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Utah State Beats BYU Handily, 45-20 In Provo

Utah State Aggies wide receiver Ron’quavion Tarver (1) celebrates his touchdown catch with his teammates during the Utah State versus BYU football game at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Friday, October 5, 2018 (Steve Griffin/Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – The Utah State Aggies traveled to Provo and came away with a dominating 45-20 win over the struggling BYU Cougars.

Aggies sophomore quarterback Jordan Love hit 18-of-28 passes for 165 yards and a career-high four touchdown passes. He added another rushing touchdown to his brilliant performance. Running back Darwin Thompson led the way on the ground with 109 yards on 17 carries.

BYU quarterback Tanner Mangum struggled with two turnovers, one fumble and an interception. Utah State scored touchdowns on both of his turnovers. Mangum threw for 270 yards and two touchdowns on 27-of-45 pass attempts.

Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Tanner Mangum (12) gets stripped of the ball by Utah State safety Jontrell Rocquemore (3) during the Utah State versus BYU football game at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Friday, October 5, 2018. Rocquemore recovered the ball for the turnover. (Steve Griffin/Deseret News)

Utah State Dominates First Half

It started when Mangum threw an interception to Utah State linebacker Tipa Galeai, who took it for a 56 yard touchdown. Utah State would then score another two touchdowns on the arm of Love to give the Aggies a 21-0 lead with 12:23 left in the second quarter.

The Cougars would strike back with one touchdown from Mangum to running back Lapini Katoa from five yards out to pull within two scores. They missed an opportunity to pull within 11 when kicker Skyler Southam missed a 43-yard field goal.

BYU head coach Kalani Sitake talked about the slow start and how it affected the outcome of the game.

“Not the start that we wanted and that’s unfortunate, we couldn’t climb out of the whole,” said Sitake. “They came in here and gave us a good butt whooping.”

Jordan Love Fuels Second Half Success

The Aggies carried momentum from the BYU miscue in the second half as Love threw two more touchdown passes in the third quarter, connecting with wide receiver Jalen Greene from six yards and wide out Ron’quavion Tarver for four yards.

Coach Sitake gave credit to Utah State but wasn’t pleased with his team.

“Utah State had a good plan and a good scheme, defensively they did good things up front,” he added. “We will evaluate everything and figure out who we are,” said Sitake.

Mangum would hit wide receiver Dylan Collie on a nine-yard pass, that would be one of their two scores in the second half.

Utah State put the game away on a two-yard run by Love and a 47-yard field goal by Dominik Eberle.

Wagon Wheel Returns To Logan

The Aggies won consecutive games against BYU for the first time since 1978, bringing the “Old Wagon Wheel” back to the Aggie faithful. Utah State started the win streak last season with a 40-24 victory in Logan.

Utah State head coach Matt Wells talks about what it felt like breaking the 44 year drought.

“I don’t know how to sum it up, that’s playing for the guys that have come before you and the kids that come after you,” Wells said. “It’s something that our kids hang on to.”

BYU Fans See Freshman Quarterback Zach Wilson

Late in the game, Sitake elected to go with Wilson on their last drive of the game with 3:39 left.

The true freshman gained the cheers of the fans on a 26-yard run, he would then hit wide receiver Talon Shumway for 20 yards. Wilson eventually capped off the drive with an 18-yard strike to wide receiver Gunner Romney.

Sitake talked about the decision to go with Wilson late in the fourth quarter.

“Everything gets evaluated, I don’t know when the talk came about Zach,” he said. “There is a lot of things that we have to evaluate,” Sitake added.

Utah State is now 4-1 on the year, they will return home on October 13 against UNLV at 2 p.m.

BYU drops to 3-3 on the season and will face Hawaii at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday at 8:15 p.m.