Southwick leads Boise St. past Utah St. 34-23

The Associated Press

LOGAN, Utah (AP) -- Joe Southwick passed for a career high 335 yards and two touchdowns on 30-of-44 passing as Boise State topped Utah State 34-23 Saturday night.

Shane Williams-Rhodes caught 13 of Southwick's passes for 150 yards and a touchdown while running back Jay Ajayi added 109 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. The Broncos (4-2, 2-1 Mountain West) gained 26 first downs to USU's 16 in the game and gained 447 yards of total offense.

Junior Craig Harrison made his first start at quarterback for Utah State (3-4, 2-1 Mountain West) after Chuckie Keeton, three-year starter for the Aggies, suffered a season-ending knee injury in the first quarter of a loss to BYU last week.

Harrison went 7 of 17 for 105 yards and rushed for 36 yards. Freshman Darell Garretson replaced Harrison with 9:23 to play in the third quarter and went 9 of 14 for 116 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.

BSU held Utah State scoreless in the third quarter. Southwick found Williams-Rhodes on a 2-yard slant for a score and Dan Goodale nailed a 39-yard field goal, his longest of the year.

USU's first second half touchdown came when cornerback Nevin Lawson intercepted Southwick and scampered for a 65-yard score a minute into the fourth quarter. Garretson found Tavis Van Leeuwen for a 2-yard TD pass with 20 seconds to play in the game, completing a 91-yard drive.

Boise State dominated the game early. Ajayi scored on a 2-yard run with 7:13 to play in the first quarter following 21-yard pass by Southwick to Williams-Rhodes. Southwick ran in from 7 yards out with 9:03 to play in the first half and hit Aaron Burks on a 24-yard pass play to extend the lead to 24-7. The Broncos had 274 yards offense in the half, Southwick passing for 207.

USU's early touchdown came on a 3-yard run by Joey DeMartino. Utah State blocked a BSU punt with 57 seconds to play in the half but were unable to score and trailed 24-10 at halftime.

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