Logan • A pang of deja vu wafted over Maverik Stadium Saturday night, and it all had to do with the way Utah State started against Boise State in a Mountain West conference game.
Just like a defeat earlier this month to Colorado State, an opposing quarterback cruised into Logan and ripped through the Aggies defense from the get-go.
“Defensively, we didn’t play well. We need to play better as a defensive secondary,” said Utah State freshman safety Baron Gajkowski. We felt like we had our matchups, but it just didn’t go our way tonight.”
In a way, a 41-14 loss to the Broncos was worse than the Rams defeat.
Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien came into the game with a total of two touchdown passes on the season. By halftime Saturday night, Rypien had three against the Aggies alone.
Like Colorado State QB Nick Stevens, who connected on his first nine passes in a 27-14 win on October 7, Rypien had little difficulty finding open receivers at the start.
When Rypien hit Octavius Evans with a 12-yard pass midway through the first quarter for a 14-0 lead, that was his eighth straight completion.
“I thought we played poor on defense and it was three-and-out on offense,” Utah State coach Matt Wells said. “I thought Brett got on fire. I thought we were soft in the secondary and gave him too much cushion. And they played pitch-and-catch.”
Earlier in the period, with only two minutes elapsed off the clock, Rypien finished a quick 75-yard drive with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Cedrick Wilson.
Utah State (4-5, 2-3 MWC) showed a spark at the end of the opening stanza when freshman quarterback Jordan Love drove the team 51 yards and, after a pass interference call on Boise State (6-2, 4-0), threw a two-yard scoring pass to Ron’quavion Tarver to make the score 14-7.
But Boise got two more touchdowns before half, a 3-yard throw from Montell Cozart to Alex Mattison and a 22-yard pass from Rypien to Jake Roh, to make it 28-7 at half.
The third quarter began in deflating terms for any Utah State comeback thoughts. The Aggies went three-and-out after getting the opening kickoff of the second half. Then the Broncos rolled 77 yards on 11 plays and took a 35-7 lead on a 35-yard strike by Cozart to Roh.
Offensively, Love finished with 168 yards through the air, but only had 32 through the first two quarters.
“I think we didn’t establish a rushing game early and a lot of that falls on the offensive line obviously,” Utah State offensive tackle Roman Andrus said. “This game opened our eyes on what we have to do.”