USU football: Defense responds after giving up only TD
Logan • At halftime Saturday, Utah State coach Matt Wells was eager to remind his players about Hawaii's habit of rallying to make games close, even during a winless season.
His staff beat him to the subject. "Every assistant coach had already drained them with that," Wells said after a 47-10 victory at Romney Stadium.
The message got through, eventually. Hawaii produced a touchdown drive to begin the third quarter, cutting USU's lead to 23-10, but the Aggies responded with a dominating defensive performance the rest of the afternoon.
"The way we answered was really positive," said linebacker Kyler Fackrell.
Hawaii had posted 273 total yards to that point; the Rainbow Warriors finished with 319 yards. After the touchdown, USU's defense delivered five three-and-out sequences on Hawaii's next six possessions.
The most dramatic stand came after an interception gave Hawaii the ball at the Aggie 4-yard line late in the third quarter. Two running plays netted minus-1 yard, then Fackrell intercepted Sean Schroeder's pass and went 99 yards for a touchdown to make it 40-10.
USU safety Brian Suite, a Hawaii native, picked off a pass early in the second quarter and Frankie Sutera added an interception to end the first half. The Aggies have recorded 10 interceptions in the last five games after going the first four games of the season without any.
USU's B.J. Larsen and Terrrell Thompson registered sacks as USU turned up the pressure on Schroeder and Taylor Graham in the second half.
"We should have picked up their blitzes better," said Hawaii coach Norm Chow.
Fackrell led USU with nine tackles and linebackers Zach Vigil and Jake Doughty each had eight. Paul Pikula was credited with 1.5 tackles for loss and cornerback Nevin Lawson broke up five passes.
Subduing the Warriors
Hawaii's offensive possessions, following a touchdown drive to start the third quarter: