Aggies upset Wolf Pack to become bowl eligible
LOGAN, Utah (AP) – Utah State scored on two pass plays in the third quarter and recovered a fourth-quarter fumble to top Nevada 21-17 on Saturday.
Adam Kennedy threw for 140 yards and a touchdown for the Aggies (6-5, 4-2 Western Athletic Conference) and ran for a critical first down in the final minute preserve the win.
Utah State scored what proved to be the decisive touchdown on the final play of the third quarter. On a double-pass play, wide receiver Stanley Morrison hit Robert Turbin with a 34-yard strike for the score.
Nevada (6-5, 4-2 WAC) was led by Lampford Mark, who carried the ball 22 times for 111 yards and a touchdown.
Nevada was threatening to score with 5:40 remaining in the game when Wolfpack backup quarterback Tyler Lantrip fumbled on a fourth-down attempt for a first down. The ball was recovered by Bobby Wagner on the Aggie 11-yard line.
With 1:48 remaining in the third quarter, USU took their first lead of the game, 14-10, on a 21-yard pass from Kennedy to Matt Austin. One play earlier, Austin hauled in a 40-yard pass as the key play in a five-play possession for USU.
Two plays later and with backup quarterback Lantrip in for Nevada, the Wolfpack scored on a screen pass that Matthews took 76 yards for a touchdown.
Nevada scored first in the game and dominated most categories in the first half, gaining 290 yards to Utah State’s 134.
Jake Hurst kicked a 19-yard field goal in the first quarter and Mark had a 35-yard run for a touchdown on the second play of the second quarter.
Utah State countered with a 10-yard run by Kerwynn Williams late in the second quarter.
Nevada held the ball for more than 19 minutes and starting quarterback Cody Fajardo was 15-of-18 for 147 yards in the first half. Fajardo was injured with 3:24 left in the third quarter on a blitz and sack by the Aggie defense.
Lantrip was 8-of-10 for 135 yards and one touchdown.
The Aggies’ win over Nevada was their first in Logan since 1950, losing the last seven home games against the Wolfpack. Saturday’s win marks the first time Utah State has won four WAC games in a row, and qualifies the team for a possible bowl game. Utah State’s last bowl opportunity was in the 1997 Humanitarian Bowl.