Salt Lake City, UT (Sports Network) - Andy Phillips converted a pair of
crucial field goals in the fourth quarter, three in the second half
altogether, as the Utah Utes battled back to claim a 30-26 win over the Utah
State Aggies in the 2013 opener at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Also playing a key role in the win for the Utes (1-0) was quarterback Travis
Wilson who converted 17-of-28 attempts for 302 yards and two touchdowns as he
shook off four sacks on the night. Anthony Denham turned six receptions into a
game-high 113 yards.
The Aggies (0-1) were paced by Chuckie Keeton who connected on 31-of-40 for
314 yards and two touchdowns, not to mention running for a game-high 85 yards
and another score in the setback. Travis Van Leeuwen accounted for a team-best
107 yards receiving on six catches.
Utah scored a couple of touchdowns in the first quarter, the first being a
three-yard pass from Wilson to Dres Anderson, the other being a 30-yard hook-
up between Wilson and Jake Murphy.
In between those two TDs by Utah, the Aggies put their first points on the
board with a 26-yard field goal by Nick Diaz.
USU took the lead in the second quarter as Keeton combined with Brandon
Swindall on passing scores of 15 and four yards, giving the visitors a 17-14
advantage at the break.
Keeton added to the advantage just over three minutes into the third quarter
by reaching the end zone on a 15-yard run, but Diaz failed on the PAT, leaving
Utah State with a 23-14 edge.
Phillips knocked through a 45-yard field goal for the Utes to cut the deficit
to six points, while a Karl Williams two-yard TD run late in the frame put the
hosts back out front at 24-23.
Diaz capped a 12-play, 68-yard drive in the fourth quarter with a 24-yard
field goal which again put USU in the lead, this time by two points, setting
the stage for Phillips who responded with successful kicks of 19 and 38 yards
to move Utah in front once more.
Utah State, which entered the 2013 opener riding a seven-game win streak (tied
for fourth-longest in the nation), had one last shot to claim the victory, but
Keeton's long-distance heave at the end of regulation fell incomplete shy of
the goal line.
The teams combined for more than 900 yards of total offense, each side
averaging 6.2 yards per play.
The series between the teams is the 12th-longest in NCAA FBS history, with
tonight's matchup being the 111th meeting. The very first game in Utah
history came against the Aggies in 1892.
The Sports Network