Utah State improves to 8-2 with 48-17 romp past San Jose State

Sports

Utah State safety Ajani Carter (12) returns an interception against San Jose State during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021, San Jose, Calif. Utah State won 48-17. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

SAN JOSE, Calif. (ABC4 Sports) – It has been a remarkable turnaround for the Utah State football team, and now the Aggies are two wins away from getting to the Mountain West Conference Championship Game.

For the sixth time this season, the fifth time on the road, Utah State (8-2, 6-1 Mountain West) erased a double-digit deficit and beat San Jose State, 48-17 to improve to 8-2 on the season.

Logan Bonner completed 20 of 33 passes for 263 yards and four touchdowns, as the Aggies came back from a 14-0 deficit on the road to beat the Spartans.

Deven Thompkins caught five passes for 127 yards, his sixth-straight 100-yard receiving game, tying Kevin Curtis the longest streak in school history. 

Utah State continued its dominance of San Jose State over the last 13 seasons, winning their ninth in a row in the series dating back to 2009. 

The Aggies held the Spartans (5-6, 3-4) to just 150 yards of total offense, including 12 on the ground, which tied a season low for the Utah State defense. It is also the fewest yards allowed by USU since Weber State’s 138 in 2013. 

Ajani Carter highlighted Utah State’s efforts on defense as he recorded four tackles, including a strip sack that he recovered to set up a touchdown. Carter also intercepted a pass and returned it 45 yards, and he had one pass breakup. 

Bonner completed at least one pass to eight different receivers as USU finished with 450 yards of total offense. 

Derek Wright had three receptions for 50 yards and two touchdowns, while Bowling also had three catches for 25 yards and a TD.

Calvin Tyler Jr. led all rushers in the game with 61 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries, and sophomore running back Elelyon Noa added 41 yards and another score on the ground. 

The Spartans took a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter when Kenyon Reed intercepted a pass by Bonner and returned it 58 yards for a touchdown. It marked the first time since 2019 that an opponent has had a pick-six against the Aggies. 

On the very next series, Bonner fumbled after being sacked and the Spartans recovered the ball on Utah State’s 38-yard line. Three plays later, SJSU doubled its lead when Tyler Nevens scored on a 1-yard touchdown run, making it 14-0 early in the second quarter. 

That’s when Utah State took over. 

The Aggies answered San Jose State’s touchdown with their first score the next time they touched the ball. Bonner threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Scarver to cut the deficit to 14-7 with 12:40 remaining in the half. Thompkins set up the TD with an acrobatic 43-yard reception – his lone catch in the first half. 

Utah State’s defense set up the Aggies’ next touchdown when Carter sacked SJSU quarterback Nick Nash. Carter also knocked the ball loose and recovered it at the Spartans’ 4-yard line. 

Two plays later, Bonner hooked up with Wright from four yards out and the game was knotted at 14-apiece with 9:50 showing on the clock. 

The Aggies kept the pedal to the metal as Noa scored on a 3-yard touchdown run, while Connor Coles kicked a 32-yard field goal to send Utah State into the locker room with a 24-14 lead. Coles tacked on a 40-yarder with 6:28 to go in the game. 

Utah State’s 8-2 start to the season is its third best in the last 43 years, trailing only the 2012 and 2018 teams that both went 11-2. It is just the 13th time in school history that USU has won eight-plus games in a season. 

Utah State next hosts Wyoming Saturday on Senior Day at 6:00 p.m. at Maverik Stadium.

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