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AGGIES CAN DO NO WRONG IN THRASHING OF UNLV

SHARE AGGIES CAN DO NO WRONG IN THRASHING OF UNLV

Greg Watts is a fifth-year Utah State senior. Between his five football seasons, he spent two years on a church mission. His last touchdown catch was in 1985 at Logan High.

Saturday, in the last home game for Watts and 20 other seniors, he finally got his first career TD with 7:12 left in the third quarter when coach Charlie Weatherbie, on a hunch, changed a play sent down from the press box by offensive coordinator Jim Zorn."It wasn't a good call. Zorn's mad at me," said Weatherbie. "I jumped In. Third-and-6 on the 7, a play-action pass is not real good in that area most of the time, but it was one of those things I had a gut feeling on."

It was one of those days when gut-feeling things worked. When everything the Aggies did worked.

They abused UNLV, the team that beat San Jose State last week, 48-8 to stay in the chase for the Big West title with two games to play, both on the road.

UNLV broke a shutout with 2:23 left.

"They're the best Big West team we played this year," said UNLV coach Jim Strong, whose team has already played Nevada and San Jose.

Aggie junior quarterback Anthony Calvillo threw for 342 yards and three touchdowns and scrambled for a TD as the offense finally caught up to the USU defense. Utah State rang up 511 yards of total offense, and Calvillo was 25-for-38 with one interception for USU's only turnover. Eleven Ags caught passes.

The D - led by Jermaine Younger, with 18 tackles and an interception, and Donald Toomer, who was tied for the league interception lead going into the game and had two more - finished with five interceptions and a fumble recovery and held UNLV to 16-for-42-164 passing and 320 total yards.

The special teams neutralized the returns of UNLV's Henry Bailey, one of the league's best, while senior Sean Jones had two field goals and was 6-for-6 on PATs. He's one field goal shy of the USU season record , 17-for-20.

"We finally had one of those games you call a team game," said Weatherbie. "They went out there and had fun. They were playing this one for the seniors."

No senior was more deserving than the hard-working little H-back Watts. Watts' touchdown wasn't the game-winner or anything; it made the score 31-0. He didn't care. "It was a picture-perfect day for me and the team," he said.

"I've been here five years and worked my tail off, gone through a lot of adversity, and the way I viewed it, it always seemed like in the end a great result would come of it. I'm kind of like the unsung hero," Watts said.

Weatherbie had told him, "This is your week," but Watts was unaware that the coach changed the play for him.

"I made an inside move and then an over-route, and I just knew I'd get a touchdown because, when he threw it, I go, `I'm not dropping this pass,' " said Watts.

"We're a makeshift football team," said Strong, who lost his best defensive back because of a family funeral and lost another to a neck sprain during the game. The Rebels are young, and they fell behind early - the kiss of death. "You have to get out of your game plan," Strong said.

Jones kicked a field goal on the Aggies' first drive, UNLV punted, and Calvillo scrambled 29 yards up the middle untouched for a 10-0 lead. Toomer's first interception stopped UNLV's next drive on the first play, and after an exchange of punts, Abu Wilson took a delay to the right - untouched - for a 17-0 first-quarter lead. Efrem Haymore intercepted, thanks to Joe Jacobs' QB pressure, on UNLV's next chance. With 5:28 left in the first half, tight end Greg Thompson was also untouched by the Rebel D as he caught a 19-yard Calvillo pass for a 24-0 lead.

"After we got after them the first three series," said Zorn, "I felt our offense just took charge."