Utah State’s Comeback Falls Short Against Boise State In Regular Season Finale

Nov 25, 2022, 1:39 PM | Updated: 1:40 pm
Cooper Legas - Utah State Aggies vs. Boise State Broncos 2...
Quarterback Cooper Legas #5 of the Utah State Aggies passes the ball during first half action against the Boise State Broncos at Albertsons Stadium on November 25, 2022 in Boise, Idaho. (Photo by Loren Orr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Loren Orr/Getty Images)

LOGAN, Utah – The Utah State Aggies struggled in the first half but had a great comeback attempt in the second half before falling to Boise State 35-23 on Friday.

Utah State trailed Boise State 21-0 at one point. They pulled to within five points and had the ball in the red zone with a chance to take the lead but couldn’t complete the comeback.

Cooper Legas completed 23 of his 40 pass attempts for 306 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. Terrell Vaughn had a great game for the Aggies with eight catches for 148 yards and one touchdown, along with four rushes for 22 yards and a TD.

First Quarter

Despite a decent kick return and gaining 17 yards, Boise State was forced to punt the ball on their first possession. Much like the Broncos, Utah State picked up a first down before having to punt the ball back to Boise State on their first possession.

Later in the first quarter, Utah State attempted a fake punt on fourth and four near midfield. Kotsanlee handed off to Brian Cobbs, who threw a pass to Otto Tia. Tia caught the ball but was hit hard by JL Skinner, which popped the ball out. Skinner was disqualified for targeting and Utah State’s drive was kept alive.

After an unnecessary roughness penalty by a Utah State offensive lineman, the Aggies dug themselves a hole. The Aggies attempted a field goal but missed wide left.

In the final minute of the first quarter, Billy Bowens caught a pass and took it 41 yards and inside the USU 10-yard line. That ended the first quarter with the score tied at 0-0.

Second Quarter

On third and goal, Taylen Green found Eric McAlister for a six-yard touchdown to give the Broncos a 7-0 lead with 14:17 remaining in the second quarter.

After Utah State punted the ball for the third time, Boise State answered with a 50-yard touchdown connection between Taylen Green and Latrell Caples to give the Broncos a 14-0 lead with 10:54 remaining in the first half.

Utah State’s offense sputtered once again and was forced to punt. Boise State threw multiple deep passes on their next drive with one resulting in a pass interference call and a couple of plays later was a 25-yard touchdown catch by McAlister for his second TD of the game. The Broncos extended their lead to 21-0 with 4:37 left until halftime.

Utah State didn’t fold when they got the ball back. They failed to convert on their eighth third down but faced fourth and one at midfield. Cooper Legas kept the drive alive with a 20-yard run up the middle. The Orem grad then found Brian Cobbs for a 21-yard gain. Legas put the Aggies in the red zone with a 12-yard rush.

With Utah State facing second and goal at the three-yard line, the offensive line committed a false start penalty. On third and goal, Legas ran for a five-yard gain to the three-yard line. On fourth and goal with three seconds left, Terrell Vaughn ran in a three-yard touchdown on a jet sweep. At the break, Utah State trailed Boise State 21-7.

Third Quarter

Utah State kept the momentum from the end of the second quarter going into the third quarter as they took 11 plays to go 70 yards down the field. On a trick play pass by Vaughn that went incomplete to Broc Lane, Utah State settled for a 22-yard field goal to cut the deficit to 21-10 with 10:22 remaining in the third quarter.

Boise State made Utah State pay by not getting a touchdown as George Holani took a direct snap 27 yards to the Aggies’ one-yard line. Two plays later, Green found Scott Matlock for a one-yard TD to give the Broncos a 28-10 lead with 5:59 left in the third quarter.

With 10 seconds left in the third quarter and Utah State with their backs against the wall, Cooper Legas threw a 75-yard touchdown pass to Terrell Vaughn. That cut the Boise State lead to 28-17.

Fourth Quarter

Calvin Tyler Jr. ran up the middle and had to break a couple of tackles along the way before reaching the end zone for his first touchdown of the game. Utah State decided to go for two but failed the conversion to put the Boise State lead to 28-23 with 7:59 remaining in the game.

Boise State punted the ball to Utah State and the Aggies had a chance to take the lead with five minutes left in the game. Cooper Legas was able to get the Utah State offense to the Boise State 15-yard line with under two minutes left. On fourth and nine, the Broncos intercepted the pass. Green sealed the win with a 91-yard rushing touchdown to give the Broncos a 35-23 lead with 1:09 left in the game. Boise State got another touchdown on a 48-yard pick-six by Seyi Oladipo to give BSU a 42-23 lead with 31 seconds left.

Utah State finished its regular season with a 6-6 overall record and 5-3 in Mountain West play. They will find out their bowl game after the conference championship games are played next weekend.

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Utah State’s Comeback Falls Short Against Boise State In Regular Season Finale