There are some very tough decisions football coaches must sometimes make: when to bench a talented but uncommitted player, how to make a budget stretch to cover all the expenses the team incurs, whether to redshirt a talented freshman or let him get live experience right away, how much time to spend on recruiting during the busy-ness of the season. Fortunately for the Utah State Aggies, head coach Matt Wells was struggling with a different set of problematic questions this evening: should I let the starters finish the half, do we have a deep enough bench to put players out that won't embarrass Weber State, will the rainfall drive away all the fans that came to see our homecoming game, can we invent a new mercy rule to let these poor kids get back on their buses so they can keep some semblance of dignity in the face of such humiliating defeat?
Wells had little else to worry about tonight; Chuckie Keeton led the USU offense in a methodical, almost surgical, dismantling of Weber State's defense, and Nick Vigil led a USU defense that had a stranglehold on Weber State all night long. Keeton went 19 for 25, passing for 249 yards and five touchdowns. Perhaps the most comical of the scores was a touchdown thrown from Keeton to TE Fackrell. But there's no tight end named Fackrell, you'll be saying. You'll be right, because we're talking about linebacker Kyler Fackrell, who apparently is getting some playing time on offense now as well. I had to check multiple sources to confirm that Kyler was in fact the receiver on this play, but the story holds up.
Keeton connected on passes to seven other Aggies, including touchdown passes to Travis Reynolds, Ronald Butler, and two to DJ Tialavea, in the first half of the game. He was never really challenged by the Weber State defense, as evidenced by his mere 25 yards rushing. He sat the entire second half, along with most of the starting offense and defense. After halftime, backup quarterback Craig Harrison went 4/4 for 71 yards and 1 touchdown, a 56 yard pass to tight end Keegan Andersen. Even Harrison's backup got some action in as Logan Native Jeff Manning came in and played in the fourth quarter.
Vigil and the rest of the Aggie wrecking crew held the Wildcats to 30 total offensive yards in the first half, over half of which came on a single 16 yard throw on the Wildcats' only first down of the half, less than three minutes before halftime. Once the backups came in at the start of the second half, the Wildcats were able to move the ball a little more on offense. They were still unable to score however, and finished the game offensively with 138 net total yards, a mere 34 of which were through the air, and zero total points. Weber State's only score came with less than a minute to play in the game when a slippery ball was snapped high, was recovered by Weber State linebacker Spencer Unga, and was returned 38 yards for the touchdown. The PAT attempt was blocked.
My Game Awards:
Offensive Player of the Game: Kyler Fackrell. Just kidding, Chuckie Keeton.
Defensive Player of the Game: Nick Vigil (7 total tackles, 2 tackles for loss)
Surprise Player of the Game: Joey DeMartino (8 carries for 105 yards and 3 tds)
Other Game Notes:
-The game was played in front of just over 25,000 fans, a sellout crowd at Romney stadium
-Rain started to fall towards the end of the first quarter, and continued through the rest of the game
-USU's 70 points are its highest offensive production since 1964
-This was head coach Matt Wells' first win as head coach in USU's Romney Stadium
-Weber St only got into Aggie territory (past the 50 yard line) once on offense
-Weber St allowed 70 points for its second consecutive week as they lost last week to Utah 70 to 7