UTAH STATE AGGIES

Calvin Tyler Jr. Carries Offensive Load, Looks For First 1,000 Yard Season

Nov 21, 2022, 2:31 PM | Updated: 2:40 pm
utah-state-running-back-calvin-tyler jr...

LOGAN, Utah – USU running back Calvin Tyler Jr., on a tear to end the regular season, sits just 22 yards shy of the first 1,000-yard season of his career. His three touchdown performance against San Jose State helped the Aggies to their second straight bowl appearance.

Named to the Doak Walker Watch List in the preseason and recognized as the 23rd best player in the state of Utah by Hans & Scotty’s 60 in 60 series,ย it looked like the Aggies had a chance at defending their 2021 Mountain West conference championship, and LA Bowl victory against Tyler Jr’s former Oregon State team.

โ€œMan, it felt great to end the year like that,โ€ Tyler Jr said. โ€œI told the team before we played them (Oregon State) that we were going to beat them. You could see the guys have another sense of urgency. Even though it was a bowl game, we treated it like another business trip. We wanted to end the season with a win.โ€

Slow Start

Tyler Jr. started the season with a bang. Rushing for 161 yards on 33 carries in a Utah State comeback win over UConn. Following the season opener, Tyler Jr. saw his production drop off.

Injuries, inconsistency, and ineffectiveness started to show across the board as Utah State dropped their next four games.

A loss at Alabama wasn’t surprising, being shutout was.

That loss gave way to an uninspired 35-7 home loss against FCS opponent Weber State.

After touching the ball 35 times against the Huskies, Tyler Jr. managed just 30 carries and one reception in next two games combined.

The losing streak continued with losses against UNLV and at BYU. Though the graduate-senior running back showed signs of progress when he picked up his second 100-yard rushing game of the season against the Cougars. Tyler Jr. finished with 104 yards but his touches were still down, seeing the ball 20 times in Provo.

Since his 54 yard performance against UNLV, Tyler Jr. has popped for 100 or more yards in five of Utah State’s seven games. USU is 5-1 this season when the Oregon State transfer tops the century mark.

“He’s just continued to get better and better,” Utah State head coach Blake Anderson said of Tyler Jr. this season.

Bell-Cow Running Back

It took six games for Tyler Jr. to find the end zone, but since his first score of the season against Air Force, he has six rushing scores and a touchdown catch against Hawaii.

In his last season of college football, Tyler Jr. puts the team above himself.

“He’s taken a very mature approach to our process. What what we need from him. What we expect from him. It was a struggle early but he responded in such a huge way,” Anderson said.

“You’ve seen the last month, he’s been as good as anybody out there. When he is going and the offensive lines creating holes, and he’s getting over 100 yards, it gives us a great chance to win. We’re a much better football team when we’re balanced and we stay ahead of the chains. When we can run the ball in the tight red zone. Those things make everything much, much easier. He’s doing a great job of that.”

Four times Tyler Jr. has had more than 20 carries in a game this season. He is averaging 132 rushing yards per game in those contests and has found the end zone four times.

Memorable Senior Night

In his last game in front of the Utah State faithful, Tyler Jr. had perhaps his best game as an Aggie in the 35-31 win against San Jose State.

His first touchdown of the day capped a 15 play, 96-yard drive for an Aggie offense that had struggled to sustain drives all season long.

Later in the first half, Tyler Jr. finished a 12 play drive, scoring his second touchdown of the day. It marked the second time as an Aggie he had scored twice in one game.

His most important run of the night was yet to come.

Late in the fourth quarter, trailing by three with bowl eligibility on the line for the Aggies, Tyler Jr. took a 3rd & goal handoff from Cooper Legas and plowed through the line for a game-winning touchdown.

His third score of the night gave the Aggies a 35-31 lead with just 2:49 remaining.

“No pressure. Same thing like last year at Washington State. It’s no pressure,” Tyler Jr. said of the game winning drive.

“We’ve been in these moments and we practice these moments. All we have to do is go out and execute and play football like we know how. That’s what we did. No pressure but we pushed the urgency. It felt great doing that. The coaches never give up on us. This team will never give up on each other. We’re going to keep working and get better.”

His 125 rushing yards goes down as the fifth-highest total of his career. The three touchdowns marks a career high.

Up Next

Utah State (6-5, 5-2) make the trip north to Boise, Idaho where they will face the Mountain West leading Boise State Broncos (8-3, 7-0) on Friday, November 25. Kickoff for this game is scheduled for 10 a.m. (MDT).

Every Utah State football game can be heard on theย KSL Sports Zoneย with Scott Garrard and former Aggie quarterback Kevin White on the call.

Coverage of Utah State University Athletics from KSL Sports can be found here.ย 

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