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Aggie returner Pennyman puts on a show

LOGAN — Utah State wide receiver Antonio Pennyman made an immediate impact the first time he touched the football Saturday night in the Aggies' 31-24 vicotry over UNLV.

After the Rebels took a 7-0 lead 57 seconds into the game, Pennyman, 5-foot-9, 163 pounds, returned the kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown.

Moments later he returned another kick 41 yards. In the first half alone, Pennyman had 133 return yards with a touchdown to go along with six catches for 52 yards with a 12-yard touchdown, which gave the Aggies a 16-10 lead at the half.

He finished the game with a career-high 10 catches for 97 yards.

"I was very hungry this week," Pennyman said. "Coach put in a great game plan."

Pennyman, along with wide receiver Dionte Holloway and running back Chris Forbes, were suspended for the Aggies' first game of the year at Utah two weeks ago.

"Not following team rules, you see bad things happen," Pennyman said. "When you listen to the coach good things happen."

The Aggies had Pennyman written heavily into the game plan against the Utes, but it was scrapped as the trio was suspended just hours before the game.

Saturday, Forbes, who was the Aggies' leading rusher last year as a true freshman, got his first carry of the year midway through the second quarter and was stopped for a four-yard loss. He finished with five carries for just 13 yards.

Holloway didn't have any catches.

WALKER IN: Freshman back-up quarterback Jerod Walker saw his first action of the season in the second quarter.

After starter Leon Jackson III guided the Aggies to just 15 total yards in the first quarter, Walker played the first series of the second, but according to Guy it was by design.

"That was the way we planned it, and he (Jackson) needed it at the time," Guy said.

Things didn't go much better for him either in the end. He was 2-for-3 for 10 yards and had three carries for 13 yards, but he fumbled and UNLV recovered on the seventh play of the series.

It didn't prove costly, however, as E.J. Reid blocked a 45-yard field goal attempt moments later.

YELLOW HANKY: The Aggies were flagged just five times for 35 yards in their season opener at Utah. Saturday night, the Aggies were flagged 12 times for 136 yards. In the first half alone the Aggies were flagged nine times for 87 yards.

QUICK SCORES: The Aggies now have allowed eight touchdowns when the opponent had the ball for less than two minutes in the drive.

The Aggies surrendered four against the Utes two weeks ago, and four more to UNLV.

The Rebels' first two scoring drives Saturday were complete in 57 seconds, and 1:44, respectively. They also scored on back-to-back drives of 39 and 53 seconds in the second half.

WHEN LEADING AT HALF: The Aggies led at the half in only one game last year and they eventually lost to North Texas, 31-23.

SUPER PENN: Offensive tackle Donald Penn made his 34th consecutive start Saturday night. If he starts the Aggies' 10 remaining games he'll have 44 starts, the most since 1993.