Logan • To have a chance against heavily favored Utah State on Thursday night, Southern Utah needed a huge game from quarterback Brad Sorensen.
It didn't happen.
Sorensen completed 12 of 31 passes for 153 yards during the Aggies' 34-3 victory at Romney Stadium.
Sorensen was 0 for 5 in the first quarter, when Utah State jumped to a 21-0 lead. His first completion came on the Thunderbirds' fourth possession.
"Brad did not play his type of game. He was off, for sure," said Southern Utah coach Ed Lamb, who characterized the performance as simply a bad night.
"Normally, when Brad's not effective, it's something else Â too much pass rush or receivers not getting open. But I thought our protection was fair and our receivers did a good job of getting open. Brad was just not accurate."
Sorensen, who threw for 38 touchdowns in his first 22 games at Southern Utah, did not have one against the Aggies.
Playing in front of six pro scouts, Sorensen admitted to being a little nervous. But he credited Utah State for "a good performance."
"They threw different looks at us," he said. "We were expecting more man coverage, and they gave us a little more zone than we were expecting.
"Their defensive backs did a good job. They jammed up our guys good. I thought our receivers played well. But their man coverage gave us some problems."
On the other hand, Southern Utah did not contain Chuckie Keeton. The Aggie quarterback completed 22 of 26 passes for 304 yards and two touchdowns. Both came in the first nine minutes.
"He did an outstanding job as a passer, too," Lamb said. "He really elevated his game as a passer tonight. We knew he could run, and we were very concerned about that. But he put some balls on the money down the field."
Keeton was effective early, when Utah State's first three drives resulted in 240 yards of offense and 21 points.
The slow start doomed Southern Utah.
"I put that on myself," Lamb said. "We just weren't ready to play. We weren't used to the speed of the game. We have to find ways to practice faster and more competitively."
Statistics for starting QBs in Utah State-Southern Utah game
Comp-Att Yds TDs Int
Brad Sorensen, SUU 12-31 153 0 1
Chuckie Keeton, USU 22-26 304 2 1