Utah State lost their starting quarterback Chuckie Keeton to a knee injury in October. Fill-in signal-caller Darrell Garretson took Utah State to the Poinsettia Bowl and defeated Heisman Trophy finalist Jordan Lynch and Northern Illinois. The Aggies kept Lynch and his high-powered offense in check during the 21-14 win at San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium. Coming into the game, Lynch, who was third in the Heisman Trophy voting, had put up some stupendous numbers with well over 2,600 yards passing and nearly 2,000 yards rushing. But in this game, the Aggies forced the AP All-American into a couple of turnovers and kept Northern Illinois’ offense from running amok. Northern Illinois came into the game averaging 42 points a game.