SAN JOSE, Calif. (ABC4 Sports) – Jalen Royals caught a touchdown pass in his fourth-consecutive game, but it still wasn’t enough as San Jose State defeated Utah State 42-21 on Saturday at CEFCU Stadium.
Royals finished with four catches for 60 yards, while fellow junior wide receiver Micah Davis also caught four passes for 57 yards and a touchdown.
McCae Hillstead was 17-of-29 passing for 160 yards and two touchdowns, to go along with two interceptions, for Utah State (3-5, 1-3 Mountain West).
Hillstead’s counterpart on the night, Chevan Cordeiro, completed 15 of his 20 pass attempts for 119 yards and three touchdowns as SJSU (3-5, 1-3 MW) snapped a 10-game losing streak to USU.
Like it has been the majority of the season, the first quarter proved to be Utah State’s nemesis as the Aggies spotted the Spartans a two-touchdown lead before the start of the second. The Aggies have now been outscored 105-17 in the opening quarter.
Both teams turned the ball over twice in the first, but neither team could cash in on their respective takeaways.
Devin Dye both forced and recovered a fumble for Utah State, while MJ Tafisi Jr. forced a fumble and junior defensive end Blaine Spires recovered a fumble.
The Spartans built their 14-0 lead on a 10-yard touchdown run by Quali Conley and a 4-yard touchdown pass from Cordeiro to Kairee Robinson.
Utah State cut the deficit in half courtesy of a 5-yard touchdown run by Rahsul Faison with 11:51 to go until halftime. The Aggies tied the game at 14-all just before halftime on a 25-yard touchdown pass from Hillstead to Davis.
Faison finished with 36 yards rushing, while Davon Booth led Utah State on the ground with 43 yards on 11 carries.
Unfortunately for the Aggies, they couldn’t keep the momentum going after the break as the Spartans took control of the game by scoring 21 unanswered points. USU cut it to 35-21 with 5:38 left in the game when Royals extended his touchdown streak by hauling in a 20-yard reception from Hillstead.
Tafisi led the Aggies on the defensive side of the ball as he racked up 14 tackles, while sophomore safety Ike Larsen added 10 stops, including 0.5 tackles for loss.
SJSU finished with 370 yards of total offense and limited USU to just 264 – 160 through the air and 104 on the ground. The Aggies were just 3-for-10 on third downs and only possessed the ball for 22 minutes and 45 seconds.
Utah State will enjoy its lone bye week of the season before heading back out on the road to take on San Diego State on Saturday, Nov. 4.