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Top performers: Utah State vs. Auburn

Top performers: Utah State vs. Auburn

By Justin McKissick, KSL.com Contributor | Posted - Sep. 3, 2011 at 3:07 p.m.



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AUBURN, ALA. -- A quick look at the top performers in the exhilarating game between the Auburn Tigers and Utah State Aggies.

  1. Chuckie Keeton, USU freshman QB -

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True-freshman quarterback Chuckie Keeton took his first collegiate snap against the defending national champions and performed like a three-year starter for the Aggies of Utah St. Keeton was 21-30 passing for 213 yards and rushed for another 33 yards on eight carries and had two rushing touchdowns. While the freshman may not have thrown for a touchdown in his debut, the most impressive stat of the day was zero: as in interceptions.

  1. Barrett Trotter, Auburn junior QB - Auburn's signal caller was also making his division one debut as a starter and he was impressive as well; throwing for 261 on 17 completions in 23 attempts and three touchdowns. Trotter was also able to put up the golden stat: zero interceptions.
  2. Utah St. Defensive Front Seven - The defensive line and linebackers for the Aggies did enough to lead this team to victory, holding Auburn to just 78 yards rushing on 30 carries averaging just 2.6 yards-per-carry. This is staggering considering the Tigers had two running backs who rushed for over 800 yards each.
  3. Utah St. Offensive Line - While they may have been overmatched talent-wise, this was a group and experienced men who would not let themselves be pushed around. They were able to protect freshman QB Keeton for the majority of the game and opened up holes for the Aggie backfield who rushed for a combined 227 yards on 53 carries for an average of 4.3 yards-per-carry. Expect big things for this group as the season progresses.
  4. Auburn Special Teams - While special team stats may not be fancy or what most people look at in the box score the next day, give credit to Auburn's special teams because they not only returned a kick-off for a touchdown (bringing the Tigers back into a game that was quickly getting away from them) but was also able to convert an onside kick that led Auburn to their victory dive.
  5. Utah St. Head Coach Gary Andersen - Coach Andersen had his team ready when they went into Jordan-Hare Stadium and the Aggies almost were able to pull of the upset of the Auburn Tigers. With gutsy calls on fourth downs (the Aggies went 3-3 on fourth down including a fake field goal) and solid play calling all game long, Coach Andersen had his team poised for victory, but as Coach Andersen has said previously, "There are no moral victories." Email: onlinesports@ksl.com

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