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PROVO — Once considered the "little brother" in college football in the state of Utah, the Utah State Aggies have now shown they can hang with both BYU and Utah. While the outcome was a defensive battle and a 6-3 loss, the Aggies should be pleased with their season.
Considering the tough defense BYU presented against the Aggies, quarterback Chuckie Keeton managed the pressure fairly well. It was not an easy task to see Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah and Kyle Van Noy putting pressure on him nearly every down. Keeton didn't buckle under pressure, but remained composed and helped the Aggies move the offense. It wasn't easy and there were no touchdowns, but Keeton should gain respect as a good quarterback against an extremely tough defense.
The Aggies' rushing game was completely stifled by BYU's defense. Running back Kerwynn Williams struggled to find an open gap or progress the ball. In many instances, Williams was stopped before the line of scrimmage. As a whole, the Aggies only managed 1.6 yards per carry for a total of 40 yards. Williams had 18 yards, while Keeton managed only 22 yards. Utah State will not face another defense like BYU's this year, so it's likely the Aggies will have the same struggles.
Where did all the placekickers go? In what could have been the game-tying field goal, Utah State kicker Josh Thompson missed a 38-yard field goal attempt in the fourth quarter. While Thompson was not the only one to miss a field goal — BYU had struggles of its own — it seems more recruiting needs to take place in the state of Utah for kickers. It's too common for games to come down to a field goal or a PAT that was missed. In a defensive battle, kicking is a team's only option, and yet, it seems like an afterthought.
Utah State's offensive line held their own against a stout BYU defense. The offensive line gave Keeton many opportunities to make plays in the pocket. While they were not able to create many gaps for Williams and allowed three sacks on Keeton, their performance should be commended for their hard work.
Looking ahead to Utah State's schedule, it appears as though they shouldn't have any troubles going undefeated from here on out, which would put them at 10-2 — a very respectable season. However, the team should not be complacent because any team can be beaten. Utah State must continue to develop their skills and play a consistent game. The future is bright for the Aggies, even if they did lose to BYU 6-3.