It's no secret that Chuckie Keeton has been a special player for Utah State. Ask any college football fanwho the best quarterback in the state is, regardless of where their team allegiances lie, and chances are the answer will be the Aggies' Keeton. Since this quarterback stepped onto the field to lead the Aggies in their season opener against the Auburn Tigers, as a freshman, Utah State has been transformed from the cellar dwelling team of the past to the competitive squad it is today.
Keeton led Utah State to its first winning season in a long time as a freshman. Last season he threw for 3,373 yards and 27 passing touchdowns, ran for 619 yards and 8 rushing touchdowns, and led the Aggies to an 11-2 record and an AP Top 25 finish. This season he has continued his impressive play, throwing for 1,362 yards and 17 touchdowns over his first five games, while only throwing a single interception.
While this6'2" quarterback out of Houston, Texas has given headaches to defenses around the country with his ability to both throw the football and make things happen with his feet, the Cougar defense hasn't had much trouble with the Keeton.
Keeton's first game against the Cougars came at Lavell Edwards Stadium during his freshman season in 2011. BYU's starting quarterback, Jake Heaps, played poorly against the Aggies, going 11 of 25 for 107 yards and no touchdowns before being benched for backup quarterback Riley Nelson. Heaps' struggles opened the door for Keeton to steal the show and give Utah State its second straight victory against the Cougars. Keeton couldn't get it done for the Aggies, going 13 of 25 for 122 yards passing, 2 passing touchdowns, and 22 yards rushed. Instead it was BYU's Nelson who stole the show passing for 144 yards in the second half, including a 96-yard touchdown drive to give BYU the lead with only 11 seconds left in the game. BYU won the game 27-24.
The following season's matchup was a defensive struggle. Both teams struggled to put points on the board and it was BYU's lone touchdown that would win the game. It was freshman quarterback Taysom Hill who outplayed Keeton and led the Cougars on a four play, 61-yard drive in 25 seconds to score the games only touchdown right before the end of the first half. Keeton had fallen short in Provo once again, finishing the game with just 202 yards passing, 23 yards rushing, and no touchdowns against a stout BYU defense. BYU won the game 6-3.
On his career, Keeton is averaging 162 passing yards, 22.5 rushing yards, and just a single touchdown. The Aggies star quarterback has done a lot for the Utah State program, but when it comes to the Aggies biggest rival, he has failed thusfar. BYU has employed an excellent game plan to contain Keeton and it has worked well. No doubt the Cougars will come into Logan this Friday with a very similar plan. Based on what I have seen out these teams so far this season, I expect another low scoring defensive battle. If this is the case, Keeton will have another chance to prove himself against the Cougars, and believe me, he'll be working to do so. It leads you to wonder though, will the third time be a charm for Keeton? Or will he once again be outmatched by BYU's defense? Let us know what you think below.