The Aggies were burnt all the way to the very last pass (see picture).
The Spartans passed their way to a victory on a rainy night and recorded a season-high in passing yards in a 23-20 "come-from-behind" victory over the Aggies.
San Jose State quarterback, Adam Tafralis, completed a career-high 35 passes (48 attempts) and a career-high of 426 yards as the Spartans recorded a season-high 524 yards while scoring a season-high 23 points.
Utah State took the lead at 20-16 with 6:12 left after an 18-play, 92-yard drive. Then the game looked sealed for USU, as Caleb Taylor, intercepted a deflected Tafralis pass with only 2:22 left.
The Aggies went three-and-out on the following drive and punted with 1:49 left.
Tafralis did his best impression of Joe Montana's two minute drill and drove the Spartans to victory.
He completed four passes on a gut wrenching six-play, 83-yard game-winning drive with just less than a minute to go.
The Spartans were called for a celebration penalty, and a 15-yard penalty forced SJS to kick off from their 15. The kick was booted sky high to the fifty yard line, and San Jose recovered.
"I knew I was going to get the ball back," Tafralis said. Defensive end "Jarron Gilbert came up to me and said, 'We're stopping them and you'd better win because I'm not leaving here with a loss.' He's a big dude (6-foot-6, 280 pounds) and I didn't want to disappoint him."
Tafralis finished the game 35 of 48 for a career-high 426 yards. He threw three touchdown passes, two to Richmond, who caught 10 passes for 180 yards.
Linebacker, Demetrius Jones, was asked did this save the Spartans' season?
"It could have," Jones said. "You'll have to ask me that in six or seven weeks."
"I told the players after the game that it comes down to getting a first down, a sack, stopping them on third down and fielding a ball at the end of the game," Utah State coach Brent Guy said. "You never know what critical play at then end of a game will be the one that makes the difference."
"We have not made critical plays when we've had to," Guy said.
"That's as good of a win I've ever been around in terms of how much we needed it and how much we wanted it," Coach Dick Tomey said. "I give so much credit to our guys."
After Saturday's thriller, Tomey gave everyone today off before preparing for Saturday's home opener against UC-Davis.
"It's going to be real nice to sleep in," linebacker Demetrius Jones said.
The win snaps a three-game losing streak for the Spartans, while the Aggies' losing streak moves to ten loses dating back to last season.
"We made a couple of great plays in the fourth quarter that we thought could put away the game, but in the end it didn't work out that way," Taylor said. "Everyone thought that we could win and we had no idea that it would end up this way and our team is really hurt by this one."
"It's a relief to get your first win, your first conference win on top of that," Tafralis said. "But the biggest thing is it shows our young guys what it takes to win.
"Now our job is to stack wins."
SJSU's David Richmond, who hauled in the game-winning touchdown, finished with 10 catches for 180 yards.
UP NEXT: The home opener versus UC Davis, Saturday, September 29th for a 1PM start.
Join us for the joint UC Davis Tailgate starting at 9AM in the east lot! We are located in the vendor area in the fan fiesta tailgate area!
A Pancake breakfast is on slate from 9AM to 10AM!
Then from 11AM to noon, a BBQ lunch is provided by the Smoke Tiki game day grill for only $10, and get's you a slammin' plate of tri-tip, sasuage, and smoked turkey with all the fixings!
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