Junior Quarterback Cooper Legas passed for 215 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score as the Aggies snapped a four-game losing streak. It was their first victory since August 27.
Legas completed 18 of 23 pass attempts, and rushed for 76 yards on 13 carries. His 32-yard touchdown run with 7:00 remaining in the game gave Utah State (2-4, 1-1 Mountain West) a 34-24 lead.
Air Force (4-2, 1-2 MW) cut it to 34-27 with 1:42 left after Matthew Dapore drilled a field goal from 51 yards. The Falcons attempted an onside kick, but the senior wide receiver Justin McGriff picked it up for Utah State, which improved to 57-33-2 all-time in Homecoming games.
Legas and the Aggies finished with 414 total rushing yards, including 199 rushing. Graduated senior running back Calvin Tyler Jr. led Utah State with 109 rushing yards on 19 carries. He scored on a 21-yard touchdown run to give the hosts a 20-17 lead late in the third quarter.
Defensively, Utah State limited the Air Force to 359 total offensive yards, including 264 rushing on 55 carries.
USU Senior Cornerback Ajani Carter had seven tackles, one interception and a forced fumble, while senior inside linebacker AJ Vongphachanh and junior inside linebacker MJ Tafisi had 13 stops each. Graduated Senior Cornerback Andre Grayson also had seven tackles and recovered Carter’s forced fumble.
Air Force quarterback Haaziq Daniels passed for 95 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 34 yards and a score. Brad Roberts led the Falcons on the ground with 136 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries.
Daniels’ 40-yard touchdown pass to Amari Terry put the Air Force ahead 24-20 with 13:33 left in the game, but USU scored the next 14 points to rally for the win.
The Aggies got back in front for good, 34-27, on a 34-yard touchdown pass from Legas to Vaughn with 10:15 to go.
The Aggies scored on their first three possessions of the game, including a 31-yard touchdown pass from Legas to the graduate senior wide receiver Brian Cobb that gave Utah State a 7-0 lead with 9:29 left in the first quarter.
Cobbs finished with 136 yards on eight catches, while Vaughn caught four passes for 52 yards.
The Air Force tied at 7 all on a 1-yard touchdown run by Roberts, but the senior placekicker graduate Connor Cole reclaimed the lead for Utah State on a 30-yard field goal with 1:18 left in the first.
The Falcons took their first lead of the night when Daniels scored from a yard wide on a quarterback guard on fourth down, making it 14-10 with 7:02 left in the half.
Another 30-yard field goal from Coles brought the Aggies within 14-13 with 2:41 left in the half. It looked like Utah State could tack on more runs before the right intermission after the defense forced the Falcons to punt with just over a minute left in the second quarter.
The Aggies picked up the ball on their own 43-yard line and moved it to the Falcons’ 41, but that’s all they would get as a pass from Legas was intercepted by Air Force’s Jayden Goodwin at the 4 yard line.
The Aggies open a two-game tour when they travel to Fort Collins, Colo., to take on Colorado State on Saturday, Oct. 15 at Canvas Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. and will be televised live on the CBS Sports Network.
NEXT HOME MATCH
Utah State returns to Maverik Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 5, when the Aggies take on New Mexico at 1:30 p.m. The game will be televised on the CBS Sports Network. Tickets can be purchased here.