With latest rout, Utah State is rewriting history of football series against BYU

Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune Utah State Aggies celebrate the win after defeating BYU, 45-20, at Lavell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Friday, Oct. 5, 2018.

Provo • The Utah State football team laughed in the face of history Friday night, and simultaneously told it to talk to the hand, because the Aggies just weren’t listening.

It was a night full of rarities for the Aggies, who beat BYU 45-20 at LaVell Edwards Stadium. In the previous 88 meetings between the two teams, the Cougars had won 48. The last time they played at BYU’s house — in 2016 — the Cougars won.

After the game, the USU locker room could be heard in boisterous celebration. The team was fully aware of the history between the two teams, USU head coach Matt Wells said.

“It has everything to do with a lot of pride for a lot of guys that have played at Utah State before us, before me,” Wells said of the win.

The Aggies hadn’t prevailed in consecutive games against the Cougars since the 1973 and 1974 seasons. It was also the first time in USU history that it scored more than 40 points in four consecutive games.

For USU junior Tipa Galeai, Friday night was the first time for two very important things: his first career interception and touchdown. And they came in the same sequence.

It was Galeai’s pick-six midway through the first quarter that broke the Cougars’ spirit early. The Aggies junior linebacker returned the interception for 56 yards.

In 21 games as a college football player — 17 at Texas Christian University — Galeai had never recorded an interception. For a linebacker, that’s not particularly unusual. But a defense-first player at his position reaching the end zone — that’s a rarity.

“When big plays like that happen for our brotherhood and our defense, it’s like we all just made that play,” Aggies safety Jontrell Rocquemore said. “For him, congratulations. … It’s great, it’s incredible. It’s a lot more to come for (Galeai). He’s a great player. You can just look for great things for (him).”

Also a rare sight was the quality of USU’s offense. While it scored in bunches, it amassed just 388 total yards, which is fewer than its season average of 471.5.

Aggies quarterback Jordan Love provided the bulk of the offense for USU. He threw four touchdown passes and on an 18-for-28 evening. He also provided a rushing TD.

BYU showed some life in the tail end of the second quarter with a few nifty pass plays and scored a touchdown with 4:28 remaining in the first half. And although the Cougars threatened to score again with under a minute left in the half, the Aggies defense stopped them in their tracks.