Logan • Gaggies no more.
After building a reputation last season for being unable to close out teams late in games, Utah State came up with a big-time performance in the fourth quarter and overtime to beat Utah 27-20 in what may be the last game between the rivals at Romney Stadium.
Chuckie Keeton rushed for 23 yards on third down to set up a touchdown run by Kerwynn Williams in overtime. The Utes could not score on fourth and goal from the 17-yard line when backup quarterback Jon Hays, who replaced an injured Jordan Wynn at the end of the first half, watched his pass to DeVonte Christoper get batted down by Will Davis.
Three plays earlier Jake Murphy was called for offensive pass interference on an apparent touchdown pass from the six three, backing the Utes up and ending their hopes of a victory after falling behind 13-0 in the first half.
Adding insult to injury for the Utes was another injury to the left shoulder of junior quarterback Jordan Wynn. Wynn left the game with 1:04 remaining in the second quarter and was replaced for the rest of the game by Jon Hays, who was 6-3 as Utah’s starter last year.
Reminiscent of BYU’s come-from-behind victory against the Aggies on the shoulder of Riley Nelson last season, the Utes appeared poised to steal a victory with their backup at the helm.
Utah scored on their first two drives after Wynn left the game: a 45-yard field goal by Coleman Peterson at the end of the first half and a 28-yard pass from freshman Travis Wilson to Kenneth Scott with 11:34 remaining in the third quarter.
The second play was set up by a fumble recovered by Trevor Reilly at the Utah 47-yard line.
But the second half was marred by penalties and punts. The teams combined for seven penalties for 51 yards in the third quarter alone.
It was in that quarter that the Utah defense buckled down. Later in the third, Joe Kruger hit Keeton from behind forcing a fumble that was picked up by defensive end Nate Fakahafua, and set up another field goal from Petersen.
It drew Utah even in the game after Utah State had jumped out to a 13-0 lead that sent a jolt through a state anticipating the death of its longest-played rivalry.
The 110th matchup between the rivals may be the last played in Logan, with games scheduled in Salt Lake City in 2013 and 2015.
The Aggies went ahead 20-13 with 9:10 left in the fourth quarter after Kruger was ejected for apparently throwing a punch at Utah State quarterback Chuckie Keeton and setting the Aggies up on the four-yard line.
Utah answered with a Scott’s second touchdown of the game, a 24-yard pass from Hays.
Both teams got a last shot in the fourth quarter, but the Petersen missed a 56-yard field goal as time expired. In overtime, the Utes deferred, setting up the dramatic finish.