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Utah State football: Special teams drives Aggies to win (with video)

Published November 30, 2013 7:10 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Logan • Jojo Natson has a flair for the dramatic, even if he doesn't always run upfield.

Although there were several times Wyoming's defenders couldn't seem to guess what he was doing next, Utah State coach Matt Wells said he's never thrown off by what the 5-foot-8 receiver can do in the punt return game.

"Nothing surprises me with that little sucker; you can't see him out there," Wells said. "We gotta get him figuring out which way is north sometimes, but it's kind of like the guys who shoot 3-pointers and you're like, 'No, no, no — nice shot.'"

Wells may have been shouting something like that during Natson's punt return in the second quarter, when he burst out of a pack of defenders then cut across the field and back, cramping up before he hit paydirt. The 64-yard touchdown return was Natson's second this year.

Special teams in general were a weapon for the Aggies on Saturday. Punter Jaron Bentrude continued his run of stellar special-teams play, pinning Wyoming inside its own 20 five times on the day for a 43.3-yard average.

Bentrude also set up a key turnover for the Aggies with a line-drive punt that was muffed by the Wyoming returner. Marquan Ellison recovered the punt deep inside Cowboys territory to set up a short touchdown drive.

DeMartino hits four digits

Senior running back Joey DeMartino joined the 1,000-yard club on Saturday, perhaps the most unlikely Aggie to ever reach the plateau.

With 112 yards, the sixth time he's run over the century mark, DeMartino became the 17th Aggie to run for 1,000 yards, and the fourth in five years. Despite starting the season as the backup, DeMartino assumed the featured role after a season-ending injury to Joe Hill. Since then, he's been the Aggies' main weapon on the ground.

"It's a dream come true," DeMartino said. "It's a tradition left here by Robert Turbin, Kerwynn Williams and Michael Smith. I hope it just keeps continuing on. I'm glad to be a part of it."

kgoon@sltrib.com

Twitter: @kylegoon