Rodriguez' punt return gives Utah St. 12-9 win over S. Utah

(Chelsey Allder/Deseret News)

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LOGAN, Utah (AP) — Andrew Rodriguez scored on an 88-yard punt return late in the fourth quarter to help Utah State beat Southern Utah 12-9 in the season opener for both teams on Thursday night.

Rodriguez had eight punt returns for 136 yards, and scored with 4:54 left to play.

Southern Utah's Ammon Olsen threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Mike Sharp in the first quarter. The ensuing point-after attempt was blocked, and Torrey Green returned it 98 yards to make it 6-2. Utah State's Brock Warren kicked a 30-yard field goal and Keita Calhoun made a 36-yard field goal to give the Thunderbirds a 9-5 halftime lead.

Neither team converted a third down attempt until Utah State did with 3:40 remaining in the third quarter. Nick Vigil lead Utah State with 13 tackles. Mike Needham had 10 for the Thunderbirds.

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