Coming into Saturday’s second bowl game of the year, the match-up between the Utah State Aggies and the Toledo Rockets was projected to be one of the highest scoring games in the whole bowl season.
But not everything goes as it’s planned, at least not right away.
Instead of being a high-scoring shootout between these two games, it was nothing but an offensive struggle throughout the first three quarters of the game.
In the first play of the game Toledo’s star senior linebacker, and the lead tackler in all of college football, Dan Molls was knocked out of the game with a concussion on the Rockets’ kickoff return and was unable to return to the game.
This left a huge gap in experience and leadership for the Rockets.
The first play of Toledo’s offensive possession set-up for what looked to be the tempo of the game as the Rockets ran a trick play that went for 36-yards. But, the Toledo was only able to come up with a field goal.
“When they got down in the red zone they scored touchdowns and when we got down in the redzone we had to kick field goals,” said Toledo Head Coach Matt Campbell.
Later in the first quarter, Utah State redshirt sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton scrambled for a 15-yard 1st down run while weaving in and out of defenders. The very next play Keeton ran for a 62-yard touchdown.
To put it as simple as possible, Keeton has some real potential at the collegiate level and is extremely explosive.
“Chuckie was very solid in his performance and in my opinion, Chuckie Keeton is an elite QB and he will be an elite QB in the nation next year and anytime anybody wants to talk about great quarterbacks here in the country, and there are some great ones, you better not make those conversations go too far without mentioning Chuckie Keeton’s name,” said Utah State Head Coach Gary Andersen.
From the end of the first quarter till halfway through the fourth, there was a mass amount of field goals made from both teams.
Utah State contributed two field goals while Toledo made three field goals making the score 13-9.
Enter Utah State senior running back Kerwy Williams.
Williams went on to score three rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter, which included two long touchdown runs for 63-yards and 25-yards. Williams would go on to rush for 235 total yards.
“The offensive line did a great job blocking up front, they opened up some creases for me and from there, it’s history,” Williams said.
On the kickoff return after Williams 3rd touchdown, Toledo junior running back Bernard Reedy returned the ball all the way back for a 87-yard touchdown, making the game 34-15 with Utah State leading.
After a failed 4th down conversion by the Rockets the Utah State Aggies went on to score once more, putting the exclamation mark and ending the game at 41-15.
The Aggies were backed by their fans, as the close proximity from Logan, Utah made it easy for them to make the trek to Boise.
And it showed through the official attendance at Bronco Stadium: 29,243, the highest ever for a non-Boise State football game.
The Utah State Aggies finished the season with the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl trophy, a Western Athletic Conference title, an 11-2 record and will likely finish in the Top 25 for the first time