BOISE, Idaho – Running back Jay Ajayi ran for a career-high 229 yards and five touchdowns as part of a 50-19 thrashing that ended the Aggies’ hope of competing in the conference championship game and gave the team a 9-4 record to finish the regular season.
“A very, very disappointing loss, very uncharacteristic of us,” head coach Matt Wells said. “We didn’t have the answers, starting with me. We didn’t execute well enough and play physical enough.”
The Broncos started dropping points on the Aggies early and came away with touchdowns on each of their first five possessions. Two of those touchdowns were passing touchdowns from quarterback Grant Hedrick, but the other three were Ajayi touchdown runs.
“He’s the best back in the league,” Wells said. “First goal was to stop him and we didn’t do it. He ran behind his pads, he was strong. He was physical. It was very unlike our defense.”
The Aggie offense was unable to keep up with the early scoring by Boise State. They were only able to respond to the five first-half Bronco touchdowns with just one of their own, a 9-yard run by quarterback Kent Myers that capped off a 75-yard drive. Two more points were added to Utah State’s score when a Boise State extra point attempt was blocked by Travis Seefeldt and returned to the other end zone by Jalen Davis. A Nick Diaz field goal sent the Aggies into halftime down 34-12.
After a scoreless third quarter, Ajayi found the endzone on two consecutive drives, starting with a 62-yard touchdown run on the first play of the fourth quarter.
“When you don’t stop a good back like that he’ll make you pay,” safety Frankie Sutera said. “And he definitely did.”
A safety late in the game gave the Broncos two more points. The Aggies scored their final points off of a fumble recovery that went for a touchdown.
“It hurts,” Myers said of the loss. “Cause if it was a close game it wouldn’t hurt as bad but they just came in and blew us out and they just beat us physically.”
The Aggies were 1-11 on third down conversions and finished with 268 total yards to Boise State’s 498. Myers was 16-28 passing for 159 yards and an interception. He ran for one touchdown.
Now the Aggies will wait and see what bowl game they will play in.
“We’ll go back to work next week and we’ll start to try and find the answers and try to fix it and get ready for our fourth-straight bowl game,” Wells said.