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Utah State Blown Out in Second Half by San Jose State

The Aggies once again struggled with consistency against the Spartans

Fresno State v Utah State Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images

Utah State got off to another slow start in the first quarter, falling behind 14-0 before Utah State scored two touchdowns in the second quarter on a touchdown run by Rahsul Faison and a 25-yard touchdown pass from McCae Hillstead to tie the game at 14 at the half. San Jose State would then score two touchdowns in the third quarter and two more in the 4th quarter as the Aggies would fall 42-21.

Chevan Cordeiro would complete 15 of his 20 passes and throw for 119 yards and three touchdowns. Kairee Robinson would rush for 102 yards on 21 carries and score a touchdown. Nick Nash would lead the team in receiving, catching one touchdown pass for 29 yards.

For Utah State, McCae Hillstead would complete 17 of his 29 passes and throw for 160 and two touchdowns, but he would also throw two interceptions. Davon Booth rushed for 43 yards on 11 carries. Jaylen Royals led the team in receiving, catching four passes for 60 yards and he would also catch a touchdown pass.

Team Statistics

First downs: SJSU: 25 first downs; USU: 16 first downs

Third down conversions: SJSU: 7-12 (58%); USU: 3-10 (30%)

Total yards: SJSU: 370 yards; USU: 264 yards

Passing yards: USU: 363 yards; Fresno St: 310 yards

Rushing yards: SJSU: 251 yards; USU: 104 yards

Penalties: SJSU: 4-28; USU: 7-60

Turnovers: SJSU: 2 turnovers; USU: 3 turnovers (two interceptions)

Time of possession: SJSU: 37:10; USU: 22:50

Players of the Game

Offensive Player of the Game: The offensive player of the game is Jaylen Royals, who was one of two receivers for Utah State to catch a touchdown. Royals averaged 15 yards per catch, which was a big reason that the Aggies were able to find the little offensive success that they were able to find.

Defensive Player of the Game: The defensive player of the game is junior defensive end Cian Slone, who had four tackles and 2.5 tackles for a loss, including a sack. Slone also registered a pass deflection in the loss to the Spartans.

Overall Thoughts

At the half, it felt like Utah State might have a chance to balance things out. Going 3-10 on third down did not help the Aggies at all. Getting outgained by almost 10 first downs doesn’t help either. Utah State wasn’t able to get much going at all in the rushing game, which probably contributed to going 3-10 on first down. The two key factors in this game on offense were to limit the penalties and the turnovers. Utah State had 7 penalties for 60 yards and 3 turnovers. San Jose State’s time of possession compared to Utah State is a staggering number that shows the struggles that Utah State was having on defense and how that led to San Jose State’s offense being on the field more often than they should have been.

McCae Hillstead came off the injury list after moving through the concussion protocols, but the question becomes, was this the best move? Cooper Legas has been making a lot of plays for Utah State lately and is more experienced. Legas has been more consistent lately, almost leading the Aggies to a win against Utah State.

Blake Anderon’s seat is undoubtedly heating up, shadowed by coaching questions at San Diego State and Boise State. Utah State now sits at 3-5 on the season, and after a Bye week, the Aggies will hit the road to play San Diego State. The game against the Aztecs will be a must-win for the Aggies if they want to get to bowl eligibility. Utah State has to win three of its final four games in order to become bowl-eligible.