In the first start of his college career, Utah State redshirt freshman quarterback Jordan Love earned Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week honors.
Love threw for 316 yards and two touchdowns on 19-27 passing and added 42 yards and another touchdown on the ground in the team’s 52-28 road win against UNLV on Saturday.
The last Aggie to earn offensive player of the week honors was fellow-quarterback Kent Myers, who received the honors after a record-breaking rushing performance against Colorado State in 2015.
The young QB’s two touchdown passes were for 70 and 75 yards, respectively. With an additional 77-yard scoring pass against Wake Forest in September, Love became the first Aggie quarterback since 2014 to have three 70-plus yard touchdown passes in the same season. Only two other quarterbacks in the football bowl subdivision (FBS) have at least three 70-yard touchdown passes.
It was a stellar performance for Love and one the Aggies desperately needed to continue pushing toward bowl eligibility.
Utah State trailed 14-0 early in the game, but Love’s two first-half passing touchdowns kept the Aggies in the game. A goalline touchdown run by junior LaJuan Hunt, Jr. late in the second quarter tied the game at 28 going into the halftime break.
Love broke the tie and scored the only touchdown of the third quarter on a five-yard run. The running game took over down the stretch as Hunt picked up his second score of the afternoon on a 30-yard run to start the final quarter. Fellow-junior Justen Hervey topped it off with a seven-yard plunge with 1:15 left in the game to conclude the scoring.
Jordan Love punches it in for the first USU lead of the day pic.twitter.com/GqIVBENtQI
— ᴊᴀᴅᴇɴ ᴊᴏʜɴsᴏɴ (@JadenJohns0n) October 22, 2017
Saturday’s performance was the third time in school history a quarterback threw for more than 300 yards in his first start. Brett Stevens had 340 yards against Fresno State in 1985 and Matt Sauk had 390 against Oklahoma State in 1996.
The next game for the Aggies will be Saturday night in Maverik Stadium against Boise State. Utah State upset the Broncos 52-26 the last time these two teams faced each other in Logan. Assuming he gets the starting nod this weekend, Love will have a difficult task to replicate his Las Vegas performance. The Bronco defense has been one of the best in the Mountain West at putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks so far this season, with two defensive linemen ranking in the top three Mountain West sack leaders.