We witnessed a classic Midwest rivalry on Friday night when the Utah State Aggies won the infamous "Bridger's Battle" against the Wyoming Cowboys, their division rivals, in a 58-27 victory.
Wyoming were without some of its key players, including senior QB Cameron Coffman and WR Tanner Gentry. Freshman QB Nick Smith started in place of Coffman, marking his first start in his young college football career.
The team was off to a strong start before giving up the lead to Utah. Despite the loss, Smith did pretty well in his first starting performance, completing 10-of-18 passes for 83 yards, resulting in two touchdowns. Other top performers on the Cowboys squad were WR Jake Maulhardt, who scored two of the team's touchdowns tonight. Brian Hill finished with 26 carries and 201 yards.
The strength of Utah State is the defensive line, which ranks 24th in the nation, and it proved why during Friday's showcase, limiting Wyoming to 353 yards. Top performers included QB Kent Myers, who completed 14-of-17 passing for 246 yards for three touchdowns. Devante Mays had an exciting series of plays throughout the game, resulting in 22 carries for 176 yards and two touchdowns. WR Wyatt Houston also logged two touchdowns for the Aggies.
Utah State needed this win after breaking a three-game winning streak with a 48-14 loss to San Diego State last week. It is aiming for a win to stay ahead of Boise State in hopes of keeping the lead in the division, and to contend for the Mountain West title.
Both teams return to the field next Saturday, with Utah facing the New Mexico, and Wyoming taking on Colorado State.