LOGAN, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – It was a celebration that lasted well into the night.
When Utah State pulled off a dramatic 26-23 comeback win over Washington State late Saturday night in Pullman, the Aggies couldn’t really contain themselves.
“It was a huge win, a fun night, and a long trip home,” said head coach Blake Anderson, victorious his USU coaching debut. “But man, even a trip getting home at 4:30 in the morning is fun after a big win.”
“I was emotional,” said running back Calvin Tyler, who had 84 yards rushing and a touchdown. “I don’t know if everybody saw, but I was very emotional after the game. It was just a blessing to get that win.”
When Logan Bonner hit Deven Thompkins with 11 seconds left, it capped a double-digit fourth quarter comeback, and gave Utah State had its first road win over a Power-5 school since 1971 when it beat Kansas State.
“It’s a big milestone for us, but we don’t want that to be it,” Anderson said. “We want to build on this.”
Nobody really knew what to expect from Utah State, with a new coaching staff and 15 new transfer players, but this looks like a team to be reckoned with in the Mountain West Conference.
“We felt like we could win going in,” Anderson said. “I told the guys in the locker room that I was excited, but not surprised. I felt like we had a game plan that gave us a great chance to win. I think we were being underestimated pretty much by everybody.”
“We knew the second half was going to be ours,” said Tyler, who scored the Aggies first touchdown of the fourth quarter. “We knew we were going to wear those guys down and we were just going to dominate the second half.”
Both Bonner and Andrew Peasley played at quarterback, and while both had their ups and downs, we may see a similar rotation this week.
“I’m not sure when we’ll make that final decision,” Anderson said. “We are moving towards one, there is no doubt. This is not something we’re going to continue all year.”
But Anderson definitely wants to keep the momentum going for the home opener Friday night against North Dakota at Maverik Stadium.
“I’m excited about playing in front of our home crowd on Friday night,” he said. “I think it’s a white out if I’m not mistaken. It should be electric, and I expect it to be. Any fans that are watching, we need you. We need you big time this Friday night.”
“I think everybody is very excited,” added safety Dominic Tatum. “I think the Mav is going to be rocking, and we’re going to give you guys a show.”
Utah State and North Dakota will kick off Friday night at 7:00 p.m.