This game had the makings of the defensively dramatic version of the day's first game, however Utah State's offense realized who they were and Toledo's defense was what we thought they were as the Aggies used a 28 point fourth quarter to blow the Rockets out of the water. The win was Utah State's first since a 1993 win in the Las Vegas bowl, coincidentally also over a MAC team in Ball State. Utah State ends the year 11-2 overall, the best single season in school history. Toledo dropped to 9-4 with the loss.
Utah State fans can thank their dynamic duo of QB Chuckie Keeton and RB Kerwynn Williams for this win as they went all sorts of crazy to handle the Rockets in the 4th quarter alone. Keeton was 21-31 for 229 yards passing and added 92 yards rushing and 1TD on the ground. Williams was the true rock star however, finishing the game with 235 yards and 3TD's on just 18 carries. Yep, that's right he averaged 13.1 yards a carry on the day.
The Rockets suffered without star QB Terrance Owens, who went out injured, as his backup Austin Dantin was just 12-21 for 132 yards and 2 interceptions.
Of course, I hate to say I told you so, but I TOLD YOU SO… No, seriously, I did… Just check out the preview if you don't believe me. I literally said this:
"This one could have blowout written all over it in favor of Utah State. If they could hold the likes of Wisconsin's crazy rushing attack and Montee Ball in check all game long they sure as hell can do it against Toledo. Gary Andersen's squad is perhaps the most underrated, defensively, in the country and they'll show exactly why they are that good in this one. Now that Kerwynn Williams is officially healthy for the Aggies as well then this one is wrap as far as I'm concerned."
See I told you so!!
For fans of real football this was a great game from the start as defensive football ruled the day. Well, that and a Toledo offense that was about as cold as humanly possible inside the redzone (3-8). It was a pattern we should've seen coming from the very beginning as Toledo took the opening drive down the field and inside the Utah State 20 yard line only to see it stall out and having to settle for a 37 yard field goal to go up 3-0.
That would be the final lead the Rockets would see as Utah State responded with a touchdown on a massive running play by Aggies QB Chuckie Keeton for 62 yards. The Aggies and Rockets tacked on a field goal apiece and the game went to the half at just 10-6.
It wasn't much more exciting in the 3rd quarter as there was just another Aggies field goal to make the score 13-6. Little did an unsuspecting crowd watching in person and on TV know but this game was about to explode in a crazy way, all thanks to one Kerwynn Williams and a span of just over 3 minutes of action.
Toledo put up their 3rd field goal, again inside the Utah State 20 yard line, just past the halfway point of the 4th quarter to make the game 13-9 in favor of the Aggies. That must have been the queue for Williams because he went completely nuts and changed the game from that point on. He scored on a 63 yard scamper just 31 seconds after the field goal and the ass-whooping was on from there.
Williams added a 5 yard TD run just two minutes later to make it 27-9 and less than one minute later it was 34-9 on Williams' third TD in the quarter and on the night.
Even his backup got in on the action Joe Hill put the final exclamation point on the win with a 25 yard TD run of his own to put the game completely out of reach at 41-15 with just 1:42 left to play.
After one day of Bowl season it's safe to say the rest of it has a lot to live up to to say the least, huh?