<a href=”http://podcast.cachevalleydaily.com/AggiePhotos/usu20090926Game/” target=”_blank”>For a photo gallery for Saturday’s game, click here.</a>
The “A” on Old Main will be blue tonight for Homecoming. The Utah State Aggie football team won their homecoming game 53-34 despite a valiant effort by the visiting Southern Utah Thunderbirds. The Aggie offense rolled up 604 yards en route to the win. Defensively the Ags were stingy in the first quarter but struggled to contain the SUU passing game once they opened it up in the second. The visitors amassed 367 yards of total offense, 262 of which were through the air.Adrian Bybee introduced himself to the Southern Utah offense on the opening drive of the game. The senior linebacker made a tackle, broke up a pass, and recorded a sack. The Aggies forced SUU to punt but the subsequent return was fumbled by Kejon Murphy. The Thunderbirds recovered and it set up a 48 yard field goal that put the visitors up 3-0 early. Utah State answered right away with a seven-play, 80-yard drive that was capped off with a touchdown pass from wide receiver Stanley Morrison to running back Robert Turbin. Three Aggie receivers lined up one behind another on the west side of the formation. Borel dropped back and threw horizontally to Morrison while Turbin snuck out of the backfield on the opposite side. Morrison found the Aggie running back uncontested for the USU touchdown. Utah State also scored on their second possession of the game. After a pass interference call on third and fourteen kept the drive alive QB Diondre Borel found running back Michael Smith down the west sideline for a 54 yard touchdown pass. Turbin continued to be an explosive weapon out of the Utah State backfield. “Turbo” rushed for 106 yards on 17 carries. The sophomore running back also hauled in 4 passes for 116 yards. Late in the first half he took a swing pass from Borel and blew down the east side line for a 77 yard touchdown. The Aggies took a 31-24 lead into halftime. Southern Utah scored touchdowns on consecutive possessions in the second quarter. Tysson Poots scored on a 19 yard touchdown pass from Cade Cooper and on the ensuing kickoff USU upback Jacob Actkinson fumbled while fighting for extra yardage on the return. The Thunderbirds capitalized with Cooper hitting Fesi Sitake over the middle for a touchdown cutting the USU lead to 21-17. Utah State put a lot of pressure on SUU quarterback Cade Cooper but the senior quarterback did a great job of evading the rush and getting passes off just before being hit. Cooper orchestrated a 10 play scoring drive early in the third quarter to cut the Aggie lead to 37-31. The touchdown drive by Southern Utah came after the Aggies opened up a thirteen point lead by scoring on the first drive of the second half. Wide Receiver Stanley Morrison demonstrated more game-breaking ability. The sophomore caught a huge 69 yard touchdown pass late in the game that put USU up 51-34. The Aggie defense sealed the homecoming win when Chris Randle picked off SUU backup quarter back Ammon Olsen with 3:44 remaining in the game. The defense then followed that with a safety by Junior Keiaho after SUU was backed up to their own goal line by a great punt by Peter Caldwell. Utah State special teams turned the ball over on fumbles three times during the game. The last one resulted in a Southern Utah field goal from 28 yards out. The kick was made by Ryan Griffith and it kept the Thunderbirds in the game going into the fourth quarter. The Aggies led 44-34 entering the fourth.