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LOGAN — Utah State eked out a 12-9 win over Southern Utah in its season opener despite a glaring lack of production on offense.
Spectators didn't envision an Aggie unit once again led by a healthy Chuckie Keeton sputtering continuously, and many took to social media to bemoan the lackluster performance despite gorgeous scenes around Romney Stadium.
[What do they call it again, the calm before the storm? #BeatSUU #SeeItLive #usuwow #aggiesalltheway](https://instagram.com/p/7MFNFcESur/) A photo posted by Utah State University (@usuaggielife) on
The wait for college football was finally over and a near-capacity crowd of 24,037 showed up full of excited anticipation. Even Real Salt Lake players voiced their support for a successful Utah State season opener.
Welcome back @ustate16! Best of luck to you & @USUFootball in your season opener tonight https://t.co/vdzlINZDHH — Real Salt Lake (@RealSaltLake) September 3, 2015
But both offenses sputtered in the first half, and highlights were few and far between. The Aggies' first drive resulted in the first of their 13 punts on the night, and it was blocked to set up the game's lone touchdown scored on offense.
You all had this, right? Ammon Olsen 27-yard TD pass to Mike Sharp. Southern Utah takes 6-0 lead. But kick blocked/returned for two points. — Steve Luhm (@sluhm) September 4, 2015
Utah State got two points back on a blocked extra point, which was returned by Torrey Green, and added a field goal before the first quarter came to a close.
The 6-5 score left some to wonder if they were actually witnessing football.
I feel like I'm covering a baseball game here. . . — Tim Olsen (@TheRealTO) September 4, 2015
> [@efrandsen](https://twitter.com/efrandsen) What inning? > > — Roy Burton (@RoyBurton) [September 4, 2015](https://twitter.com/RoyBurton/status/639613898233016320)
Southern Utah tacked on a field goal to go into the halftime break up, 9-5. As Aggies fans waited in line for refreshments during the intermission, they noted the long wait wasn't as bad as what they had watched on the field.
There is something moving slower than the Aggies Offense, the concession line.... — Kim Arnell (@ekaggies) September 4, 2015
Luckily, the breathtaking setting provided a worthwhile distraction.
[What. A. View. #sunset #maverikstadium #usu #utahgram #igutah #wowutah #photography #utahstateaggies #usuaggies #sunset #sky #skyporn #football #collegefootball #ncaafootball #aggienation #aggies #lifeelevated](https://instagram.com/p/7MTUf0lyLZ/) A photo posted by Wade Denniston (@wdhiker) on
The game on the field didn't improve much in quality during the second half.
I think I've figured out why there isn't any TV for this game.......#USU — TrentMadsen (@TrentMadsen) September 4, 2015
> All the excitement among the crowd from the start of the game is... Well gone. And can you really blame them? > > — The Bangarang (@USUBangarang) [September 4, 2015](https://twitter.com/USUBangarang/status/639631373825765376)
Third down led to further stalling for both offenses all night.
USU and SUU are now a combined 0-for-21 on third down. — Utah State Football (@USUFootball) September 4, 2015
The first third-down conversion finally came late in the second half.
@ParkerRob78 last 19 drives by both teams: 17 punts, 1 field goal, and 1 interception. Talk about underwhelming. — Chris Strickley (@ChrisStrickley) September 4, 2015
Utah State was running out of time and looked destined to lose a game in which their opponent couldn't manage double figures in points.
That was until punt returner Andrew Rodriguez bailed the offense out with an 88-yard touchdown.
Andrew Rodriguez gives the Aggies the lead with a phenomenal punt return with under 5 to play https://t.co/cE26ze4eq3 — Matthew L Glade (@matthewLksl) September 4, 2015
At last, Aggies supporters had something to cheer about.
Still, it left some fans fearful of how a similar effort from Utah State would see their team fare against Utah next week.
Well. Time to live the next week of my life in terror. I'll take the win though. — Lance Rasmussen (@LCRasmus) September 4, 2015
Others, after uncomfortably squirming in their seats throughout the contest, happily accepted the ugly win to start the season, 1-0.
The true definition of a win is a win is a win is a win. Holy cow would a loss have been bad. — Tyler R (@TySpace) September 4, 2015
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Kyle Spencer is a freelance journalist residing in Orem, Utah. You can find him on Twitter @kyledspencer or reach him by email at email@example.com.