LOGAN –Five rushing touchdowns and another through the air helped Utah State get win number nine Friday night. The Aggies beat San José State 41-7 on senior night and completed a perfect home record for the season.
“To get to nine wins, everything that’s gone on throughout the season is a testament to the culture and character of that locker room,” head coach Matt Wells said after the game.
Freshman quarterback Kent Myers ran for 92 yards and three touchdowns. He completed 14 of 21 passes for 105 yards and a touchdown.
“I’m very happy with where he’s at,” Wells said of Myers. “As long as he remains coachable and as long as he continues to prepare and have a really, really strong mindset and determined to take another step each and every week, I think you’ll see consistent play and probably improved play by him.”
The Aggies ran the ball 42 times for 313 yards, the most of any game this season. JoJo Natson accounted for 124 of those yards.
“He’s amazing,” Myers said. “That dude is fast. It takes a lot off of me to know that I have athletes around me that can do the same thing.”
Zach Vigil started off his senior night recording a 10-yard sack with his brother Nick Vigil. By the end of the game Nick had 12 tackles and his big brother Zach had 19. Wells said Zach Vigil is a kid the Aggie team will miss.
“Eventually you are going to replace his talent at some point,” he said. “But it is going to be hard to replace the leadership and grit and determination.”
The first score of the game came on the Aggies’ first drive. Myers kept the ball and ran 28 yards into the end zone that finished a seven-play, 55-yard drive.
San Jose State evened the score early in the second quarter when they ran the ball seven straight times for 32 yards and a touchdown. They started the drive with good field position after punter Jaron Bentrude dropped the fourth-down snap and was tackled for a loss.
A big 28-yard run by LaJuan Hunt and a 12-yard, third-down reception by Hunter Sharp gave the Aggies first down on the Spartan 34 yard line on their next possession, but a Ronald Butler pass was intercepted by SJSU’s Jimmy Pruitt near the goal line and was returned to their own 29.
The Spartans moved the ball into Aggie territory following the pick, but were stopped by Zach Vigil on fourth-and-1.
“I thought that was huge for field position and everything else,” Zach Vigil said. “That was a good stand by the defense as a whole.”
Two plays later, Myers scored on a career-long, 60-yard touchdown run that helped give the Aggies a 14-7 lead going into the half.
“Not as clean of a first half as I would’ve liked,” Wells said. “We had a dropped punt and had an interception on offense. Going in there, we didn’t contain the quarterback as well as I would’ve liked early on.”
The second half was a different story. The Aggies outscored the Spartans 27-0 in the final two quarters and they didn’t waste any time doing it. They started the scoring with a 65-yard touchdown run from JoJo Natson on the first play from scrimmage in the third quarter. They added seven more with 4:46 left in the third when Myers picked up a touchdown off a 2-yard run. He added his passing touchdown in the fourth when he found tight end Jefferson Court in the end zone from one yard out. The last points of the night came on a 4-yard run from Rashad Hall.
“I thought our guys on both sides of the ball came out and played really, really good in the second half,” Wells said. “We really just kind of cranked it up a whole other notch.”
The Spartans started the game with second-string QB Blake Jurich but were forced to go to their third-string after he was injured first play from scrimmage. He was replaced by quarterback Mitch Ravizza who had 89 rushing yards and completed 13 of 21 passes for 61 yards. Coach Wells said the USU coaching staff knew of Ravizza, but didn’t know much about him.
“He did a nice job,” Wells said. “He’s got some quickness and he scrambled in-between the tackles and caught us on a couple of quarterback draws early on.”
Senior offensive lineman Kevin Whimpey left the game early and didn’t return. Wells said he was taken out for precautionary reasons.
“He got banged up a little bit,” Wells said. “I think he’ll be fine.”
The focus for the Aggies is now on Boise State. A win against the Broncos could mean playing in a second-straight conference championship game, but all of that depends on Colorado State losing at least one of their two final games.
“We’ve stayed alive and we’ve kept our chances up,” Wells said. “We may find out at kickoff we don’t have a chance, and that’s fine. We’ll still go out and play our living hearts out.”