"He's one of the best all-round quarterbacks I've ever worked with," says Aggie Coach Bruce Snyder. Earlier this season Hippie led the Aggies to a 48-48 tie with San Jose State, the highest-scoring draw in NCAA annals. In that circus, Hippie reached Utah State's two top receivers, James (Murph, the Sweetest Thing on Turf) Murphy and Ken (Bombzilla) Thompson, with seven passes apiece, which gained a combined 242 yards.
Behind Hippie, Utah State has Reserve Quarterback Craig Bradshaw, nicknamed "Laser Beam" because his flat, hard passes look as though they could pierce steel. Bradshaw, the younger brother of the Pittsburgh Steelers' Terry, transferred to Logan from Louisiana Tech. He got a chance to play against Colorado State after Hippie injured a shoulder and completed eight of 18 for 132 yards and two touchdowns.
"We have quality depth at quarterback," says Snyder. "Craig has been waiting in the wings very patiently for the last two years. I'm really happy he got the chance to show what he can do."
The BYU-Utah State showdown was augmented by a lot of traditional rah-rah. The winner would get the Old Wagon Wheel game trophy and would have a strong claim to the Beehive Boot (an 85-year-old leather boot attached to a piece of wood), the symbol of football supremacy in Utah, which calls itself the Beehive State. The Aggie band, which probably stashed its discarded kilts in Bridger's old hiding place so they'd be stolen for sure, wore typical collegiate marching garb, while an Aggie student on the sideline fed hay to the school's mascot, a bull named Gus (which stands for "Go Utah State!").
BYU, ranked in the Top 20 nationwide, showed why as it zipped to a touchdown on its first possession, Eric Lane going in for the score from the three. The Cougars moved ahead 14-0 when Wilson picked up 41 yards by hitting WAC indoor 60-yard hurdles champion Lloyd Jones on one pass play and 20 yards more on a scoring pass to the leaping Bill Davis.
At that point it looked as if BYU would win easily. Its defense was rushing Hippie hard and covering all his receivers. Then Hippie was hurt again, and again Bradshaw took over. He got the Aggies 66 yards in 10 plays, climaxed by a laser-beam touchdown pass to the well-covered Bombzilla Thompson in the end zone. The PAT brought it to 14-7, BYU.
But that was as close as Utah State was to get. Before the first half ended, Wilson's passes twice brought BYU close to the goal line and Lane twice carried the ball in. Utah State answered only with a Steve Steinke 40-yard field goal. The Cougars led 28-10.
In the second half, Utah State started to blitz and vary its defenses. That stopped BYU, a recovered Hippie passed the Aggies downfield and scrappy Tailback Rick Parros scored from the one to make the score 28-17. It still seemed anybody's game, maybe even a 68-68 tie.
But the Aggies' Stacy Colbert fumbled a punt, BYU's Dave Smith recovered on the Utah State 18 and two plays later Lane went in for his fourth TD. BYU 35-17.
Utah State closed the gap to 35-24 on a Hipple-to-Ken Brown pass, but the Aggie defense could not contain Wilson. Every time BYU got into a jam, it seemed as though Wilson would roll out and complete a 25-yard pass. Lane ran over for his fifth TD, a school record, and Wilson passed to Tailback Scott Phillips for the final score.