Utah State Pulls Away Late, Beats Idaho 42-17

LOGAN, Utah – The Utah State Aggies took advantage of second half turnovers to pull away and beat the Idaho Vandals 42-17 Saturday in the Western Athletic Conference opener at Romney Stadium in Logan, Utah.

The win was the first win of the year for Utah State (1-3 overall, 1-0 WAC), while it was the 15th straight conference loss for Idaho (1-3 overall, 0-1 WAC).  The Vandals last win over a WAC team, and last win over a Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly I-A) team was a 24-14 win at Louisiana Tech on October 14, 2006.

The win is the third straight conference win for USU, as they finished the 2007 season with wins at New Mexico State and at Idaho.  The win was also the first WAC home win for the Aggies since they beat Fresno State 13-12 on October 7, 2006.

The game was tied 7-7 at halftime.  The Vandals took the lead in the first quarter, when Nathan Enderle connected with Eddie Williams on a seven-yard touchdown pass with 6:08 left in the quarter.  That capped off a 11 play, 66 yard drive that took almost seven minutes. 

Utah State tied the game in the second quarter, when Diondre Borel ran 33 yards for a touchdown.  The game stayed tied into the third quarter.

Idaho took back the lead on the first drive of the second half, when Enderle hit Preston Davis on a six-yard touchdown pass to make the score 14-7 in favor of the Vandals.  But Utah State tied the game again on the next drive when Borel hit Stanley Morrison on a 46-yard touchdown pass.  Idaho responded with a 43-yard field goal from Tino Amancio to take a 17-14 lead, but that was the last time Idaho scored.

The Aggies scored with 34 seconds left in the third when Borel connected with Jeremy Mitchell on a 15-yard touchdown pass, giving USU a 21-17 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Mistakes were the downfall for Idaho in the fourth.  Three minutes in, Enderle fumbled the ball when he was sacked in the end zone by Utah State’s Darby Gordon.  The ball was recovered by Ben Calderwood for an Aggie touchdown.  Four minutes later, following an James Brindley interception of an Enderle pass, Curtis Marsh ran 41 yards to give the Aggies a 35-17 lead, and the game was pretty much over.

USU finished the scoring with a minutes remaining in the game, when Robert Turbin scored on a 26-yard run, making the final 42-17 and sending home happy most of the crowd of 10,154.

Enderle didn’t have the best of games for Idaho.  He was 20-35 for 161 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.  He was also sacked three times, including the one that resulted in a fumble and a USU touchdown in the fourth.  Deonte Jackson was also contained by the Aggie defense, getting only 54 yards on 14 carries.

Borel and Turbin had solid games for Utah State.  Borel was 12-21 for 191 yards and two touchdowns, and he ran the ball 12 times for 93 yards and a touchdown.  Turbin carried the ball 15 times for 123 yards and a touchdown.  The Aggies had 580 yards of total offense, compared to 271 for Idaho.

The next game for Utah State is October 3, when they host #14 Brigham Young.  The Vandals next play on September 27, as they travel to Southern California to play the San Diego State Aztecs.  Their next home game is October 4 against Nevada.