Kent Myers came on in relief of Utah State quarterback Chuckie Keeton each of the past two years due to injuries. But in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Tuesday, the Aggies turned to the sophomore with their offense floundering.
Keeton, a fifth-year senior, started the bowl game and Utah State promptly went three-and-out on its first four possessions, ending the first quarter with minus-9 yards.
He then threw a second-quarter interception, and after a Utah State botched field goal attempt, Aggies coach Matt Wells turned to Myers.
“We designed a few things with both of them in the game at the same time, and we practiced it that way,” Wells said. “... Quite honestly, the bottom line is I thought they both deserved to play.”
Down 10-0, Myers led the Aggies back to life, completing 14-of-20 passes for 123 yards and two TDs. He finished the second quarter and played all of the third, giving Utah State its only lead after he scrambled for 37 yards up the middle and then hit Hunter Sharp for a 19-yard TD pass.
But Wells rotated the two in the fourth quarter trying to make a comeback.
Keeton delivered, rolling right and hitting Brandon Swindall for a 2-yard TD pass, cutting the lead to two with 1:12 left in the fourth quarter. But the Aggies’ comeback ran out of time.
Keeton finished 14-of-25 for 109 yards with a TD and an interception. He leaves Utah State with a 20-15 record and as the school’s career leader in TD passes (62) and total offense (8,803).
“He lives and dies being an Aggie,” Wells said of Keeton. “He breathes life and an infectious attitude. (He’s) a tremendous competitor (who) will be successful in whatever area he chooses in life.”
But with the Chuckie Keeton era officially over, the Aggies are now Myers’ team.
The Aggies tried to redshirt him each of the past two years. They even moved him to wide receiver last spring. But he’s instead racked up nearly two years’ worth of snaps, posting a 10-4 record as a starter.
“Obviously, it’s a bright spot moving forward,” Wells said. “I think Kent Myers is a talented young man.”