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HONOLULU, HAWAII -- The Utah State Aggies pulled a switcheroo Saturday in Hawaii, breaking out in the second half to outscore the Warriors, 29-15. Unfortunately for the Ags, they forgot to show up in the first half, scoring only seven points en route to a 49-36 road loss.
Things started off great for the Aggies, when cornerback Kejon Murphy intercepted Hawaii quarterback Bryant Moniz on the first play from scrimmage. The play gave USU the momentum and the ball at the Hawaii 23-yard line.
After the interception, the Aggie offense moved to ball to the Hawaii 5-yard line before moving back to the seven where it faced a third down. Sophomore running back Robert Turbin plowed ahead and found his way into the end zone, to put the Aggies up 7-0 less than three minutes into the game.
Turbin carried the ball 13 times for 60 yards and two touchdowns, as well as catching six passes for 51 yards.
Hawaii quickly answered the Aggies when Moniz connected with wide receiver Jon Medeiros for a 57-yard bomb on third and two. Things would not get any better from there for the Utah State.
On the Aggies next possession junior quarterback Diondre Borel was picked off for only the second time all year when Warrior Lametrius Davis wrestled the ball away from USU's Xavier Bowman at Hawaii's nine-yard line.
From that point the offensive barrage continued for the Warriors, while the Aggies battled in futility. Hawaii finished the game with an astounding 697 yards of total offense - 44-yards off the school record - with 360 yards coming on the ground.
Aided by USU miscues and the Aggies inability, once again, to convert in the red zone, the Warriors scored 35 unanswered points to take a commanding 28-point lead into the break.
As has been made manifest many times this season, however, the Aggies have at least one good half in them. Possibly inspired by the Fresno State's rally over USU last Saturday, the Aggies came out firing in the second half.
Borel - who had thrown for only 88 yards in the first half - led his team right down the field before Turbin plunged in for his second TD run less than two minutes into the third quarter.
Still trailing by 21, the Aggie defense needed a stop. They got it in the form of a missed 42-yard field goal by the Warriors. USU again marched right down the field, and cut the lead to 14 when Borel connected with tight end Jeremy Mitchell on a 16-yard strike with 6:35 still left in the third.
Things got even crazier on the ensuing possession when USU safety Walter McClenton stepped in front of a Moniz pass and returned it all the way to the Hawaii six-yard line.
Trailing by 14 and knocking on the door with all the momentum and more than a quarter still the play, the Aggies seemed to be shaking off their second half demons.
In a series indicative of their season though, the Aggies could not finish the drive that culminated in a missed Chris Ulinski field goal.
Hawaii scored on its next possession, widening the gap again, and was able to maintain some breathing room from there.
The 49 points, 697 yards and 360 rushing yards allowed were all season high's given up by the USU defense. The 28-point halftime deficit was also the biggest for the Aggies this season.
After a slow start, Borel rebounded nicely as he completed 25-of-38 passes for 344 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for another score, but did have two interceptions - double his season total.
USU now returns home after a two-week hiatus to take on the struggling Spartans of San Jose State at 1 p.m.