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LOGAN — Saturday against San Jose State, the Utah State Agiges didn't play well.
Not only were the Aggies unable to consistently move the ball through the air, but they also turned the ball over five times (one interception and four fumbles). As USU head coach Gary Andersen knows, turning the ball over five times and only taking the ball away once will almost always lead to defeat, this was definitely an exception but the Aggies will take the 34-33 win.
Let’s take a snapshot look at some of the key players in this game.
Matt Faulker, SJSU senior quarterback: The cold wet weather didn’t slow down the Spartan quarterback as he threw for 340 yards on 27-of-49 passing and a touchdown. Faulker was the beneficiary of great blocking from the San Jose State offensive line. He had all the time he needed to look downfield and make big plays. The Aggies were able to shut down the Spartan running game and Faulker stepped up in a big way, but fell just short as USU knocked lose the final three passes he threw.
Chuck Jacobs, USU junior wide receiver: Jacobs had a fantastic day for the Aggies returning kick after kick for 40 yards, consistently giving the Aggies good field position. While the junior from Richmond, Calif., finished the game with just one catch, that reception went for 41 yards on 3rd-and-7 to keep a USU drive alive. Later in the drive, Jacobs took an end around for 11 yards and Aggie first down. Those two plays didn’t lead to a score, but certainly was confidence building for the Aggies. His only mistake was running backward on a kick return late in the third quarter trying to make a play.
San Jose State wide receivers: The Spartans might not have much of a running game, but their wide receivers are a solid bunch. Nine different Spartan receivers caught a pass from Faulkner. SJSU was led by junior tight end Ryan Otten, who finished with six catches for 75 yards, and freshman wide receiver Jabari Carr who finished with four catches and 88 yards, including Faulkner’s only TD pass on a 34-yard toss after a USU turnover.
Robert Turbin, USU junior running back: Game after game the junior tailback continues to impress. Turbin found holes even when the offensive line wasn’t able to open up lanes for him to run through. Not only was he able to average 5.8 yards per carry, but also had the big time play in the second quarter running through a highway of Aggie blockers for a 39-yard touchdown run. Turbin finished the game with 128 yards on 22 carries and two touchdowns. He also had the catches for 13 yards. Aggie faithful should understand how lucky they are to be able to watch this man run the football every week seeing as he certainly has the talent to run the ball on Sundays.
Michael Smith, USU senior running back: While Turbin may be the horse for the Aggies, Smith certainly knows how to turn on the jets when he gets the ball. Only carrying the ball eight times, Smith still managed to run for 91 yards (11.4 yards per carry) and a 77-yard touchdown run.
Justin McKissick is a KSL.com contributor originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. He is currently seeking a communications degree. Justin has been covering USU sports since 2011. Follow him on Twitter: @justin_sr.