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Highlights, key plays and photos from Utah State’s dominant victory over San Diego State in the MW title game

The Aggies controlled nearly every facet of the game against the Aztecs, winning 46-13. Utah State broke multiple championship game records in the program’s first ever MW title.

San Diego State safety C.J. Baskerville (34) tackles Utah State running back Elelyon Noa (34) in the first half during an NCAA college football game for the Mountain West Conference Championship, Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, in Carson, Calif.
John McCoy, AP

The Utah State Aggies are Mountain West Conference champions.

The Aggies handily defeated the San Diego State Aztecs 46-13 Saturday afternoon, winning the first MW title in program history.

Utah State controlled the game nearly from start to finish, powered by a season-best defensive showing and a record-breaking performance by quarterback Logan Bonner.

Final

Utah State 46, San Diego State 13

3:59 — Everything is going the way of the Aggies. USU wide receiver Jordan Nathan recovers a Calvin Tyler Jr. fumble in the end zone for a touchdown. Tyler broke a run up through the middle of the SDSU defense, before fumbling on the Aztec 3-yard line.

6:22 — SDSU scores it first touchdown of the game, a five-yard pass from Jalen Mayden to Jesse Matthews. The Aztecs have only thrown for 152 yards, while USU has over 300 (318).

10:21 — Utah State has put the game away, with a nine-yard touchdown pass from Logan Bonner to wide receiver Justin McGriff. Bonner has now thrown four touchdown passes in the game, a new MW title game record.

13:40 — Connor Coles connects for the first time on a field goal try (he is now 1 for 3 on the day) from 20 yards out. The Aggies have 332 yards of offense, compared to just 178 by San Diego State.

3rd Quarter

Utah State 29, San Diego State 6

1:39 — SDSU running back Greg Bell fumbles a handoff, recovered by USU defensive tackle Marcus Moore.

1:54 — Utah State continues to roll, as Logan Bonner finds Brandon Bowling for yet another touchdown. Bonner has now thrown for 282 yards and three touchdowns, while Bowling has seven receptions for 151 yards and two scores.

5:19 — SDSU returner Jordan Byrd muffs a punt, recovered by Utah State at the Aztecs’ 36-yard line.

6:58 — San Diego State scores for only the second time, on another field goal, this one from 36 yards out. The Aztecs had plenty of shots at the end zone, but Utah State’s defense made play after play after play, the final one being a pass breakup at the line of scrimmage by Nick Heninger on 3rd down.

9:55 — Utah State’s drive is cut short after Logan Bonner throws his first interception of the game, right to defensive back Patrick McMorris.

11:38 — Utah State blocks a second punt (safety Kina Maile ) — SDSU’s Matt Araiza hadn’t had a punt blocked all season — and the ball goes out the back of the end zone for a safety.

13:09 — Utah State wasted little time adding to its lead. Logan Bonner found wide receiver Brandon Bowling wide open — completely wide open - for a 58-yard touchdown. Bonner has now thrown 34 touchdown passes this season and is 106 yards away from breaking Jordan Love’s record for most passing yards in a single season.

Halftime

Utah State 14, San Diego State 3

0:00 — Connor Coles attempted his second field goal of the game and once again missed, this time short on a 51-yard attempt.

1:01 — The Aztecs get their first score of the game, three points courtesy of Araiza. He made a 23-yard chip shot of a field goal, the capper on 10-play, 77-yard drive. SDSU appeared poised to score a touchdown, but a great pass breakup by USU defensive back Monte McGary on 3rd down forced a kick instead.

4:57 — The Aggies are starting to figure things out out offense. USU scores again, this time on a 1-yard touchdown run by running back Calvin Tyler Jr. The Aggies went 63 yards in 7-plays, running and passing the ball. Before that drive, Utah State struggled to get anything on the ground.

6:28 — SDSU attempted a 54-yard field goal, but Mat Araiza’s attempt went wide right. It would have been a career-long for Araiza. The Aztecs drove the ball 27 yards in six plays to get in to scoring position, but USU defensive end broke up a 3rd down pass attempt. Heninger and fellow edge rusher Byron Vaughns have been difference makers thus far.

9:06 — Utah State scores first on a 5-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Logan Bonner to wide receiver Derek Wright. The play capped off a 10-play, 53-yard drive that was all about Bonner, who has now thrown for the most touchdowns in a single season in program history.

13:35 — Utah State’s Reece Jarvis blocks a punt by SDSU star punter Matt Araiza — he is one of three Ray Guy Award finalists — giving the Aggies their best starting field position of the game, at their own 47-yard line.

1st Quarter

Utah State 0, San Diego State 0

0:30 — The Aggies had the chance to score the first points of the game, but kicker Connor Coles’ 46-yard field goal try went short to the right. USU woke up offensively, though, driving 51 yards in eight plays, the highlight an incredible 41-yard reception by wide receiver Brandon Bowling.

5:06 — After the Aztecs drove the ball 54 yards down the field and appeared poised to score, USU forced a turnover on downs. Edge rusher Byron Vaughns tackled SDSU running back Greg Bell for a 1-yard loss on the play.

10:17 — Again the Utah State and San Diego State offenses struggle to get anything going, with consecutive 3-and-outs. Utah State has only 12 total yards, averaging two yards a play, while SDSU has seven total yards thus far and average of 1.2 yards a play.

11:48 — Both the USU and SDSU defense have come to play. Both units forced the opposing offense to go 3-and-out on their opening possession of the game.

Pregame Prep

Here are a few stories to get you ready for the game: