PROVO – It was a fitting end to a disappointing year of Utah State football.
USU’s trip to LaVell Edwards Stadium ended its three-win season on a 28-10 loss to BYU. The Cougars compiled 355 offensive yards while limiting USU to just 200. Even more one-sided was BYU’s 26-11 first-down advantage.
“The bottom-line is we get to the second half, we can’t convert third downs, and they do,” head coach Matt Wells said. “I’m not sure there is another story line, other than that.”
BYU’s Jamaal Williams was a big reason for BYU’s third-down success. The senior running back carried the ball 18 times for 137 yards. USU junior quarterback Kent Myers completed 12 of 23 passes for 103 yards and an intercepetion. He also ran the ball 12 times for 53 yards.
The Aggies finished the season at 3-9 overall and 1-7 in conference. It was Wells’ worst record in his four years as head coach and USU’s worse record since 2008 when former head coach Brent Guy’s team finished with the same record.
Wells spoke highly of his players. He said despite the difficult circumstances this season, they didn’t quit.
“They stayed true,” Wells said. “They fought. They competed.”
Junior safety Dallin Leavitt said it was a season of missed opportunities.
“When you don’t capitalize on opportunity it makes things difficult,” he said. “Going into the offseason I think that is something as a defense we need to talk about and focus on.”
The game didn’t begin poorly for the Aggies. USU got on the scoreboard first with a Brock Warren 28-yard field goal after an efficient 64-yard opening drive. The lead held until the second quarter, but once it was gone, the Aggies never got it back.
“I thought our kids came out emotional and fought,” Wells said. “Competed, didn’t play well at times, but competed.”
The Cougars took a 7-3 lead early in the second on the back of Williams, who carried the ball five times for 31 yards and a touchdown during the 90-yard drive.
The next score came from the BYU defense. Aggie quarterback Damion Hobbs had the ball stripped out of his hands on a fourth-and-1 try. It was returned it 52 yards for a BYU touchdown,
“I was going to review it, but you can’t do that,” Wells saidl. “I thought his momentum was stopped, but it wasn’t.”
Hobbs got another chance before the half was over when a Jalen Davis interception put the Aggie offense inside the Cougar 10. His keeper two plays later cut the BYU lead to 14-10 at the half.
That was as close as it got for the Aggies. BYU scored two touchdowns in the second half. The first was on a 10-yard pass from Taysom Hill to Mitch Juergens; the second came on a 5-yard pass from Tanner Mangum to Colby Pearson. During that time, the Aggies never scored any more points.