Ruston, La. • As a run-stopper, Jake Doughty hoped the final play would come to him.
And when it did, he was more than prepared. Ray Holley made one cut and darted into the tiny seam through Utah State's line. But Doughty plugged the hole expertly, corralled Holley around the shoulder pads and brought down Louisiana Tech's running back a yard short of the first down.
That play sealed one of the biggest wins in USU's history, a 48-41 overtime victory against Louisiana Tech that secured at least a share of the Western Athletic Conference title.
It wasn't that long ago that Doughty was a underweight walk-on out of Juan Diego High. On Saturday night, the junior linebacker played what was by far the best game of his career in the biggest moment.
"Jake is what this program is all about," said Utah State coach Gary Andersen. "He is one of those examples of who we are. He made a lot of great plays today. I've known him for a long time, and he came and walked on for us, and it all comes around in the end. For him to make those plays is awesome."
Doughty was USU's biggest constant on defense against the Bulldogs. His 18 tackles are a career high. He made tackles behind the line of scrimmage and a huge play late in the fourth quarter, intercepting Colby Cameron with five minutes remaining and the Aggies clinging to a small lead.
It seemed as though whenever Utah State needed a big tackle, Doughty was there to make the play.
"This was such a huge game for us," Doughty said. "I was hoping they would run the ball because we had problems defending their passing game in the second half. I just wanted to be able to make a play if I had to."