LOGAN, Utah (ABC 4 Sports) - Behind a season-high 593 yards of total offense, Utah State won its eighth game in a season for the first time since 1974 as it blasted the Bobcats of Texas State, 38-7, Saturday afternoon at Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium.
The Aggies, who lead 35-0 at the half, improved to 8-2 overall and 4-0 in Western Athletic Conference play, winning their last nine WAC games to extend its own school record. USU also won its seven-straight home game and notched its fifth-straight win in November.
Utah State also set a school-record Saturday as it has now scored 38-plus points in each of its last four games.
Texas State fell to 3-5 overall and 1-2 in WAC play having lost its last two games and four of its last five. Saturday was the first-ever meeting between the Aggies and Bobcats, who are in their first year in the WAC.
Sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton accounted for all five of Utah State’s touchdowns as he was 20-of-27 passing for 316 yards and four touchdowns, throwing scoring strikes to junior wide receiver Travis Reynolds, senior tight end Kellen Bartlett, freshman wide receiver Bruce Natson and senior wide receiver Matt Austin all in the first half. Keeton also had 10 rushes for 48 yards and another touchdown on a 3-yard run in the second quarter to give the home team a 21-0 lead.
Senior running back Kerwynn Williams rushed for 120 yards on 19 carries and went over 1,000 yards for the season, becoming the 11th player in Utah State history to reach the milestone, which has now been accomplished 16 times. Williams also went over the 2,000 yard rushing milestone for his career in the game and now ranks ninth all-time at USU with 2,008 yards as he is just the ninth player in school history to reach the 2,000-yard benchmark.
Austin finished the game with four receptions for 124 yards, a new career high, with one touchdown on a 4-yardpass from Keeton. Austin had a pair of 61-yard receptions in the game, which are both career-highs.
Three Aggie seniors also got involved in the receiving stats as wide receiver Cameron Webb had four receptions for 56 yards, Bartlett had three catches for 11 yards and a touchdown, and wide receiver Chuck Jacobs had two catches for 70 yards, with a career long of 64 yards.
Senior safety McKade Brady led the Utah State defense with seven tackles, while junior linebacker Jake Doughty and redshirt-freshman defensive lineman Jordan Nielsen had six stops apiece, as those six tackles by Nielsen are a career-high. Senior cornerback Will Davis also intercepted a pass in his third-straight game on Texas State’s first offensive series in the endzone to stop the Bobcats scoring threat.
The Aggie defense limited Texas State to 158 yards of total offense (82-rushing, 76-passing), which is a season-low and the fewest yards allowed since the 2008 season. Furthermore, the 76 passing yards by the Bobcats are the fewest by an Aggie opponent since 2000.
Marcus Curry rushed for 46 yards on nine carries and had the Bobcats’ only touchdown on the day, with a 3-yard plunge early in the third quarter after Texas State had a short field following an interception.
Utah State got on the board on their first drive, marching down the field with Keeton hitting Reynolds from 4-yards out with 12:46 on the first quarter clock for Reynolds’ first career touchdown catch, marking the fourth time in as many games and sixth time this year that USU has scored a touchdown on its first offensive series of the game. Keeton added to his touchdown pass total with a 2-yard toss to Bartlett with 3:53 left in the first frame as USU led 14-0 and has now out-scored its opposition 103-6 in the first quarter this season.
After using his arm for the Aggies’ first two scores of the day, Keeton used his legs for their third, scoring on a 3-yard scamper with 11:09 to go in the second quarter. Natson scored his first touchdown of his Aggie career with a 23-yard catch from Keeton with 6:52 left until halftime. And Austin caught his touchdown pass on a 4-yard toss by Keeton with 46 seconds left until halftime, giving USU a 35-0 intermission advantage.
In all, USU now holds a 206-45 scoring advantage in the first half this year as it has now lead at the half in nine of its 10 games.
For Utah State, its 593 yards of total offense (325-passing, 268-rushing) rank as the 12th-most in school history as it also had a season-high 268 yards rushing. For USU, it has now produced at least 500 yards of total offense five times on the season.
USU has a bye week next week before heading to Ruston, La., for a showdown with Louisiana Tech on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 5 p.m. (MT). The Aggies return home to host Idaho on Saturday, Nov. 24 at 1 p.m. in the regular-season finale.