Instead of detailing each quarter for this game, I’m going to break it down into the team’s three phases, because each were very impressive.
- The passing game was flawless. Jordan Love went 21/26 for 236 yards and two touchdowns (no interceptions, either!). That was just in the first half. Up by 39 going into the second half, Coach Wells put backup QB Henry Colombi into the game, and he was quite successful, completing all nine pass attempts and garnering 55 passing yards. Colombi also ran for 22 yards on three carries. The future looks bright for USU once Love graduates.
- As far as the running game goes, it was as dominant as it has been so far this season. Led by Darwin Thompson’s 107 rush yards and one TD, the Aggies amassed 320 total rushing yard and SEVEN rushing touchdowns. Backup RB Morian Walker Jr. had a great day for USU, leading the runningbacks with two touchdowns.
- TE Dax Raymond once again led the way in the receiving core, catching three passes for 57 yards. Unfortunately, another trend so far this season has been a lackluster effort from the receivers apart from Raymond, as Ron’quavion Tarver pulled in five catches for only 30 yards. Savon Scarver only had one catch, albeit it was a 36-yard TD.
- The Aggie defense once again looked stellar. They only sacked the quarterback once, but they continued their elite ability to take the ball away via a Gaje Ferguson interception (his second of the season), and forcing two fumbles but recovering just one of them. Still, Utah State now has NINE total forced turnovers through three games; five interceptions and four fumble recoveries. Utah State also did not allow a touchdown for the first time this season, allowing just four field goals from Tennessee Tech kicker Nick Madonia. USU also only gave up a total of 227 yards to TTU (75 Passing, 152 rushing).
- Dominik Eberle only attempted one field goal but was a perfect 1/1. The FG was a 34-yarder. He was 7/7 on extra points as well. Utah State dominated this game so soundly, they let two other kickers attempt extra points, Connor Coles and Taylor Hintze. They went a combined 3/3 on XPs.
- The highlight of the special teams play was a beautiful 59-yard punt return touchdown for WR Jordan Nathan.
- Also of note, USU punter Zach Lee punted just ONCE all game.
- I’m pretty sure I don’t need to say much here for you to understand just how dominant the Aggies were in this game. Obviously, there shouldn’t be much of a problem when going up against an FCS team who went 1-10 last year. This was pretty much a game to learn and get things ready for conference play, which starts next week.
NEXT MAN UP:
- Utah State gets a nice long eight day break before starting conference play against Air Force next Saturday, September 22nd at home in Logan. USU hasn’t been up against the triple option yet this season, so the emphasis on stopping that must be high during practice. The Aggies are hot right now, Air Force is not. A nice opening win in Mountain West play will go a long way for a Utah State team with high aspirations for this season.
Follow Alex Eiden (UnderDogsAlways) on Twitter @alexyatta_ and follow the MountainWestConnection @MWCConnection