Often troubled on the road, Utah State football entered its first conference matchup of 2017 with several demons to cast aside. Wake Forest dropped the Aggies worse than No. 9 Wisconsin, and Idaho State’s win didn’t carry much weight for a team looking to prove 28 media voters wrong — USU needed to prove it knew how to win.
Slamming a conference opponent was an awfully good start.
Utah State took care of the San Jose State Spartans on the road Saturday by a final tally of 61-10 in a matchup that was all but decided by halftime.
“It was just what the doctor ordered,” said USU head coach Matt Wells. “We needed that.”
Myers finished the night with 18-of-24 passing for 181 yards and four total touchdowns. The Aggie ground game also found its footing, powering through SJSU for 271 rushing yards. Utah State’s defense limited the Spartans to just 54 yards on the ground, 162 yards of overall offense and no touchdowns.
From opening kickoff to closing whistle, the Aggies passed a week’s worth of frustration after a poor showing in Winston-Salem onto an outmatched Spartan team. A brutal combination of blocked punts, fourth down conversions and a slick one-handed touchdown grab powered USU to a 38-0 halftime lead.
San Jose State seized the first big momentum shift of the game, picking off Kent Myers in the middle of the Aggies’ first march downfield. Three plays later, Aggie linebacker Chase Christiansen forced a Spartan fumble recovered by fellow defender Jakoby Wildman to set up USU’s opening score. Starting quarterback Kent Myers led the next drive to the SJSU 29, before handing off to senior LaJuan Hunt for an untouched scamper to the end zone and the game’s opening score.
The Spartans’ long night was underway.
Chaos in the form of a reinvigorated Aggie defense descended on an unsuspecting home team, forcing six turnovers over four dominant quarters. The Myers-led offense, at times non-existent in the past few weeks, proved sharp and exacting against an SJSU squad that struggled to cover the sidelines. Myers first connected with senior Braelon Roberts on a third-and-10, which Roberts extended with a dash to the corner of the end zone for the Aggies’ second touchdown. Less than five minutes later, Myers struck again — this time to Gerold Bright for a 43-yard catch-and-sprint up the sideline.
Up 21-0 and barely three minutes into the second quarter, Utah State’s Maika Magalei recovered an SJSU fumble deep in Spartan territory, reaching pay dirt for USU’s lone defensive score of the day. With the game already spinning out of control, the Spartan special teams got caught sleeping on a kickoff return and allowed Tarver to recover a kick on the SJSU 28, setting up a 23-yard toss from backup quarterback Jordan Love to Ron’Quavion Tarver. With his left arm pinned by a defender in the end zone, Tarver made a one-handed grab for the Aggies’ fifth straight score.
Utah State, notorious for its road struggles and badly in need of a confidence-boosting win, took to the locker room at halftime leading 38-0.
The third quarter followed a similar script, with Myers earning his first rushing touchdown of the evening while sophomore placekicker Dominik Eberle added two well-placed field goals from 23 and 52 yards out. After scoring in almost every conceivable fashion, Myers managed to attach an untouched for a 68-yard score to his stat line with 4:38 remaining in the third quarter. The Aggies led 55-0.
Spartan senior Jermaine Kelly single-handedly ended the Aggies’ shutout bid with a 68-yd pick-six off of Jordan Love with just 50 seconds remaining in the third, before recovering a fumble on the next Aggie drive. Despite back-to-back turnovers and allowing ten straight points to the Spartans, the win was never within doubt. Utah State tacked two more field goals by game’s end, pushing the final tally to 61-10.