The Utah State Aggies rolled over Idaho State Saturday night in their home opener in front of 18,347 fans, beating the Bengals by a score of 38-17. It was the first win on the newly named Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium.”I thought our kids played hard…. It is tremendous to get a victory,” head coach Gary Andersen said following the game.Utah State amassed an outstanding 542 yards of total offense, with 38 first downs. They were led by senior quarterback Diondre Borel, who went 21-26 for 255 yards passing and one touchdown. Borel also added 46 yards rushing and one TD on the ground. The senior play-caller became the last Aggie since Jose Fuentes and the seventh all-time to go over 5,000 yards in career passing.”It seems like every game Diondre (Borel) is getting an award, but he deserves everything he gets,” said Andersen.”It’s cool. I honestly didn’t even know I got it until Spencer Johnson came over and told me,” Borel replied when asked about the achievement.The USU ground game was much improved from their opener against Oklahoma, in which they were held to 80 yards rushing. Utah State finished with exactly 300 yards on the ground for four touchdowns, and did this damage to ISU through a sort of “committee” ground attack. Four different Aggies scored rushing touchdowns, as Derrvin Speight, Kerwynn Williams, Joey DeMartino, and Borel all found paydirt on the ground. Micheal Smith and Speight amassed the most yardage of the group, running for 86 and 78 yards respectively on 12 carries apiece.”It was a big thing for us. Last week, we really didn’t get our rushing going; we had a total of 80 yards rushing…. We did a much better job rushing the ball tonight,” Borel said.After allowing the Bengals to jump out to an early lead, USU buckled down and put an end to Idaho State’s scoring until the second team defenders took the field at the start of the fourth quarter. ISU started the game with a kick return that went out to midfield, and then put together a drive that lead to a 36 yard field goal by Brendon Garcia to give the Bengals an early 3-0 lead.This was all the scoring that Idaho State would do until late into the fourth quarter with about 2:57 left in the game, when they tacked on a touchdown against USU’s defensive backups. Idaho State also put up another touchdown as time ran down in the fourth.”It is tremendous for our kids to walk out and be able to fall behind early on with a field goal on the big special teams play that we gave up,” Andersen said. “We hunkered in there and got a stop, and our kids fought back, and did a nice job there.”The Aggie defense was pleased, for the most part, with their performance. They gave up 285 yards of total offense to the Bengals, and won the battle on third down, as ISU went 6 of 16 on third down conversions. Utah State also forced two Bengal turnovers, both interceptions, as Raijric Coleman and Quinton Byrd came up with picks. Bobby Wagner lead the Aggies in tackles with nine.The Aggie receiving crew was effective, as they were lead by senior Eric Moats, who had three catches for 65 yards and a score. Xavier Martin and Dontel Watkins also contributed, with 54 and 48 yards respectively. The play of the receivers was a huge concern coming into the game, with the Aggies missing their two main pass-catchers in Stanley Morrison and Matt Austin, both of whom will be out for the season with injuries.”It’s been a heck of a transition when you don’t have Stanley out there and you don’t have Matt Austin out there, that is a big hit,” Andersen said. “They are fighting through the youthfulness that they (the receivers) have.”However, it was not a perfect game for the men in blue. Utah State has areas to improve on, as mentioned by Coach Andersen. He singled out the number of penalties that the Aggies had, as USU ended up with 10 penalties for 98 yards, many of which were dead-ball fouls.”Overall, as a football team, the penalties were an issue. What I would call ignorant penalties, we had a couple of those, and I am not real happy with that,” Andersen said. “We will look forward to getting back together to work as a staff and Monday as a football team.”USU will now turn their attention to preparing for Fresno State, whom the Aggies will face next week when the Bulldogs will come to Logan. Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m.
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