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Utah State @ Michigan State Recap: The Aggies Are No Pushovers

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The Spartans got more than they were expecting.

NCAA Football: Utah State at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

USU came into this game as massive underdogs and almost pulled out a victory. The offense took a fast-paced, no huddle approach. The defense was back to its turnover-causing ways. Unfortunately, Michigan State’s offense was just that much better.

THE RUNDOWN:

The Aggies came out blazing with a quick opening drive that resulted in a touchdown. 7 plays. 75 yards. TWO minutes. Zoom. The Spartans threatened to tie it up but were forced into a chip shot field goal. They added another before the end of the frame to make it 7-6 USU.

MSU QB Brian Lewerke threw a touchdown pass to WR Cody White to give the Spartans a 13-7 lead. The Aggies responded back with a Darwin Thompson touchdown. Michigan State would have the final say in the half, however, as Lewerke threw another touchdown pass with only 28 seconds to go.

HALFTIME: Spartans 27, Aggies 24.

Spartans RB Connor Heyward scored from 17 yards out to make it 27-14 Sparty. After that, the Aggies would find themselves back in this game rather quickly. Kicker Dominik Eberle nailed a 40-yarder, and just one play later USU Safety Gaje Ferguson took an interception 40 yards for a pick-6. Just like that, it’s 27-24 MSU at the end of three.

In the fourth, Darwin Thompson ran the ball in from one yard out to give USU a 31-30 lead. Unfortunately the Aggie defense could not tighten up, as Lewerke executed a perfect drive. Connor Heyward got the pitch from Lewerke and scored. The Spartans converted for two and it was 38-31. On the final drive two early penalties hurt the Aggies, but they converted long downs and were driving when a tipped pass was reeled in by MSU LB Joe Bachie. Sealing the victory for Sparty.

FINAL: Spartans 38, Aggies 31

FINAL THOUGHTS:

It was tough, but the Aggies gave it their all. We saw signs of that tenacious defense and it’s ability to take the ball away (Ferguson’s pick-six), we saw Jordan Love toss the rock pretty well (319 Pass Yards), and for what it’s worth, we got a good night out of our kicker (Eberle hit a 40-yarder and made all 4 XPs)

NEXT MAN UP:

The Aggies host the Aggies, the New Mexico State ones, at Maverik Stadium next Saturday, September 8th at 8pm. Utah State is favored in that game and the team will certainly be looking to bounce back after this tough loss.

Follow Alex Eiden (UnderDogsAlways) on Twitter @alexyatta_ and follow the MountainWestConnection @MWCConnection