Aggies beat Vandals, nab WAC championship
Published: Saturday, November 24, 2012
Updated: Sunday, November 25, 2012 01:11
Utah State forced four turnovers to beat Idaho 45-9 to secure the outright Western Athletic Conference Championship on Saturday.
"To be moving in the direction we are moving as a program, it's it's a big-time victory," said Utah State head coach Gary Andersen.
Idaho quarterback Taylor Davis threw three interceptions in the game and the Vandals dropped to 1-10 with the loss.
Senior linebacker Bojay Filimoeatu picked Davis off in the first quarter before rumbling 48 yards to set up a 19-yard touchdown reception by senior running back Kerwynn Williams a few plays later.
"Maybe if I hadn't eaten that last plate at Thanksgiving I would have scored a touchdown," Filimoeatu said.
Defensive lineman B.J. Larson intercepted a screen pass with four minutes left in the half, eventually setting up a 1-yard rush by sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton to double the score.
Keeton finished with 133 yards on 17 of 25 completions and three total touchdowns.
Utah State's third interception came two minutes into the second quarter when senior safety Will Davis jumped Davis' pass to the sideline, nearly stumbling out of bounds in his 59-yard touchdown return to make it 21-0.
"We finished off right, held them to nine," Davis said, adding his excitement to finally score a touchdown on an interception. "That felt amazing. When I got it, I started stumbling a little bit, it kind of scared me a little bit."
Idaho kicker Trey Farquhar hit three field goals on either side of halftime --- a 38, 46 and 52-yarder to score the only points for the visiting team and pull the Vandals to 21-9.
Keeton hit senior tight end Kellen Bartlett from 3 yards out to make it 28-9 the play after Williams broke a 52-yard run on USU's first offensive play of the third quarter.
After a 45-yard Nick Diaz field goal in the fourth quarter, Williams found the end zone for the second time from 14 yards out to make it 38-9.
Williams had 161 all-purpose yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Backup running back Joe Hill added the exclamation point with fewer than two minutes in the game with a 7-yard run to make it 45-9.
The win gives Utah State the first 10-win season in school history and the first outright conference championship since 1936.
"Being a champion is a special moment for these kids," Andersen said.
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