LOGAN, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Once again, Utah State fell behind, but once again, the Aggies rallied for a victory.
Cooper Legas threw four scores and Utah State pulled away from Colorado State in the second half for a 44-24 win on Saturday.
Colorado State built a 17-0 lead before the Aggies rallied to tie it at halftime.
But once the Aggies got past the dreaded first quarter, there was no stopping them.
After spotting Colorado State a 17-point lead less than six minutes into the game, Utah State erupted for 37 unanswered points en route to a dominating 20-point Homecoming victory in front of 22,864 fans Saturday night on Merlin Olsen Field at Maverik Stadium.
Cooper Legas completed 19 of 29 passes for a career-high 387 yards and a career-best four touchdowns. Legas’ final touchdown pass of the night, a 19-yarder to Micah Davis, capped the scoring onslaught and gave the Aggies (3-3, 1-1 Mountain West) a 37-17 lead with 11:38 to go in the game.
Legas is the first Utah State signal caller to ever pass for 300 yards or more against CSU, which has lost five in a row to the Aggies, who have been outscored 84-7 in the first quarter this season.
This marked the second-consecutive week Utah State has come back from 17 down to win – tied for the fourth-largest comeback in school history. The Aggies trailed 17-0 in the first quarter at UConn a week ago, but rallied for a thrilling 34-33 road victory over the Huskies.
Under third-year head coach Blake Anderson, the Aggies have posed 14 come-from-behind wins – nine of those have been double-digit deficits.
Davis, who caught a career-best five passes for 104 yards, was one of three Aggies to reach the 100-yard receiving plateau. Terrell Vaughn – held without a catch a week ago at UConn – led USU with eight catches for 143 yards and one touchdown, while Jalen Royals hauled in six passes for 140 yards and one TD.
It is just the second time in school history and first since the 1996 campaign that Utah State had three players with 100 yards receiving. It is also just the second time in school history that the Aggies have had three 100-yard receivers and a 100-yard rusher in the same game, joining the ’96 squad that accomplished the feat against CSUN.
Limited to a mere 46 yards in the first quarter, Utah State finished with 639 yards of total offense – 252 on the ground – which is the 10th-most in school history.
Davon Booth led the Aggies’ ground attack with a career-high 141 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries. Robert Briggs Jr. nearly gave Utah State two 100-yard rushers as he gained 80 yards on 19 carries.
Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi was 26 of 57 passing for 225 yards in a losing effort for the Rams (2-3, 0-1), who had their two-game winning streak snapped. CSU finished with 320 yards of total offense.
Utah State’s defense had five takeaways on the night as safety Ike Larsen had a career-high-tying two interceptions, while Simeon Harris recorded the first interception of his career.
Seni Tuiaki and Blaine Spires each recovered a fumble for the Aggies. For Tuiaki, it was the first of his career. MJ Tafisi Jr. led Utah State with nine tackles, while Larsen and Devin Dye had seven stops apiece.
The Aggies also recorded 14 quarterback hurries, including a career-best four by defensive tackle Hale Motu’apuaka.
Utah State is back in action on Friday, Oct. 13, when the Aggies welcome Fresno State to Merlin Olsen Field at Maverik Stadium at 6 p.m.