LOGAN, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – After three come from behind victories to start the season, Utah State fell down a hole much to big to climb out of against Boise State, and loses its first game of the season, 27-3.
Broncos quarterback Hank Bachmeier threw for two touchdowns, while Boise State’s defense frustrated the Aggies, keeping its high-scoring offense out of the end zone the entire game.
Utah State came into the game averaging 41 points per game.
The back-breaker was a 3-yard pass from Bachmeier to Scott Matlock with 5:09 to play. That capped a 15-yard drive after a critical fumble by Utah State quarterback Andrew Peasley. It took the Broncos nine plays and 4 minutes, 23 seconds to cover 15 yards because of penalties.
Utah State (3-1, 1-1 Mountain West Conference), off to its best start since the 1978 team opened 5-0, finally scored on a field goal less than a minute into the fourth quarter. But even then, the Aggies had a first-and-goal on that drive.
Boise State (2-2, 1-0) answered that with a field goal and followed with Jackson Cravens’ strip sack and Demitri Washington’s recovery.
Utah State had 317 yards in the first half but trailed 10-0 and finished with 443 yards with little to show for it. The Aggies entered the game third in the nation at 563.3 yards.
“Obviously disappointed in the way we played,” Utah State head coach Blake Anderson said. “I thought the energy level was good, but the execution was poor. Offense was as bad as we’ve executed since the beginning of the season. We had yards, but couldn’t finish in the red zone.”
Calvin Tyler Jr. led Utah State with 126 yards rushing on 20 carries. But the passing game struggled, as Logan Bonner and Andrew Peasley combined to complete 13 of 31 passes for 208 yards and two interceptions.
“We just didn’t execute like we usually do on offense,” Tyler said. “I don’t think they did anything special to stop us, we just hurt ourselves on a lot of drives.”
Boise State, which has won six straight in the series, had 435 yards. Bachmeier threw for 287 and Khalil Shakir had seven catches for 113 yards and a score that made it 17-0 early in the third quarter.
“I thought they weren’t the most physical team on the field today, or even the most talented team,” said linebacker AJ Vongphachanh. “I think my guys were there step-by-step. There was just a lack of execution by us on defense, I include myself. We can all get better and just learn from the film and get ready for the short week.”
The game kicked off at 10 a.m. for national television. The Broncos’ last conference opening loss came in 1999 when they were in the Big West Conference.
Utah State next hosts BYU Friday night at Maverik Stadium.