LOGAN, Utah » The players didn’t have a chance of getting off the field before they were engulfed by a throng of blue-clad fans.
And for once, it wasn’t BYU’s shade of blue.
Utah State ended a 10-game losing streak against BYU by beating the Cougars 31-16 last night, taking a 17-0 lead and never letting up as the Aggies won in the in-state rivalry for the first time since 1993.
"You get it planted into you, ‘You shouldn’t like BYU.’ You go out there and you fight every time, trying to win that game," said Chris Randle, who had one of Utah State’s two interceptions.
"To get it my senior year and to go out with a win, it’s just very special."
While Utah-BYU is the headline rivalry in the state, the fans in northern Utah like to make it clear that they also have a long history against the Cougars and cherish every victory that comes against the private school to the south. Those wins were limited to basketball until yesterday, when the Aggies were the ones in command all night.
Diondre Borel passed for 192 yards and ran for 68 more, throwing for one touchdown and running for another for the Aggies (2-3) and Derrvin Speight ran for 91 yards and two touchdowns.
The Aggies defense stymied BYU and quarterback Jake Heaps, sacking him twice and holding him to 27-for-55 passing for 270 yards. The Cougars only rushed for 65 yards and never recovered after falling behind quickly.
BYU is 1-4 for the first time since 1973, having lost four straight.
"I’ve never experienced anything like this. I’m sure that’s the same for a lot of us," said BYU’s McKay Jacobson, who had eight catches for 85 yards. "This is something that hasn’t happened in a while here. All you can do is stay positive. If you say ‘Poor me,’ you’re not going to get anywhere."
Utah State’s last win in the series was a 58-56 thriller in 1993. There have been a few heartbreaks and a handful of blowouts in the 10 meetings since, but nothing that went in Utah State’s favor.
With the decades of build-up, fans were already over the railing for the final 30 seconds, chanting "Ga-ry! Ga-ry!" for second-year coach Gary Andersen before bolting on to Merlin Olsen Field as the clock ticked off the final seconds.
It was the kind of game fans who had endured a lot over the years in a one-sided rivalry could really sit back and enjoy.
"That student section is as good as I’ve ever been around. They’ve been tremendous. They’re vocal. They’re educated. They’re obnoxious," Andersen said with a smile. "It was a tremendous environment tonight."
The Aggies struck quickly, as Borel gave Utah State a 7-0 lead on a 79-yard pass to Xavier Martin with 6:57 left in the first quarter. The Aggies added a 34-yard field goal by Braeden Loveless, then Borel scored on a 1-yard run to put the Aggies up 17-0.
"In multiple situations, over and over again, we continue to need to play more clean and more precise," BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said.
Fans sensed a pending end to the futility and grew louder, then took it up several decibels later in the second quarter.
BYU got within 17-3 on a field goal, and Kerwynn Williams sprung the kickoff for a 67-yard return. Williams broke at least four tackles on his way to the 33-yard line with 3:38 left in the half.
Speight scored on a 1-yard run with 49 seconds left in the half.
Bryan Kariya scored on a 2-yard run with 3:44 left in the third quarter. It was BYU’s first touchdown in the second half since the season opener and came only after Utah State was called for holding on fourth and goal from the 4.
BYU didn’t score again until 31 seconds remained and Utah State fans even got to cheer on that when the Aggies blocked the extra point.