Utah State Wins Mountain Division of the Mountain West Conference
Monday, Dec. 02, 2013
Utah State University senior running back Joey DeMartino recorded his sixth 100-yard rushing game of the season to go over 1,000 yards for the year and freshman quarterback Darell Garretson threw three touchdowns passes to lead Utah State to a 35-7 home win against Wyoming at Romney Stadium Nov. 30 on Senior Day.
With the win, Utah State claimed the Mountain Division Championship and the right to play in the Mountain West Conference Championship game next weekend against Fresno State. The Aggies also won the inaugural Bridger’s Battle trophy in the newly named series with Wyoming.
DeMartino rushed 20 times for 112 yards with one touchdown, for his fourth 100-yard outing in his last five games, as well as putting him over 1,000 yards for the season. DeMartino became the 17th player in school history to surpass the 1,000 yard single-season rushing mark, giving the Aggies a 1,000 yard rusher in each of the last three seasons.
Garretson finished the game 20-of-29 passing for 156 yards and tied his career-high with three touchdown passes, while getting intercepted once.
Behind DeMartino, senior running back Robert Marshall had 10 carries for 46 yards, all of them coming on the final drive as the Aggies ate up the final 9:15 of the game clock to secure the win.
Senior wide receiver Travis Van Leeuwen had six catches for 45 yards, while sophomore wide receiver Bruce Natson had six catches for 14 yards with one touchdown and sophomore wide receiver Brandon Swindall had two catches for 32 yards and a touchdown. Freshman tight end Wyatt Houston also had one reception that resulted in a 6-yard touchdown. USU had nine players catch a pass in the game.
Defensively, senior cornerback Tay Glover-Wright had a career-high 11 tackles, including a career-best 2.5 for loss, to go along with two pass breakups. Senior linebacker Jake Doughty added 10 stops for his eighth double-digit tackle outing of the season and 12th of his career, while senior nose guard AJ Pataiali'i finished with a career-best seven tackles. Doughty also intercepted his first pass of the season and second of his career in the first quarter, setting up USU's first score of the game.
Redshirt freshman linebacker Nick Vigil also had a career game for Utah State as he posted a career-high 3.5 sacks and 4.0 tackles for loss as part of his seven tackles to go along with one quarterback hurry.
Brett Smith was 16-of-29 passing for 162 yards with one touchdown and one interception to lead Wyoming, while Shaun Wicks had 40 yards rushing on 12 carries. Marqueston Huff led the Cowboys defense with 20 tackles.
Utah State finished with 310 yards of total offense (156-passing, 154-rushing) and Wyoming had just 190 yards (162-passing, 28-rushing).
Utah State opened the scoring on a 6-yard pass from Garretson to Houston with 6:17 on the first quarter clock, following Doughty's interception which gave the home team the ball at the Wyoming 27.
The Aggies added a special teams touchdown at the 7:30 mark of the second quarter on a 64-yard punt return by Natson for a 14-0 USU lead. Late in the half, DeMartino darted in from a yard out with 53 seconds left, and the Aggies went into halftime leading 21-0.
Midway through the third quarter, Garretson hit Natson in the end zone from 6-yards out to put Utah State on top, 28-0, at the 6:00 mark. Before the third quarter expired, Garretson connected with Swindall for another 6-yard touchdown to increase its advantage to 35-0.
Wyoming got on the board with a 60-yard touchdown pass from Smith to Dominic Rufran with 13:38 left in the fourth quarter to make the score 35-7. The Cowboys threatened to add to the scoring, recovering a fumble and returning it inside the USU 10, but the Aggies' defense thwarted the threat, to preserve the 35-7 score and secure the win.
Utah State will return to action on Saturday, Dec. 7 when it plays Fresno State in the inaugural Mountain West Championship game at 8 p.m. (MT).
Read much more about the matchup with Fresno State and the Mountain West Championship game in the full game notes at the Utah State University Athletics website.