Utah State Blown Out By Memphis In 38-10 First Responder Bowl Rout

Utah State Blown Out By Memphis In 38-10 First Responder Bowl Rout

First Responders Bowl

Utah State Blown Out By Memphis In 38-10 First Responder Bowl Rout


Utah State Blown Out By Memphis In 38-10 First Responder Bowl Rout

All of the hallmarks of the Aggies’ frustrating season showed up one last time in an ugly bowl loss to the Memphis Tigers.

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A tough way to end the year.

The Utah State Aggies got off to a slow start in the First Responder Bowl and never really found their footing, ending a disappointing 2022 season with a 38-10 loss against the Memphis Tigers.

The primary culprit was an offense that looked reminiscent of the unit which struggled often in August and September, posting only 261 yards of total offense while turning the ball over three times. Starting quarterback Cooper Legas completed just 7-of-12 passes for 58 yards and an interception before a leg injury knocked him out of the game just after halftime, but backups Bishop Davenport and Levi Williams weren’t much better in throwing for a combined 101 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions on 8-of-11 attempts.

Utah State’s running game was mostly quiet, as well, with Calvin Tyler Jr. leading with 79 rushing yards on 16 attempts. Wide receiver Brian Cobbs was the lone Aggie to find the end zone, on a 44-yard connection with Davenport in the fourth quarter, and he finished the day with six catches for 79 yards.

Kicker Connor Coles was a bright spot, however, connecting on a career-long 53-yard field goal attempt.

The defense, meanwhile, did well to keep the Tigers in check early but gave up far too many explosive plays for their own good as the game progressed. Defensive end Daniel Grzesiak led the way with 2.5 TFLs, two sacks, and a forced fumble while the Aggies totaled five sacks and 14 tackles for loss as a team, but they allowed Memphis to convert 7-of-14 third down tries and gave up 5.7 yards per play, including 12 chunk plays (rushes of 10+ yards, passes of 15+ yards) which added up to 291 yards.

Utah State never really had a consistent answer for Memphis quarterback Seth Henigan, who completed 20-of-29 passes for 284 yards and three touchdowns. He earned the game’s MVP honor for that effort, though it could have also gone to wide receiver Eddie Lewis, who led the Tigers with five catches for 83 yards and two scores, or running back Jeyvon Ducker, who had a game-high 83 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 13 attempts.

The Aggies finish 2022 with a 6-7 record and look forward to next fall, when they’ll kick off the season at Iowa. Memphis finishes 7-6 and will open 2023 at home against Bethune-Cookman.


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