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Instant analysis: USU not so special teams

Instant analysis: USU not so special teams



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After an incredible overtime victory against the Running Utes last week, the Aggies turned their attention over to the Badgers of Wisconsin, who are coming off a difficult loss of their own against Oregon State.

The Aggies definitely had the momentum going into the game, but the Badgers had something to prove. Wisconsin had a slow start but was able to come back and edge the Aggies of Utah State 16-14.

Utah State did not go without a fight. Here are some of my observations of Utah State in this head-to-head match-up.

Observation 1: USU's defense was prepared for the running game … in the first half.

After one quarter, the Utah State defense held Wisconsin running back Montee Ball to just 43 yards. Although those numbers might not do it justice, USU was able to stop Ball at the goal line to set up for a Wisconsin field goal. Ball also had 13 carries, but six of those carries were only for one yard or less. Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema must have told something to his senior running back because the second half was a bit different. Ball ended the game with a total of 139 yards on 37 carries.

Observation 2: Kerwynn Williams is a great wide receiver threat.

After not even getting targeted last week against Utah, running back Kerwynn Williams showed his versatility in this game against Wisconsin when he had six receptions for a total of 78 yards in the game. He also scored a touchdown, and those were just his receiving numbers. Wisconsin defended against the Aggies' run but didn’t have an answer for their passing game.

Observation 3: Chuckie Keeton really likes to run.

If it was up to Keeton, he’d probably be a running back. Okay, maybe not, but he sure does like it a lot. He ran the ball 44 percent of the time and had about half the yardage as his passing game. He did throw for two touchdowns, but it was on the heel of a first-down run by Keeton himself.

Observation 4: Special teams still not that good.

I got some heat for only giving the Aggies a C- for their special teams work last week against Utah. After tonight, I’ll stay put on that grade. The momentum shifter in the game was when Wisconsin returned a punt for 82 yards and weaved through USU’s tackles like it was a ballet for a touchdown. And the icing on the cake was the icing of the kicker right at the end, where USU failed to score a game-winning field goal in the final seconds of the game; kickingnation, where are you?

Observation 5: USU is a first half team.

Although last week was a great victory for USU, I couldn’t help but realize that it had a 13-0 lead with a minute left to go in the half. The Aggies gave up that lead to Utah and the game eventually went into overtime. This game was very similar as they had a 14-3 lead going into the half and gave up that lead as well to Wisconsin.

Even in the first game of the season, USU had a 21-0 lead in the first quarter and only scored 13 more points in the other three quarters. Utah State is a good team. Unfortunately for the Aggies, that can only be found in the first half of a game.

Alex Rivera is the assistant sports editor of the UVU Review. You can contact him at arivera.2011@hotmail.com or through his Twitter account @A_River_Uh

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