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Utah State football: Aggies' defense challenged but hold up vs. UNLV

Published September 29, 2012 7:58 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Logan • Utah State went scoreless in the first quarter, surrendered a first-half touchdown for the first time this season and saw its strong defense get challenged by UNLV on Saturday night.

And yet, the Aggies still dominated for much of the first two quarters — no small part in their eventual 35-13 victory.

USU is playing with the swagger of a good team, and doing what good teams do: responding when needed. When the Rebels drove the length of the field in the second quarter for a touchdown, the Aggies drove right back to reclaim a lead.

When UNLV drove and threatened to score at the end of the first half, Utah State's Terrence Alston came up with a drive-killing interception. And with 31 seconds dictating the Aggies take a knee, they instead drove for a field goal as time ran out.

The Aggies led 20-7 at the end of the first half, with Chuckie Keeton throwing for 242 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Four receivers have multiple catches, and Kerwynn Williams has 123 all-purpose yards.

Utah State put up 304 total yards in the first half, had 15 first downs and punted just twice.

Injury report

Junior cornerback Nevin Lawson left the game in the second quarter with a lower leg injury and didn't return for the remainder of the half. Lawson pushed a receiver out of bounds and slipped on the chalk. He was helped up, but didn't re-enter the game.

Hey, Mr. DJ

Junior tight end D.J. Tialavea caught his first two passes of the season, including the touchdown pass that gave USU the lead for the remainder of the first half. Tialavea missed the first two games of the season with a leg injury. He's returned, but Saturday night was the first time he's been actively targeted by Keeton.

tjones@sltrib.com

Twitter: @tonyaggieville