LOGAN -- The 30,257 fans who saw Utah State continue its best football start in 34 years were treated to more than just milestones. Chuckie Keeton and Kerwynn Williams assured it.
The white-clad sellout crowd -- true to the school's promotion for a "White Out" for homecoming -- saw the 19-year-old Keeton, despite a silent third quarter, amass 402 yards in the air before coach Gary Andersen called him to the sideline. Firing bullets midfield, short field, in the flats and along the Romney Stadium sideline -- and particularly to Williams -- UNLV's defensive backfield had no answer for the sophomore or his backfield mate. USU 35, UNLV 13.
The Rebels (1-4) did hold USU (4-1) scoreless in the first quarter for the first time this season. It was an impressive mark considering the Aggies' 51-0 dominance of opponents in the stanza in their first four contests. Perhaps even more astounding, however: Keeton's passing total were the most in Logan since Jose Fuentes racked up 426 in 2002.
Williams, fresh off a 205 rushing yard breakout game last week at Colorado State, was Keeton's yard-gaining reservoir -- and perhaps an upstage to the signal-caller's performance. The game ball recipient gained 263 total yards (116 rushing, 147 receiving -- a career high, and the most by a USU non-receiver since 1959). It marked the most successful contest of Williams' season.
For the feature back, it was the greatest of his career.
"I can't take full credit for it," said the Las Vegas native, who also received the game ball last week against Colorado State before giving it to the USU offensive line. "Chuckie made some great reads and did a great job checking down when deep pass wasn't there." "However I can get the ball, I'm happy to do it."
The Aggie defense was true to its September form as well. Ranked 11th nationally in total defense entering the contest, it limited the third-best passing offense in the Mountain West Conference to just 188 yards in the air. For the first time this season, they did yield their first touchdown of the first half, a strike from UNLV freshman quarterback Nick Sherry.
"They have a lot of effort, a lot of guys who actually care," said Keeton of the defense. "Not just one guy, but a full defense of 11 guys flying to the ball."
With a strong third quarter effort, the Rebels seemed prepared to give the Aggies their 10th last-second decision in their past 12 contests. But that hope seemed nullified when Keeton connected with Williams -- who else? -- on a screen pass that became a 74-yard sprint for the pylon.
Minutes later, Williams' backup, Joe Hill, received a dump from Keeton on the same play that merited 65 yards, setting up Keeton for a third down bullet to Chuck Jacobs for the senior's second score of the game. The two-minute drive gave the Aggies a 20-point lead that proved to deflate the Rebels.
Enough to please the whitewashed crowd -- which, in turn, pleased the head coach.
"The crowd was awesome," Andersen said. "It was vocal, it was full. The whole white out thing was great, but it was great to see them support the kids. It was a great Division I atmosphere."