Aggies beat La Tech 48-41 to guarantee WAC title
Published: Saturday, November 17, 2012
Updated: Saturday, November 17, 2012 21:11
Utah State won at least a share of the Western Athletic Conference Championship on Saturday when the Aggies beat Louisiana Tech 48-41 in overtime on the road in Ruston, La.
The win marked USU’s only conference championship in the WAC, in what likely will be the conference’s final football season.
Utah State jumped out early with a 17-3 halftime lead, thanks in part to a blocked La. Tech field goal attempt and an interception in the end zone by senior safety Will Davis.
It was La. Tech quarterback Colby Cameron’s first interception thrown this season, ending an NCAA-record 443 passing attempts without an interception.
It was also the first time the Bulldogs have been without a touchdown in any half this season.
The Aggies continued the scoring race in the third quarter and led 41-17 after a 1-yard touchdown run by sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton a minute before the fourth quarter started.
Then the Bulldogs woke up. La. Tech junior D.J. Banks ran back the ensuing kickoff 98 yards for the touchdown, starting 16 minutes of Bulldog dominance.
Freshman running back Kenneth Dixon and sophomore Hunter Lee each scored in the fourth quarter, and senior kicker Matt Nelson made a 32-yard field goal to tie the game at 41 as time expired to force overtime.
The Bulldogs won the coin toss and elected to play defense to begin the overtime period, but senior running back Kerwynn Williams took the ball 25 yards in three plays to give Utah State the final touchdown of the game and make it 48-41.
The Aggie defense stopped La. Tech running back Ray Holley on fourth down of the next drive to preserve the win.
Cameron led the Bulldogs to 629 yards of total offense and 396 passing. Dixon had 109 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns in the loss while receiver Quinton Patton led all receivers with 181 yards.
Williams and Utah State quarterback Chuckie Keeton combined for 623 of USU’s 646 total offensive yards and 36 of the 48 Aggie points.
The victory brings Utah State to 9-2 and 5-0 in the WAC while La. Tech falls to 9-2 and 4-1 in conference.
USU will face Idaho on Saturday in the final game of the season at Romney Stadium.