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Utah State running back Kerwynn Williams breaks an attempted tackle by Southern Utah defensive back Tyree Mills (6) during their NCAA college football game, Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012, in Logan, Utah. (AP Photo/The Herald Journal, Eli Lucero)
USU Football: Aggies rout Southern Utah 34-3 in opener
College football » QB Chuckie Keeton throws for 304 yards, two TDs
First Published Aug 30 2012 05:55 pm • Last Updated Aug 31 2012 12:26 am

Logan • Sophomore Joe Hill ran for 119 yards and three touchdowns to lead Utah State to a 34-3 win over Southern Utah on Thursday night at Romney Stadium.

Sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton was also dominant on offense for the Aggies. He completed 22 of 26 passes for 304 yards and two touchdowns.

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The game was never close.

Utah State scored three touchdowns in the first 10:59 and cruised to victory over the Thunderbirds, who were playing their first game as members of the Big Sky Conference.

Southern Utah received the opening kickoff. But quarterback Brad Sorensen was 0-for-2 on his first two passes and the Thunderbirds punted.

Taking over at its own three, Utah State went 97 yards in 11 plays. Keeton’s 48-yard pass to Chuck Jacobs gave the Aggies a quick 7-0 lead.

SUU againt went three-and-out on its second possession, and the Aggies took over near midfield. Three players later, Keeton threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Matt Austin, making it 14-0.

The Aggies didn’t stop there.

After another stop by the defense, Keeton drove Utah State 98 yards in nine plays, capped by Hill’s 27-yard touchdown run, making it 21-0 with 1:01 remaining in the lopsided first quarter.

The Aggies outgained Southern Utah, 240-19, in the opening 15 minutes. They had 11 first downs; the Thunderbirds did not manage one.

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Southern Utah finally got on the scoreboard midway through the second quarter, Sorensen scrambled for one first down and passed for two others and the Thunderbirds reached the Utah State two.

The Aggie defense held, however, and SUU settled for Colton Cook’s 22-yard field goal, making it 21-3.

Utah State got the ball first in the second half and quickly went 77 yards in eight plays to grab a 28-3 lead. Hill, scoring twice in a game for the first time in his career, capped the drive with a 19-yard touchdown run.

The Aggies iced their victory on the first play of the fourth quarter, when Hill took a handoff from Keeton. He stepped through a pair of tackles near the line of scrimmage, broke to the sideline and raced 33 yards for his third touchdown.

Utah State missed the extra point, but with 14:51 left, it owned a 34-3 lead.

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