SAN ANTONIO — Utah State racked up 522 yards of offense en route to a 48-17 win that sent UTSA to its third consecutive defeat in a Western Athletics Conference (WAC) contest on Saturday before 23,519 fans at the Alamodome.
Chuckie Keeton completed 27-of-36 passes for a season-high 340 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Aggies (7-2, 3-0 WAC), who set a program record with their eighth consecutive league victory.
Meanwhile, Ryan Polite finished with 21 completions for 248 yards and a score for the Roadrunners (5-3, 1-2 WAC).
The Aggies scored first after Devonta Glover-Wright blocked a Kristian Stern punt out of bounds at the five on UTSA’s first possession. On second down from the 2-yard line, Keeton found Kellen Bartlett in the right flat for his first touchdown.
Triston Wade, who finished with a game-high 11 tackles, ended Utah State’s next drive with his third interception of the season when Erik Brown deflected a Keeton pass in the end zone to his teammate. UTSA marched 10 plays and 68 yards, 60 of which came from Polite (59 passing/1 rushing), to set up Stern for a 29-yard field goal that made it 7-3 with 5:26 left in the first quarter.
However, Utah State broke the game open with a 20-point outburst in the second quarter. Kerwynn Williams plunged into the end zone from one yard out on fourth down and Keeton found Cameron Webb over the middle for 29 yards to account for two TDs, while Nick Diaz drilled field goals from 22 and 24 yards out to help give the Aggies a 27-3 halftime advantage.
Williams opened the second half with a 68-yard rush to set up a 1-yard TD run of his own and extend the lead to 34-3.
Following a UTSA interception, Joe Hill capped a four-play, 44-yard Utah State scoring march with a 1-yard scoring dive to make it 41-3.
UTSA put together its first touchdown drive of the game on its next possession. Polite found Aaron Grubb on a crossing pattern for 44 yards down to the Utah State seven to set up a 7-yard TD jaunt up the middle by Evans Okotcha.
The score pushed the Coppell native’s single-season school record for rushing touchdowns to seven, and it was his team-leading ninth trip to paydirt of the campaign. It also was just the second rushing touchdown the Aggies have given up all season.
Just before the end of the third quarter, Keeton found Hill for a 16-yard scoring strike to cap a 10-play, 65-yard drive for a 48-10 lead.
The Birds capitalized on Kelvin Lee’s fumble in the fourth quarter for their final score. Nic Johnston’s hit jarred the ball loose for his third forced fumble of the season and it was recovered by Cody Berry at Utah State’s 23-yard line.
On the first play of the ensuing drive, Polite found Cole Hicks in the end zone for his team-leading third touchdown reception for the final margin.
Sophomores Earon Holmes and Cole Hubble led all receivers with 54 yards apiece, while Grubb finished with a pair of catches for 48 yards.
The Roadrunners will travel to Ruston, La., to face Louisiana Tech next Saturday, Nov 3. Kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m. and the game will be televised by ESPN Regional