(Saturday, November 24th)
Final Score: (25) Utah State 45, Idaho 9
Logan, UT (Sports Network) - Chuckie Keeton threw a pair of touchdown passes and ran for one more on Saturday as No. 25 Utah State captured the Western Athletic Conference title with a 45-9 rout of Idaho at Romney Stadium.
Keeton threw for 133 yards on 17-of-25 passing and ran for 27 yards on five carries. Kerwynn Williams had a huge day on the ground, running for 110 yards and a score on 17 carries.
Williams also caught four passes for 39 yards and a touchdown for the Aggies (10-2, 6-0 WAC), who claimed their first league championship since winning the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference in 1936. Utah State accepted a bid to the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl after the game.
Joe Hill ran for a touchdown, while Kellen Bartlett hauled in a touchdown pass as the Aggies went undefeated at home for the first time since the 1982 season.
"Being a champion is a great thing for these kids," Utah State coach Gary Andersen said. "To have it outright, that's a big time, big deal. I'm so thankful and grateful to be here and to be part of this university."
Taylor Davis struggled under center for Idaho, throwing for 49 yards and three interceptions on 10-of-23 passing, while Ryan Bass and James Baker combined for 147 rushing yards.
Trey Farquhar booted three field goals in the loss for the Vandals (1-11, 1-5), who ended their regular season with six consecutive losses.
"They fought the entire game," Idaho interim coach Jason Gesser said. "I thought, quarterback play, offensively, we just couldn't get it done. We struggled in that facet."
Utah State struck first following an interception by Bojay Filimoeatu, who returned the pick 48 yards to the Idaho 21.
Four plays later, Keeton connected with Williams for a 19-yard catch-and-run touchdown, putting the Aggies up 7-0 early.
Another interception of Davis -- this one by B.J. Larsen -- gave the Aggies more great field position at the Idaho 23. Keeton led an eight-play drive to the Vandals goal line before taking matters into his own hands after two failed rushing attempts by Williams.
Facing a third down, Keeton ran a boot leg out to the right and saw nothing but green grass in front of him as he trotted into the end zone, giving Utah State a 14-0 lead late in the opening quarter.
Idaho began its final drive of the first quarter with 1:35 on the clock and appeared to be gaining some rhythm. Davis led his offense to the Utah State 41, but was picked off by Will Davis, who returned it 59 yards for the score and a 21-0 Aggies lead early in the second session.
The Vandals finally got their offense in gear a bit on their ensuing drive. Bass and Baker combined to rush for 53 yards during an 11-play, 54-yard drive which Farquhar capped with a 38-yard field goal, pulling Idaho within 21-3
Farquhar banged a 46-yarder through the uprights as time expired for the Vandals, cutting the deficit to 21-6 at the half.
Idaho got the ball to begin the second half and pulled to within 21-9 when Farquhar hit a 52-yard field goal, but the Aggies responded on their next touch.
After a 39 yard kickoff return by Chuck Jacobs gave Utah State the ball at the 45, Williams took a handoff from Keeton and raced down the left sideline for 52 yards to the Idaho three. Keeton then hit Bartlett with a 3- yard TD pass, making it 28-9.
Nick Diaz connected on a 45-yard field goal to make it a 31-9 game and Williams finished off a quick 3-play scoring sequence on the Aggies next possession with a 14-yard sprint to the end zone.
Hill put an exclamation point on the blowout by capping a nine-play drive with a 7-yard TD run late in the fourth quarter for the Aggies.
Utah State leads the all-time series, which dates back to 1916, by a count of 20-17-2 and has won five of the last six matchups between the programs ... 10 wins established a new single-season school record, surpassing the previous mark of nine wins, achieved in 1960 and 1961 ... Utah State outgained Idaho, 250-210 ... The Vandals went 6-of-19 on third down, while the Aggies converted 5-of-11 third down chances.
11/24 22:51:53 ET