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Utah State 48, Louisiana Tech 41 (OT)

The SportsXchange

RUSTON, La. -- There's just something about Aggies and Bulldogs getting together in the state of Louisiana.

No. 20 Louisiana Tech rallied from two 24-point deficits to force overtime with a field goal at the end of the fourth quarter, but Utah State squashed the rally -- and Tech's hopes of crashing the BCS -- with a 48-41 victory at Joe Aillet Stadium.

After Matt Nelson capped a furious Louisiana Tech rally with a 32-yard field goal on the final play of regulation, Utah State running back Kerwynn Williams scored on third play in overtime to give the Aggies a lead.

Facing a fourth-and-3 at Utah State's 18, Louisiana Tech opted to run the ball up the middle. The game ended when Ray Holley was stopped for no gain.

Led by quarterback Chuckie Keeton, Utah State's offense started fast and rolled up 646 yards of offense to Louisiana Tech's 629.

Keeton had 340 yards passing (20 of 34), 121 yards rushing on 17 carries and four touchdowns.

Meanwhile, the Aggies defense held the potent Bulldogs in check for more than a half to help Utah State 9-2 (5-0) clinch at least a share of the WAC championship. The Aggies can take the outright conference title with a victory over Idaho in next week's regular-season finale.

Louisiana Tech's (9-2, 4-1) will not win back-to-back outright WAC titles.

Bulldogs quarterback Colby Cameron extended his NCAA record streak of 444 passes without an interception before Will Davis picked him off in the end zone with 52 seconds left in the second quarter.

However, Cameron's second interception of the day nearly sealed the Bulldogs' fate. On third-and-goal from the Aggies 11 with 4:44 left, Cameron threw into heavy coverage in the middle of the end zone and was intercepted by Utah State linebacker Jake Doughty.

Cameron finished the game 35-of-60 passing for 396 yards. Wide receiver Quinton Patton led all receivers with 11 catches and 181 yards and freshman teammate Kenneth Dixon ran for 109 yards and two scores.

Williams piled up 162 rushing yards, 125 receiving yards and three scores.

Utah State made its statement immediately. The Aggies forced the Bulldogs into a three-and-out to stop the game before Williams took a screen pass from Keeton on Utah State's first play from scrimmage.

His 1-yard touchdown run with one minute left in the third quarter gave Utah State a 41-17 lead.

However, Louisiana Tech produced dramatics once again. In the game against Texas A&M on Oct. 13 in Shreveport, La., Louisiana Tech trailed 39-16 at halftime but fell 59-57 when a two-point conversion failed in the final minute of regulation.

NOTES: Louisiana Tech defensive lineman Kendrick James (normally No. 42) wore No. 22 in honor of Tyrone Duplessis, a Bulldogs running back who died of a heart attack in February. ... Matt Nelson passed current Jacksonville kicker Josh Scobee to become Louisiana Tech's career scoring leader (347 points) with his 36-yard field goal early in the second quarter. ... Utah State quarterback Chuckie Keeton set a season school record for total offense early in the third quarter. ... The announced crowd of 25,614 marked the third largest in Joe Aillet Stadium history.
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