both receptions (45) and receiving yards (697), while tying for first in receiving touchdowns (5), and set the single-season school record for receiving yards by a running back, while his 45 receptions are the second-most by a running back in a single-season in school history. Williams also had 29 explosive plays (20-plus yards) on the year with 21 runs and eight receptions, including eight rushes and three receptions of 50-plus yards.
In his final collegiate game, Williams was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2012 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl as he rushed for a career-high 235 yards on just 18 carries (13.1 ypc) with three touchdowns in Utah State’s 41-15 win against Toledo. Williams, who ended the 2012 season with four-straight 100-yard rushing games, was also named to the CBSSports.com 2012-12 All-Bowl team for his performance against the Rockets.
For his career, Williams is the Utah State and WAC record holder with 6,928 all-purpose yards (2,515-rushing, 870-receiving, 3,408-kick returns, 135-punt returns), which also ranks 11th all-time in Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) history. He also ranks first all-time in school history in kickoff return yards (3.408), seventh in rushing yards (2,515), seventh in rushing touchdowns (22) and seventh in total touchdowns (28), while ranking fifth all-time in career rushing average (6.6 ypc).
Since 1925 the East-West Shrine Game® has been more than just a football game. It’s been a showcase for the next generation of NFL greats and a priceless benefit event for Shriners Hospitals for Children®. The East-West Shrine Game is the longest-running all-star college football game, combining great football with a great cause and creating experiences for players that will last a lifetime.
Utah State had its most successful season in school history in 2012 as it went 11-2 and set school records for wins (11) and home wins (6), while recording just its second bowl win in school history with a 41-15 victory against Toledo in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. USU also won its first outright conference championship since 1936 and just its third in school history joining the 1921 and 1936 teams that both won Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference titles.
Nationally, Utah State was one of just 19 teams to finish the 2012 season with 11 or more wins and USU was one of just four teams across the country who did not lose a league game joining Ohio State (8-0) from the Big Ten and Kent State (8-0) and Northern Illinois (8-0) from the Mid-American Conference.
Utah State ended the 2012 season nationally ranked for just the third time in school history as it finished the year ranked 16th in the Associated Press poll, 17th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ poll and 22nd in the Bowl Championship Series standings.
Utah State also finished the 2012 season winning its final seven games, which is tied for the fourth-longest active winning streak in the nation and tied for the third-longest winning streak in school history.
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Box Scores: http://scores.espn.go.com/ncf/boxscore?gameId=330193147
Play By Play: http://scores.espn.go.com/ncf/playbyplay?gameId=330193147
MVP Photos: http://pinstripemarketing.com/shrinegame/