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Utah State vs. Wyoming final score: Aggies become bowl eligible with win over Cowboys

The defense shined once again, forcing two turnovers en route to a 20-3 win and leading the Aggies to their fourth consecutive bowl game.

Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, the Cowboys looked flawless, nearing 700 yards of offense against the Bulldogs. Tonight, it was a combo of bad penalties and a good Utah State defense that did the Cowboys in.

After a solid first performance for Kent Myers against Hawaii, the true freshman shined once again on a cold night in Laramie. Myers went 12/15 for 147 yards but did not have a touchdown pass tonight. Wyoming quarterback Colby Kirkegaard went 20/40 for 217 with two interceptions.

The story of the 1st quarter, however, was Bruce Natson. He had an amazing performance in the first half, taking a 80-yard punt return for a touchdown, then later taking a 66-yard run to the house. Overall, he finished the game with 176 all purpose yards and two touchdowns. Those would turn out to be the only touchdowns of the game.

Both defenses looked solid on the night. After giving up the two 1st quarter touchdowns, Wyoming's defense buckled down and held Utah State to just 3 points the rest of the game. The Cowboys did force a fumble in the first half for their only turnover of the game. The Aggies defense remained solid once again, forcing two big interceptions in the second half to preserve the lead and ultimately the win. They did give up 151 yards rushing, but kept the big plays to a minimum.

For both teams, the issue throughout the game was penalties. Wyoming had several opportunities to score inside the USU 20 yard line, but penalties cost the Cowboys. Averaging only 45 penalties yards per game, Wyoming had 10 penalties for 95 yards. USU had six penalties for 75 yards.

With the win Friday night, the Aggies becoming bowl eligible for the fourth straight year for the first time in school history and stay in the hunt for the Mountain division title. Utah State improves to 7-3 on the year and 4-1 in conference play, while Wyoming falls to 4-6 overall and 2-4 in conference playing.

Next week the Aggies return home to play New Mexico. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. For Wyoming, they return home on a bye week before playing Boise State on Nov. 22.