“Not perfect, but damn near.”
Senior safety Dallin Leavitt summed up Utah State’s Senior Day performance perfectly after the Aggies dominated Hawaii during a 38-0 shutout victory on Saturday afternoon at Maverik Stadium. It was the first shutout for USU since defeating Colorado State 13-0 in November of 2013.
“We’re not done yet,” senior RB Lajuan Hunt said. “We’ve still got two games left and we’ve got to end on a good note. Why not end on a four-game winning streak?”
Utah State started out strong, as the defense held Hawaii to -14 yards on their first two drives, while the offense found the endzone twice via a 60-yard TD run from sophomore RB Gerold Bright and a 10-yard TD reception by junior WR Ron’quavion Tarver.
Senior QB Kent Myers entered into the game during the second quarter, as well, immediately breaking a QB run for 27 yards before throwing a perfect deep fade route to fellow senior Braelon Roberts for a 49-yard TD pass to put USU up 21-0.
“I’m happy for that kid,” head coach Matt Wells said. “He’s been a good teammate, he’s been a good leader, he’s been a good football player here at Utah State. For him to have that moment was something special.” Myers finished the game with 51 yards on 3-6 passing with one touchdown, adding another 30 yards on four carries.
Late in the first half, the shutout was put in danger as Hawaii pieced together two drives that moved deep into USU territory. The first culminated in a turnover on downs, as Utah State forced an incomplete pass on fourth down from the 15-yard line. The second drive made it all the way to the 1-yard line before junior safety Gaje Ferguson forced a fumble that was recovered by sophomore LB Justus Te’i.
Utah State’s dominance continued in the second half, as Lajuan Hunt broke a 48-yard TD run to put USU up 28-0 early in the third quarter.
“It’s big time. I wouldn’t want to go out any other way,” Hunt said following the game. “It feels good to leave Maverik Stadium on 100 yards, a touchdown, and a win to become bowl eligible.” Hunt finished with a total of 111 yards on 13 carries, adding a 26-yard reception, as well.
Much of the senior class finished their careers at Maverik Stadium with excellent days. Cornerback Jalen Davis tied a career-high with four pass break-ups. Roberts led the Aggies in receiving with 55 yards on two receptions, including one touchdown. Leavitt finished with seven tackles, second-most on the team behind Ferguson, who tallied eight.
The game didn’t solely belong to seniors, however, as redshirt freshman QB Jordan Love pulled a read-option, then spun and pirouetted his way to a 15-yard TD run. Sophomore Dominik Eberle then tacked on a 20-yard field goal to cap off the scoring.
Love finished the game with 113 yards on 9-14 passing, also rushing the ball six times for 47 yards. Bright finished the game with 93 yards on eight carries.
The win brought Utah State up to 6-0 under coach Wells in games immediately following a bye. The Aggies came into the contest outscoring those opponents by nearly 20 points per game.
“The success of any leader is always attributed to how the troops are responding,” coach Wells said. “I give the credit to our players.”
Despite clinching bowl eligibility with the win, and thoroughly dominating the visiting Warriors, both players and coaches deemed the team’s task unfinished.
“I’m happy with win number six, but there’s one more week to go,” coach Wells said. “We’re on a two-week sprint to get to number seven.”
Utah State faces one more game on the regular season schedule, as the Aggies will travel to Fort Collins, Colorado to take on Air Force. Kickoff is scheduled for Saturday at noon.