Aggies Survive Wild Finish Against Colorado State

Nov 17, 2018, 4:07 PM | Updated: 5:52 pm
Courtesy of Utah State Athletics...
Courtesy of Utah State Athletics

FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Utah State escaped Colorado State after a miraculous series of events to prevail 29-23.

Colorado State nearly shocked No. 14 Utah State by completing a hail mary on the final play of the game. They converted the prayer-attempt with a strike from Collin Hill to Preston Williams and it appeared that the Rams had won the game.

However, a flag was thrown on the play. The call was that Williams had stepped out of bounds while running his route and had reentered the field before making what would have been the fateful catch. The result: no touchdown, loss of down, game over. Both teams stayed on the field for quite some time, stunned at what had just happened.

“Survive and advance,” said head coach Matt Wells. “Kind of like the NCAA basketball tournament.”

Setting Up For A Dramatic Finish

Despite leading nearly the whole game, the Aggies weren’t scoring in their usual dominant matter and trailed 24-23 with 1:36 remaining after allowing Colorado State to take their first lead of the game on a 17-yard TD pass from Hill to Williams after a Deven Thompkins fumbled punt gave the Rams a short field to work with.

The Aggies, led by their star quarterback, were cool and collected facing a possible devastating loss. Marching down the field, Utah State scored with 43 seconds remaining in the game thanks to blown coverage by the Rams led to Jordan Love finding a wide open Aaren Vaughns near the goal line.

Vaughns dodged a tackler and stepped into the end zone to retake the lead for Utah State. The two-point conversion failed but the score stood 29-24 with less than a minute remaining.

It was then that Colorado State took their turn at flipping the game upside down. Unfortunately for the Rams, Williams’ right foot found the sideline on the fateful final play.

“The football gods are smiling down on us today,” said Wells.

By The Numbers

In his most challenging performance of the year, Love finished with 169 yards on 15-of-24 passing with the TD pass to Vaughns.

Despite coming into the game as one of the top offensive teams in the country, Utah State was outclassed by Colorado State in total yardage 506 to 310. The Rams however, were penalized 142 yards on 11 penalties.

Colorado State also dominated the time of possession 42:05 to 17:55, something not too surprising considering how quickly Utah State can score.

Fans React

After the shocking conclusion, social media from all across the nation came alive in reaction to the extreme drama.

Next Up

The Aggies will look to finish their regular season undefeated in Mountain West Conference play next Saturday against No. 25 Boise State. The game will kick off at 8:15 p.m. and be broadcast on ESPN.

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