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Utah State Perspective: Aggies take down Cougars in Pullman

A late effort gave the Aggies the edge

NCAA Football: Utah State at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

LoThere were plenty of upsets around college football in the first full week and there was a big upset in Pullman late on Saturday night. Utah State did what a lot of people didn’t think they would do and created just enough big plays to drive down the field and score a touchdown with seven seconds left to take the 26-23 lead. This is a massive start for the Aggies under Blake Anderson and already a huge improvement from last year.

Scoring Summary

First Quarter

FG USU 23 yards; USU 3-0

Second Quarter

FG WSU 35 yards; USU - 3, WSU - 3

Safety USU; USU - 5, WSU - 3

FG WSU 26 yards; WSU - 6, USU - 5

Third Quarter

FG USU 39 yards; USU - 8, WSU - 6

TD WSU Max Borghi 64 yard run; WSU - 13, USU - 8

FG USU 23 yards; WSU -13, USU - 11

TD WSU Jayden de Laura 12 yard TD pass; WSU - 20, USU - 11

Fourth Quarter

FG WSU 27 yards; WSU - 23, USU - 11

TD USU Calvin Tyler Jr. 2 yard run; WSU -23, USU - 18

TD USU Logan Bonner 7 yard pass; USU - 26, WSU - 23

Statistics Comparison:

Total yards: USU: 441, WSU: 360

Passing yards: USU: 219, WSU: 211

Rushing yards: USU: 222, WSU: 149

Penalties: USU: 8, WSU: 6

Turnovers: USU: 2, WSU: 1

First Downs: USU: 25, WSU: 20

Time of Possession: USU: 30:19, WSU: 29:41

Utah State Player of the Game

Offensive Player of the Game: Deven Thompkins had eight receptions for 94 yards and a touchdown. He made some explosive plays that kept the Aggies offense rolling. He also scored the game winning touchdown with 13 seconds left so that is very deserving of player of the game.

Defensive Player of the Game: Cornerback Michael Anyanwu is the defensive player of the game and he made four total tackles and most importantly had a forced fumble and fumble recovery that made a difference in the game.

Analysis

The first thing to point out is that this years Aggies team probably would have taken out last years which means that there was improvement during the offseason. Taking down Washington State in Pullman is huge because now Utah State has a chance to be 2-0 before the Air Force and Boise State games to close out September.

Offensively, there still needs to be improvement. Logan Bonner went 17-24 on passing which is good but he only threw for 143 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. Against Air Force and Boise State, who both have very good defenses, the Aggies need to create more explosive plays. One of the ways to do this is through the run game. The Aggies ran for 222 yards total and that is a number that they can build off of to create more plays in the passing game.

441 yards is a big improvement from 2019 and 2020 so Utah State is moving in the right direction. The comforting thing is that they are going to likely get better and more consistent as they settle into the season. Utah State wasn’t even expected to get to 6 wins by ESPNs FPI Rankings but things are starting to look up now. Up next is North Dakota before the big game against Air Force.