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USU establishes run, not many yards

Lack of production has put offense in tough spots

LOGAN — Utah State head football coach Brent Guy and offensive coordinator Darrell Dickey weren't kidding when they said prior to the season that they were going to establish the running game.

The Aggies have gone to the run on first down — almost to a fault — and a majority of the time it has put them in awkward positions for the remaining downs.

In six games this year, the Aggies have rushed the ball on first down 102 times (3.55 yards per rush), while they have completed 23-of-42 passes (12.5 yards per completion, 6.86 yards per pass).

Here's a closer look at first down for the Aggies:

• Thirty times the Aggies have been held to 1 yard or less fewer (14 times of 0 yards or fewer, and 16 times for just 1 yard).

• Thirty-six times they have rushed for 5 yards or more (27 times between 5 and 10 yards, and 9 times of more than 10 yards).

• They've had 19 incomplete passes.

• Seven-of-23 completions have been for more than 10 yards.

• The Aggies average 17 rushes a game on first down.

• They average seven passing plays on first down per game.

Utah State has 730 yards rushing this year and 363 (nearly 50 percent) of them have come on first down, while it has 835 yards passing with 288 coming on first down.

On second, third and fourth downs, the Aggies have combined for 145 rushes and 100 passes.

The Aggies, who have an open date this week, are just 23-of-87 on third-down conversions and have an average distance of 6.75 yards per play. Utah State has had only 22 tries on third down of 3 yards or fewer, while they have had 19 third-down attempts of 10 yards or more.

Of the 87 third-down plays, the team is nearly equal in pass and run attempts.

AGS VS. THE WAC: The Aggies (0-6, 0-3) are just 3-15 in three seasons in the WAC, including an 1-8 road mark. The Aggies' last road win came over New Mexico State in the season finale of 2005.

LUCKY 13: Utah State's Paul Caldwell drilled a 20-yard field goal on Utah State's first drive in a 52-37 loss to Hawaii Saturday. It was the first time the Aggies have scored on their opening drive in 13 games. The 11-play, 68-yard drive was also the longest opening drive for the Aggies this season.

CAREER FIRSTS: With 27 seconds left against Hawaii, sophomore quarterback Jase McCormick connected with Xavier Bowman for a 14-yard touchdown. It was McCormick's first career TD pass and Bowman's first career TD catch.

ROBINSON WATCH: With his 100-yard kickoff return against Hawaii, Utah State's Kevin Robinson now has the school record with three career kickoff returns for touchdowns. He has recorded two in three games.