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3 takeaways from Utah State’s 24-13 win over Oregon State in the LA Bowl

Utah State defeated Oregon State in the LA Bowl to put the finishing touches on a special season

SHARE 3 takeaways from Utah State’s 24-13 win over Oregon State in the LA Bowl
Utah State quarterback Cooper Legas is hoisted on the shoulders of his teammates.

Utah State quarterback Cooper Legas (5) is hoisted on the shoulders of his teammates after they won the LA Bowl 24-13 over Oregon State in Inglewood, Calif., Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021.

Ashley Landis, Associated Press

Utah State defeated Oregon State 24-13 in the LA Bowl Saturday to put the finishing touches on a special season.

The Aggies, who won their first-ever Mountain West Conference championship this year, finished the season 11-3.

Here are three takeaways from the Aggies’ bowl win:

Defense wins the day for USU

Hats off to Utah State’s defense.

Oregon State entered the game averaging 32.8 points per game, and the Aggies held them to just 13 — the Beavers’ lowest scoring output of the season.

Utah State sacked Oregon State quarterback Chance Nolan four times, with defensive end Nick Heninger getting to Nolan three times. The Beavers allowed just 10 sacks all season prior to Saturday.

After Oregon State scored on its first drive of the game, the Beavers did not find the end zone the rest of the night as the Aggies got pressure on Nolan and did a pretty good job of stopping the Beavers’ rushing attack. Oregon State’s 152 rushing yards were the third-fewest by the Beavers this season.

The Aggies also forced two turnovers — a fumble forced by Justin Rice and an interception by Hunter Reynolds.

Rice led the way on defense with nine tackles and the forced fumble, but Utah State got contributions from everyone on defense.

Cooper Legas steps in and shines

After quarterback Logan Bonner left the game with an injury in the second quarter, the Aggies put in former Orem High star Cooper Legas, the third-string quarterback who had no college action (backup Andrew Peasley was also hurt), to finish the game.

On his first collegiate attempt, Legas uncorked a beautiful 62-yard pass to Deven Thompkins for a touchdown.

Legas was not fazed by the bright lights of SoFi Stadium and threw for 171 yards and two touchdowns. He was 11 for 20 and had one interception, which was a great play by Oregon State’s Kitan Oladapo to get a foot inbounds after picking Legas off.

Overall, Legas did a good job in his first college game on a big stage.

What a season for Deven Thompkins

If that’s the final game for Deven Thompkins in an Aggie uniform, it’s a fitting way for him to go out.

Thompkins led all Aggie receivers with 115 yards on six receptions, including the 62-yard touchdown catch. Thompkins froze an Oregon State defender with a move, getting open for the deep ball from Legas.

It was the ninth 100-plus receiving yard game from Thompkins this year.

He finishes the season with 1,704 receiving yards on 102 receptions with 10 touchdowns.