LOGAN – Utah State started Friday night’s game with a 70-yard drive capped by a 10-yard touchdown run by junior quarterback Kent Myers.
That was as good as things got for USU. The game’s next 40 points went to the Aztecs.
Aztec running back Donnel Pumphrey added 223 yards to reach a season total of 1,246 in the 40-13 victory over the Aggies. He showed Aggie fans why he is the nation’s leading rusher in Friday night’s downpour.
“Donnel is quick,” head coach Matt Wells said. “He made his share of guys miss in the open field. He’s very, very elusive.”
Pumphrey wasn’t the only Aztec to run amok, Juwan Washington had 14 carries for 143 yards and a two touchdowns. In total, SDSU had 400 rushing yards. It was the second year in a row San Diego State embarrassed USU with its run game. Pumphrey ran for 181 yards and two touchdowns in San Diego a year ago.
“A lot of the credit should go to that offensive line,” Wells said of the Aztecs. “I think they’re tough and big, I think they’re strong.”
Junior safety Dallin Leavitt kept his response short when asked about the Heisman candidate’s performance.
“A good back,” he said.
USU’s defense had trouble getting San Diego State off the field and the offense had just as many issues sustaining drives. The Aggies had just 71 yards rushing all night.
“(San Diego State) runs the ball and they stop the run real well,” Wells said. “We struggled doing both of those tonight, and that was very, very apparent.”
Myers completed 11 passes on 26 attempts for 181 yards with an interception returned for a touchdown. His 23-yard touchdown pass to Jaren Colsten-Green in the fourth quarter was his only touchdown pass. Aztec quarterback Christian Chapman was 4-for-9 for 14 yards and a touchdown.
San Diego State scored 12 points on four field goal attempts. Junior safety Dallin Leavitt led USU with nine tackles in his return from injury.
“It was really, really hard for me emotionally and mentally to be out the last couple of weeks and not to be out there with my guys” he said. “I felt super lucky that I was able to get back out there and I got to be better.”
The loss put USU at 3-5 on the season and 1-4 in conference.
“It’s certainly not where any of us wanted to be,” Wells said. “These kids are going to fight. If there’s anything these kids have been taught, that’s beat into them, it’s that they are going to continue to play for pride.”