LOGAN—Utah State lost its second-straight game as No. 13/15 BYU’s Tyler Allgeier racked up 208 yards and three touchdowns on 22 carries en route to a 34-20 win in front of a sellout crowd on Merlin Olsen Field. As a team, USU was only able to manage 22 rushing yards.
Head coach Blake Anderson said the only advantage his team had against BYU was speed. BYU’s size difference in the trenches, he said, was “what won the game for them.” Anderson made a promise the size discrepancies will change in coming years.
“They were a little bit bigger and stronger than us today, but that will not last,” he said. “We’ll recruit our tail off, we’ll develop our tail off. We will make this a battle every stinking year.”
Aggie quarterback Logan Bonner completed 21 of 41 passes for two touchdowns and one interception, while BYU quarterback Baylor Romney was 15 of 19 for 187 yards and a touchdown, but neither quarterback finished the game. Romney was injured sometime before halftime and Bonner went out with a non-contact knee injury in the fourth.
After the game, Anderson said he still didn’t know much about Bonner’s situation, but said he did walk off the field on his own.
“Structurally it felt OK,” Anderson said. “It was a hyperextension. It was kind of nasty.”
Allgeier got going from the start, scoring on a 22-yard run in the game’s opening minutes. Then, after holding USU to a three-and-out, BYU hit a 49-yard field goal to go up 10-0, but Utah State got on the scoreboard with a career-long, 52-yard Connor Coles field goal the following drive.
BYU kept pushing, adding another touchdown on a 15-yard pass to tight end Isaac Rex, increasing the lead to 17-3 early in the second quarter.
Utah State fired back with an 18-play, 75-yard drive and a 21-yard Justin McGriff touchdown reception, converting four third downs and one fourth down during the drive. Senior wide receiver Deven Thompkins, who had nine catches for 125 yards and a touchdown, said he plans on building on the third-down conversion successes.
“That keeps us on the field and keeps our defense off the field,” he said. “If we keep on converting on those third downs, we’ll have a great rest of the season.”
BYU piled more on immediately after McGriff’s endzone catch. It was Allgeier again, on a 59-yard run with less than two minutes to go in the half. USU’s Coles hit his second field goal, shortly after this one a 45-yarder to cut the deficit to 24-13 at the break.
Both offenses went cold in the third quarter as neither team was able to score. BYU’s offense, led by Allgeier and backup quarterback Jacob Conover, got going again and moved the ball far enough for Jake Oldroyd to connect on a 32-yard field goal, taking a 27-13 lead less than a minute into the fourth.
Anderson said he thought his team’s conditioning and speed advantage would pay off near the end of the game, and that is what seemed to be happening early in the fourth when Bonner found Thompkins on a 28-yard touchdown pass to bring the score within a touchdown.
“The game went exactly how I thought it would go until we got to a seven-point game in the fourth quarter,” he said. “Unfortunately, we made a couple of mistakes that cost us big.”
One of those mistakes happened as soon as BYU got the ball back. On the first play from scrimmage, Allgeier broke a 67-yard run to get inside the 1-yard line. Two plays later, he entered the endzone.
Utah State was unable to respond during the next possession, and that’s when Bonner went down. Backup quarterback Andrew Peasley replaced him, but the Aggies wouldn’t score again. Allgeier scored the game’s final touchdown shortly after.
Utah State will have a bye week before returning to conference play. The Aggies will travel to Las Vegas to take on UNLV in the new Allegiant Stadium Oct. 16 at 5 p.m.