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12/15/2012 10:04 PM EST
Utah State routs Toledo 41-15 in Idaho Potato Bowl
UTAH ST 41, TOLEDO 15

By TODD DVORAK
Associated Press

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- Utah State running back Kerwynn Williams was
having a quiet day when things took a turn for the worse in the
fourth quarter when he fumbled deep in his own territory.



As it has all season, the Aggies' defense did its job, holding
Toledo to a field goal that cut the lead to 13-9 with 7:28 to
go. Then Williams atoned for his mistake - in a big way.



On the next possession, Williams broke through the defense and
raced 63 yards for a touchdown. On the next two possessions, the
senior was unstoppable, ripping off a 56-yard run and scoring
TDs on runs of 5 and 25 yards, all within a span of less than 4
minutes to lift No. 18 Utah State to a 41-15 victory over Toledo
in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Saturday.



"When stuff like that happens you have to have a short memory,"
Williams said about the fumble. "You can't change it. I just
knew the next opportunity for me, I needed to make a big play."



Williams' fourth-quarter spree fueled a 28-point Aggies scoring
burst that turned a close game into a blowout. Williams finished
with a career-best 235 yards rushing on 18 carries, with 182 of
those yards coming on six carries in the fourth quarter, and was
voted MVP.



Williams' heroics also capped the most successful season in the
history of Utah State football. The Aggies finished 11-2, won
the Western Athletic Conference title outright and won a bowl
game for the first time since 1993. Utah State also will likely
finish ranked for the first time since 1961.



"You play in bowls to win championships, and they did that
today," said Aggies coach Gary Andersen, who in four years has
turned a Western Athletic Conference doormat into the top team
of a conference soon to be obsolete. "They (team) reached every
single goal they set last January. That doesn't happen often in
life or often in football. I'm very, very proud of them."



The Aggies, bolstered all year by one of the best defenses in
FBS, rolled up 582 yards total yards on offense.



Quarterback Chuckie Keeton was 21-of-31 passing for 229 yards
and 92 yards rushing, including a 62-yard dash that put Utah
State up 7-3 in the first quarter.



The defense also turned in another impressive performance.
Toledo (9-4) was able to move the ball at times and made five
trips inside the red zone. But penalties, miscues and an
inability to execute on critical plays forced the Rockets to
settle for three Jeremiah Detmer field goals. Detmer hit a pair
from 37 yards out and another from 29, closing his season by
making 17 straight.



Toledo's only touchdown came when Bernard Reedy returned a
fourth-quarter kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown. Reedy was the
only big producer on a Toledo offense held to 315 total yards.
Reedy had 51 yards rushing and caught six passes for 62 yards.



"When they got down in the red zone, they scored touchdowns.
When we got down into the red zone we kicked field goals,"
first-year Toledo coach Matt Campbell said. "In big football
games you have to win details."



Toledo quarterback Austin Dantin, who started in place of the
injured Terrence Owens, was 12 of 21 passing for 132 yards.
Dantin threw an interception in the third quarter to end a
promising scoring drive and was replaced by Owens in the fourth
quarter.



Owens moved the Rockets on his first possession, but another
red-zone opportunity was squelched when the Aggies snuffed Owens
for no gain on a fourth-and-1 play from the 9.



Toledo also was forced to adjust early without two of its best
players. Linebacker Dan Molls, the nation's leading tackler, had
a concussion on the opening kickoff and didn't return. Minutes
later, running back David Fluellen, the nation's eighth-leading
rusher, went down with an ankle injury. He finished with 38
yards on seven carries.



Campbell refused to use the injuries to Moll and Fluellen as an
excuse and pointed out the game was close until the final 7 1/2
minutes.



"Injuries happen, they occur, you have to have the ability to
adapt and you have to have the ability to move on," he said. "We
were still in the game in the fourth quarter. I'm really proud
of our football team from that standpoint."

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