Utah State’s Jordan Love threw a 33-yard touchdown to Aaren Vaughns with 43 seconds left to rally the 23rd-ranked Aggies to a 29-24 win over the Colorado State Rams on a snowy Saturday in Fort Collins, Colo.
Colorado State appeared to have won on a 34-yard Hail Mary pass from Collin Hill to Preston Williams as time expired. But Williams went out of bounds on his own and re-entered the field and was called for illegal touching, wiping out what would have been a game-winner.
The Rams had taken a 24-23 lead when Hill threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Williams with 1:36 left to give Colorado State its first lead of the game.
But Love drove the Aggies 71 yards in six plays for the winning score.
Love connected on 15 of 24 passes for 169 yards and the one touchdown.
The Aggies’ offense, which came in averaging a nation’s best 51.3 points per game, was held out of the end zone until the final minute by a defense that was giving up 38.5 points and 469 yards per game.
Colorado State outgained Utah State 506-310. But penalties and turnovers doomed the Rams (3-8, 2-5 Mountain West), who lost for the fourth straight week.
The Aggies (10-1, 7-0), ranked 23rd in the College Football Playoff standings, remain in the hunt for a New Year’s Six game. Utah State’s only loss came in the first week, a 38-31 road loss to Michigan State.
While its offense struggled, Utah State’s defense turned two interceptions into touchdowns.
Trailing 3-0 early in the second period, Colorado State and Hill were knocking on the door when the Aggies’ Aaron Wade intercepted a pass and returned it 95 yards for a score.
In the third quarter, Hill was picked off by Jontrell Rocquemore, who returned it 32 yards for a 20-10 Utah State lead.
—Field Level Media