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The special teams were anything but special last week against Utah. The Aggies' Chuckie Keeton, though, established himself last week as arguably one of the best quarterbacks in the state of Utah.
But they weren’t in Utah anymore.
The Aggies traveled to Wisconsin to face the Badgers, who had something to establish and prove of their own. After a dismal performance on the running game, Wisconsin looked to bounce back to show that it is the defending Big Ten champion.
If this game was a class, these are the grades that USU would receive on its losing performance:
Chuckie Keeton had a decent game Saturday night. He threw two touchdown passes and no interceptions. But he only threw for 181 yards and averaged 5.3 yards a pass. He was making too many bad choices when it came to throwing the ball down field. Wisconsin must be given credit where credit is due as its linebackers and secondary really tightened up their defense to stop the passing game.
RUNNING BACKS: B
The running game was decent Saturday night. If I don’t include Keeton, then the running game was less than decent. Keeton ran for 75 yards, which brought USU's rushing yard total to 127 yards. Kerwynn Williams also ran for 43 yards but didn’t rush for any touchdowns. He was more effective on the receiving end of the field.
Kerwynn Williams became a wide receiver in this game, catching six passes for a total of 78 yards. He wasn’t much help in the running game but proved to be a double threat running up the field to catch a few Keeton passes.
OFFENSIVE LINE: B-
Keeton had to make a lot of pressure passes because the offensive line was letting too many Wisconsin players get through. The rushing game had 127 yards, but Keeton was sacked twice in the second half of the game. Keeton also made a lot of incomplete passes because of the pressure he was receiving.
Fourteen points isn’t going to get you an A grading, although USU had a very clean game. Keeton threw for 181 yards and two touchdowns. There were a lot of long drives down the field but not a lot of conversions.
DEFENSIVE LINE: B
Although the defensive line made openings for the linebackers to blitz the quarterback, the Aggies only had one sack the entire game. Wisconsin didn’t have much pressure in the backfield. The defensive line did not allow the running game to gain much ground in the first half of the game, though it seemed to crumble in the second half.
They didn’t make a huge splash in the game. They played a clean game and were able to rush the quarterback a few times. Zach Vigil had the only sack for USU and forced the fumble as well.
The secondary were the quiet heroes in the game. The coverage down the field was great as they held Wisconsin to a total of 78 passing yards. They didn’t intercept any balls but batted down plenty, with Wisconsin quarterback Danny O’Brien never really getting into a rhythm because the Aggies wouldn’t let him. An overall great performance by the secondary to keep the game close.
The defense was the difference in the game. It was what kept the Aggies in the game. They had huge stops at the goal line, stopping Wisconsin running back Montee Ball from getting into the end zone. USU also held Wisconsin to a 20 percent third-down efficiency and made it attempt two field goals in the process.
SPECIAL TEAMS: C- (again)
I can’t overlook the two huge plays that decided the game this week. Wisconsin had an 82-yard punt return for a touchdown, making USU look silly. And the 37-yard field goal attempt to win the game was wide right, which led to the loss against Wisconsin. It was an issue last week and it was an issue this week. Next week, we might see a little bit of the same unless they really work on their special teams.
Alex Rivera is the assistant sports editor of the UVU Review. You can contact him at email@example.com or through his Twitter account @A_River_Uh