Quarterback Derek Carr celebrates after his third
rushing touchdown of the season.
Dalton Runberg / The Collegian
Fresno State got back to Western Athletic Conference play against Utah State after one of its worst performances in Bulldog Stadium history last Friday.
The Aggies would draw first blood as freshman quarterback Chuckie Keeton drove Utah State down the field. The drive ended with a senior Michael Smith screen pass 47-yard touchdown.
Fresno State’s offense would attempt to answer back with a drive of its own. Sophomore quarterback Derek Carr put the Fresno State offense on his back and drove down Jim Sweeney Field. Carr led the offense into Aggies’ territory, but the ‘Dogs would turn the ball over with a pivotal error in the quarterback and center exchange. Utah State recovered the ball and started the Aggies’ second drive
Utah State recovered the fumble deep in Bulldogs’ territory, but that didn’t stop them. Keeton led the Aggies down the field. It ended with junior running back Robert Turbin bulling the Fresno State defense and rumbles 59 yards for a touchdown to give the Aggies the 14-0 lead.
Carr’s second chance to face the Aggies’ defense was the charm as he delivered constantly to different receivers to keep the drive alive. He found sophomore wide receiver with the back shoulder fade for the 23-yard touchdown pass to bring the ‘Dogs within striking distance, 14-7.
On the following drive, Fresno State defense truly bended, but didn’t break as they got a big stop on third down, which forced a field goal. Utah State would miss the field goal to keep the score 14-7.
The missed field goal provided the ‘Dogs with some much needed momentum as Carr and company got in rhythm early in the drive. The Bakersfield Christian High School graduate got his team down the field with his timely passing. Carr provided the ‘Dogs with a leap of faith as he leaped over the goal line for his third rushing touchdown of the season to tie the score 14-14.
Utah State would answer back with a big drive of its own as Keeton orchestrated the Aggies’ offense to perfection. He set up a quarterback option play and pitched the ball to Smith for a 46-yard rushing touchdown, which was the second of the night, to give the Aggies the 21-14 lead.
With Fresno State down by seven points, the offense started its next drive on a positive note with Carr connecting on passes all around the field. Then, trouble stuck as Utah State’s defense forced a fumble to halt Fresno State’s drive.
After this drive the defenses for both teams showed up as both offenses were forced to punt on numerous drives. At the half, a track meet has turned into a turtle race as the Aggies lead 21-14.