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Final: Utah State fights past slow start to roll past North Dakota and improve to 2-0 on season

Utah State running back Elelyon Noa carries the ball as North Dakota defensive backs Kadon Kauppinen (24) and Jordan Canady (25) defend.
Utah State running back Elelyon Noa carries the ball as North Dakota defensive backs Kadon Kauppinen (24) and Jordan Canady (25) defend during the first half of an NCAA college football game Friday, Sept. 10, 2021, in Logan, Utah.
Eli Lucero/The Herald Journal via AP

The Deseret News is providing live coverage from tonight’s game between Utah State and North Dakota. Follow along for updates throughout the night.

Final

Utah State 48, North Dakota 24

The Aggies dominated the second half and move to 2-0 on the young season with a 48-24 victory over FCS opponent North Dakota late Friday night.

Utah State added three fourth-quarter touchdowns — a 2-yard Calvin Tyler Jr. run on fourth down, a 41-yard Derek Wright catch and a 59-yard run by backup quarterback Andrew Peasley — to turn a tight game into a blowout.

The Aggies defense stiffened in the second half, giving up just 78 yards on North Dakota’s first five possessions of the half while forcing four straight punts.

Logan Bonner had a big night leading the Utah State offense, completing 21 of 33 passes for 390 yards, four touchdowns and one interception.

Deven Thompkins was the biggest recipient of his passes, with eight receptions for a career-high 172 yards and a touchdown. Brandon Bowling added six receptions for 118 yards and a score.

Tyler Jr. finished with 14 carries for 72 yards and the short TD run.

Defensively, the Aggies were led by linebacker Justin Rice, who had nine tackles, a tackle for loss and two interceptions, including one in the fourth quarter that set up Utah State’s final score.

End of 3rd quarter

Utah State 27, North Dakota 24

The Aggies took their first lead of the night on a big play, as Logan Bonner hit Deven Thompkins for a 75-yard touchdown with 9:52 to play in the quarter for a one-play scoring rive.

That came just moments after North Dakota turned an Aggie turnover into a field goal.

Utah State had a chance to build on its lead, but the Fighting Hawks came up with a big goal-line stand late in the quarter to keep it a one-score game.

Halftime

North Dakota 21, Utah State 20

The Aggies made it a one-point game at the half by outscoring the Fighting Hawks 13-0 in the second quarter. Utah State got field goals of 26 and 37 yards from Connor Coles to start the quarter, then Logan Bonner hit Derek Wright for a 4-yard touchdown with 1:55 until the half to make it 21-20.

Utah State’s defense, meanwhile, forced North Dakota into two punts in the quarter and picked off a pass just before the end of the half.

The Aggies have 261 yards of total offense, compared to 257 for the Fighting Hawks, in a surprisingly tight game.

Utah State will get the ball to start the second half.

End of 1st quarter

North Dakota 21, Utah State 7

The Aggies have look shellshocked on defense in the first quarter, as North Dakota has turned three offensive possessions into three touchdowns.

While Utah State has a promising drive going to end the first quarter, they are getting outplayed on both sides of the ball so far by their ranked opponent.

The Aggies scored on a 54-yard touchdown pass from Logan Bonner to Brandon Bowling, while North Dakota has three touchdown passes — by three different players — while putting up 192 yards of total offense.

Start of game pushed back by weather delay, blackout

The game was scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. MDT at Maverik Stadium, but it’s under a lightning delay. The game was tentatively scheduled to start at 8:17 p.m., according to Aggie play-by-play announcer Scott Garrard, after the weather delay, before the lights went out, further delaying the start.

The game finally kicked off at 8:29 p.m.

Pregame prep

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