Utah State Defies Odds, Crushes San Diego State in title game

Utah State Defies Odds, Crushes San Diego State in title game

Utah State

Utah State Defies Odds, Crushes San Diego State in title game

By

Contact/Follow @SamMcConkie & @MWCwire

Nine years ago, after Gary Andersen accepted the job to be Wisconsin’s head coach and Matt Wells was hired as his successor, the stated program goal was to win a Mountain West championship. The Aggies nearly accomplished that their first year in the league against a Derek Carr led Bulldogs team, but they would not make a title run again under Matt Wells.

Fast forward to 2021, with another first year coach in Blake Anderson, the Aggies finished the job and reached the peak against the Aztecs in dominating fashion. Not even the most blue-eyed Aggie fans thought the game would play out like this. Let’s take a look at how they won that coveted title and brought home the trophy to Logan. As a bonus, USU is just the third FBS team ever to go from one win to ten wins in a single-season turnaround.

First Quarter

The Aggies and Aztecs went scoreless in the first quarter, but there were a few highlights to be had.

Both teams initially went three and out a couple times a piece and SDSU gained their initial first down about halfway through the period. They engineered a drive to get down to the Aggie 11-yard line. Rather than settle for a FG, the Aztecs went for it just to be stuffed and turn the ball over on downs.

On the ensuing Aggie drive, USU finally hit a big play with Brandon Bowling catching a bomb from Logan Bonner. The Aggies would ultimately settle for a FG attempt, but Connor Coles would send it wide right to conclude the first quarter.

Second Quarter

This is where the game started to heat up. San Diego State tried to get going, but Byron Vaugns sacked Aztec QB Jordon Brookshire to force a punt from Matt Araiza. The highly lauded kicker had his kick partially blocked and it still managed to go about 30 yards. USU was in solid field position, however.

USU compiled a 10-play drive to go up 7-0. Bonner threw passes to Justin McGriff and Calvin Tyler, the latter being roughed by Aztec defender Patrick McMorris to add on an additional 15 yards after the play.

On 2nd down, Bonner scrambled for 12 yards to get down to the Aztec 5-yard line. He then found Derek Wright in his favorite corner of the end zone (because of course).

On the next Aztec drive, SDSU made it into USU territory on the backs of RB Greg Bell and WR Elijah Kothe. Brookshire launched a pass on 3rd down at the USU 37 yard line, but it fell incomplete prompting a long field goal try from Araiza. His 54 yarder sailed wide right.

Social Media Reacts To Utah State’s Mountain West Title Win

USU got the ball back and Bonner completed passes to Derek Wright and Brandon Bowling to move into Aztec territory. It appeared the drive would stall out, but Aztec DL Cameron Thomas roughed Logan Bonner, extending the drive. Calvin Tyler then put his head down and bulled his way to the 1-yard line on a 17 yard rush and then punched it in on the next play to put the Aggies up 14-0.

San Diego State responded with their best drive of the day, going 77 yards in 10 plays. Brookshire completed big passes to Elijah Kothe and Jesse Matthews while adding a 10-yard scramble of his own. The Aztecs got down to the Aggie 12-yard line and Shaq Bond was flagged for PI. Brookshire then rushed for a few to get to the 6-yard line. On the ensuing pass, Monte McGary broke up a pass in the end zone and forced SDSU to settle for three points on a 23-yard kick from Araiza.

USU mounted another drive to try and score before the break, but Connor Coles would miss on a 51-yard kick attempt. The half ended with the Aggies up 14-3.

Latest

More MWWire