This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Las Vegas • Down south at UNLV, it would make sense that the Sunshine State players would stand out in the warmer weather.
Arguably, the two biggest performers in Utah State's 28-24 win over UNLV both hail from Florida. Sophomore Jojo Natson ran wild for 71 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while senior Nevin Lawson made an interception that would turn out to be a huge difference-maker in the game and broke up passes left and right at the finish.
I have some video of Natson talking about the game above, but Matt Wells had plenty to say about both.
Of Natson, Wells said he saw a ripe opportunity to use the package with Natson taking direct snaps in an effort to "jumpstart" the Aggies' offense. The unconventional rushing attack opened up things in the passing game and generally moved the ball when nothing else would.
"Outstanding performance by Jojo. I thought we were struggling on offense," Wells said. "To be able to use him in that package, he was a weapon. He showed up. And you know what: Players make plays, and that sucker made plays."
Lawson has been drawing praise for several weeks, but earned it again against UNLV's explosive receivers. Although the secondary as a whole struggled to contain them, Lawson made some of the biggest breaks in the game, including the third-quarter interception that kept Utah State from getting down by double digits.
Wells retiterated the things he's been saying about his star senior defender for the last month or so.
"I think Nevin's played really well," he said. "I'm very proud of him and his leadership, and his ability to grind and to play down after down after down in a position that is very, very scrutinized. I'm very, very proud of his efforts."
Kyle Goonkgoon@sltrib.comTwitter: @kylegoon