Williams helps Utah St. mash Toledo in Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Utah State running back Kerwynn Williams was having a quiet day when things took a turn for the worse in the fourth quarter, as he fumbled...
BOISE, Idaho — Utah State running back Kerwynn Williams was having a quiet day when things took a turn for the worse in the fourth quarter, as he fumbled deep in his territory.
As it has virtually 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 in a span of less than four 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 the game's most valuable player.
Williams' heroics 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.
"They reached every single goal they set last January," coach Gary Andersen said. "That doesn't happen often in life or often in football. I'm very, very proud of them."
Toledo (9-4) was limited to 315 total yards. Utah State had 582 yards.
Valdosta St. romps
FLORENCE, Ala. — Matt Pierce returned the opening kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown and freshman Cedric O'Neal ran for 140 yards and a score to lead Valdosta State of Georgia to a 35-7 victory over Winston-Salem State in the Division II championship game.
The Blazers (12-2) took a 21-0 halftime lead en route to their 10th straight victory. The Rams (14-1) couldn't overcome six turnovers.
• Stanford junior quarterback Brett Nottingham plans to transfer, coach David Shaw announced. Nottingham completed 5 of 8 passes for 22 yards this season.
• Matt Rhule, an assistant coach for the NFL New York Giants, reportedly appears ready to become the next coach at Temple.
Steve Addazio left Temple to take the Boston College job earlier this month.