Aggie football is back! That is a phrase that many people would usually be celebrating. While yes the Aggies won Thursday night, it wasn’t exactly the statement they were looking for against a team that finished a mere 3-9 last season.
USU faced off at home against Southern Utah University Thursday night in the currently under construction Maverik Stadium. That did not stop the well over 20,000 people to turn out for the Aggies.
The game started off with a bang, a couple plays moving the ball down the field, until a pass across the middle left freshman wide receiver Zach Van Leeuwen injured and out for the game. Aggies began to falter on offense after that. A punt on that possession was blocked and set SUU up in great field position. The Thunderbirds capitalized from a missed tackle on their first possession scoring 6. The Aggies scored right after by blocking the PAT and Torrey Green returning it for 2 points. Both teams struggled early on offense as evidenced by the fact that neither team converted a first half third down situation.
USU’s Brock Warren converted on a 30yd field goal late in the first quarter, bringing the score to 6-5. SUU put up 3 more right before half off the boot of Calhoun. The score remained the same late into the fourth quarter, based mainly on continued offensive futility. The Aggies were without both of their starting receivers Hunter Sharp and Brandon Swindall.
The saving moment was when game standout Andrew Rodriguez returned an 85 yard punt for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter giving the Aggies the lead for the first time and proving to be the winning play of the game. Rodriguez on the crucial timing of the moment, “I remember watching the clock ticking down and knowing I needed to make a play.” This win gave the Aggies their 9th straight win against an FCS opponent. They play The University of Utah next Friday night in Salt Lake City. The Utes are coming off an impressive 24-17 win over Michigan. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN and you can catch preview coverage all week long on Aggie Radio at 9am.