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(Scott Sommerdorf | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah State Aggies quarterback Chuckie Keeton (16) looks for a receiver during first half play. Utah State led the Idaho Vandals 21-6 at the half in Logan, Saturday, November 24, 2012.
USU football: Aggies claim WAC title, get first-ever 10-win season
First Published Nov 24 2012 12:37 pm • Last Updated Nov 24 2012 11:59 pm

Logan • The Utah State football team’s quest for the program’s first-ever 10-win season came to fruition Saturday despite a few offensive struggles as the Aggies’ defense led the team to a 45-9 win.

The win sealed an outright Western Athletic Conference title for the program, Utah State’s first-ever conference title in its last year before moving to the Mountain West. A crowd of about 20,000 fans celebrated the victory on senior day at Romney Stadium.

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Utah State’s defensive unit made short work of Idaho quarterback Taylor Davis in the first half, intercepting him three times. Will Davis grabbed the third pick in the second quarter and returned it 59 yards for a touchdown and a 21-0 lead.

Only a pair of field goals kept the Vandals from being shut out in the first half. Idaho never saw the end zone as the Aggies kept Davis uncomfortable in the backfield and held the Vandals to 54 yards passing.

But the Aggies’ offense hardly was up to prime form early, as Keeton threw a pair of interceptions. Utah State had only 90 yards of offense, being outgained by Idaho’s 142 yards at the half.

But defensive turnovers helped create a short field for the Aggies, who scored on 11-yard and 23-yard drives. Keeton threw a touchdown pass to running back Kerwynn Williams for the first score, then ran for a 1-yard touchdown of his own near the end of the first quarter.

Utah State never got into a rhythm on offense, but it pulled away as the Vandals struggled. Keeton threw another touchdown to Kellen Bartlett, and Williams scored on another run before the Aggies pulled their starters. Joe Hill scored in garbage time to pile on Idaho.

kgoon@sltrib.com

Twitter: @kylegoon




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