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Relieved to get past Air Force, Utah State will have an advantage vs. BYU

Logan • The calendar moved to Sunday as Utah State quarterback Jordan Love took the general, clock-killing snap.

An extended, difficult night time for the Aggie protection led to a 42-32 win over Air Force at Maverik Stadium. USU’s Mountain West opener led right into a bye week that comes at “a pretty dang good time, I’d say,” protection Gaje Ferguson seen.

That’s logical, after Ferguson and his staff defended 107 performs in opposition to the Falcons. The heavy workload resulted from some mixture of the USU protection’s lack of ability to get off the sector and the Aggie offense’s insistence on scoring touchdowns temporarily, whilst having some inconsistency of its personal. USU ran a complete of 62 performs and held the ball for simply 16:20 in comparison to AFA’s 43:40.

In any case, the Aggies (Three-1) can leisure this week. And they’ll have an advantage in opposition to BYU in a Friday sport (Oct. five) with the Old Wagon Wheel at stake, because the Cougars will have traveled house from Saturday night time’s contest at Washington. ESPN’s Football Power Index tasks USU for Nine.2 wins, with a 56.Nine-percent probability of thrashing BYU in Provo.

In his 6th 12 months, USU trainer Matt Wells is 6-Zero after bye weeks, counting two video games in 2013, his first season. The following season, USU and BYU each and every had a bye ahead of the Aggies gained in Provo for the primary time in 36 years.

Wells referenced that historical past after beating Air Force, whilst being relieved his crew broke its development of shedding to the Falcons in shut video games for 3 instantly years. With the advantage of realizing the result, Wells favored how his crew had to paintings for the victory, after successful its earlier two video games by means of an reasonable of 54 issues. Yet when AFA was once using within the fourth quarter after chopping a 21-point deficit to 35-32, Wells was once pondering, “Can we just hang on?”

USU did. The Falcons reached the Aggies’ 42-yard line, ahead of linebacker Justus Te’i made a take on for loss on 3rd and three, forcing a punt. USU’s offense replied with Gerold Bright’s 70-yard landing run down the correct facet.

USU’s protection allowed 471 general yards, however surrendered a decent selection of issues, bearing in mind certainly one of AFA’s touchdowns got here by the use of a fumble go back on a kickoff. The drawback was once Utah State didn’t drive many punts. Of the Falcons’ first 24 collection that reached 3rd down, they transformed 16 occasions on both 3rd or fourth down. But after going forward 42-32, the Aggies made two fourth-down stops.

“We weren’t perfect tonight,” Ferguson stated, “but we found a way to get stops when it was really important. … I know we were the tougher team tonight.”

Six of AFA’s drives lasted 10 performs or longer. USU had a 11-play landing force that took just about 3 mins. The Aggies’ different 5 TD productions took a complete of moderately greater than 4 mins. Love, a sophomore, handed for a career-high 356 yards and USU posted 489 general yards.

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