by Max Jeppesen
The wait is finally over. For the first time since November 23, 2019, Utah State played home game in a Maverik Stadium at full capacity. They came to see the first matchup ever with North Dakota. Both teams wanted to stay undefeated after winning their first matches of the season.
In the first quarter, the Fighting Hawks were dominating. Scoring on their first three possessions, North Dakota had an opening 21-7 lead over the Aggies. Three touchdowns were thrown to different receivers from a variety of North Dakota quarterbacks. North Dakota’s offense was a sight to behold. They threw only three incompletions in the first half. The Fighting Hawks came to the Maverik Stadium ready to play.
Being down 21-7 in the second quarter is not where Utah State wanted to be. North Dakota should’ve done their homework though; comebacks are the blood of this USU program. There was left too much time left on the clock for the Aggies to do their damage.
The next three quarters were a completely different story; It was all Utah State. They outscored the Fighting Hawks by 38 points for a commanding 48-24 win.
After last week’s performance, Logan Bonner took most of the snaps. He couldn’t match North Dakota’s early dominance, but eventually he made some big plays. Three of his four touchdowns came completions greater than 40 yards. That is an incredible stat from the transfer out of Arkansas State. Logan Bonner’s stat line was excellent: four touchdowns, one interception, and 63 percent completion rate for 390 passing yards.
On the defensive end, the Aggies needed to make adjustments. After allowing 21 points in the first quarter, they allowed three points the rest of the whole game. Linebacker Justin Rice came up strong for the Aggies. With two interceptions and nine tackles, the Fighting Hawks were unable to breakthrough.
An overall excellent team performance sees Utah State take start the season with a perfect 2-0 record. They travel to Colorado to face the Air Force next Saturday for their first Mountain West conference game.
Last night was a wild ride at Maverik Stadium. With a rain delay and a power outage, it seemed like the Aggies might not play at all. Having waited nearly two years for this moment, the game finally started. All credit goes to the fans and those working at the stadium. They stayed through the wet and dark tonight to see an incredible game.
When Blake Anderson was announced as the head coach for Utah State back in February, he recruited Logan Bonner, Justin Rice, and Brandon Bowling. Tonight was a great demonstration of why these three players joined him in Cache Valley. These three were exceptional last night.
Blake Anderson is the first coach since 1919 to win his first two games at Utah State. With a stat like that, it’s hard not to get excited about this season. However, it’s essential to stay grounded at this point of the season. As the Aggies start conference play next week, these games are going to be difficult. Following the Air Force game, they play Boise State and BYU back to back. This will be a challenging three-week period for this program.
At this rate, all they need is enough time to make another brilliant comeback.
Featured image courtesy AP