Rodriguez had eight punt returns for 136 yards, and scored with 4:54 left to play.
Southern Utah's Ammon Olsen threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Mike Sharp in the first quarter. The ensuing point-after attempt was blocked, and Torrey Green returned it 98 yards to make it 6-2. Utah State's Brock Warren kicked a 30-yard field goal and Keita Calhoun made a 36-yard field goal to give the Thunderbirds a 9-5 halftime lead.
Neither team converted a third down attempt until Utah State did with 3:40 remaining in the third quarter. Nick Vigil lead Utah State with 13 tackles. Mike Needham had 10 for the Thunderbirds.