Utah State, to put it nicely is not a very good football team and has not bee good since John L. Smith took the Ags to the Humanitarian Bowl in 1997. The odd thing is that the Aggies regulary put players in the NFL with the most notable players being TE Chris Cooley and WR Kevin Curtis. The Aggies last year went 2-10 and have a tough time scoring and stopping teams as well, but the defense should be improved with 9 starters back on that squad. This game used to be a yearly rivalry, but tappered off until the two schools made a deal that combined scheduled games with the two basketball programs which is a good thing since the two schools are about a 3 hour drive between the two. A side note on the game that will fire up the fans for the home Aggies the recent announcement that Riley Nelson the QB who started his career at Utah State transfered to BYU while on his church mission. So, the fans may bring some extra noise for the visiting Cougars.
Offense: The team returns six starters but they lose their starting QB Leon Jackson III and top WR from last year Koren Robinson, not that those players were stellar. Robinson was a stud player who is getting looks at the NFL level. As for this year their top offensive players they have returning played and have some experience but their stats are nothing to get too excited about.
|Curtis Marsh RB 302 Yards 2 TD|
|Derrvin Speight RB 504 Yards 3 TD|
|Jase McCormick QB 25-40 258 Yards 2 TD 5 INT|
|Omar Sawyer WR 6 Receptions 96 Yards|
So, the Aggies do not have the returning talent offensively to compete with BYU. However their running game of 125 per game last year is not great, but was their best in a few years and 3 of the offensive lineman return, so the running game should be their bright spot. Their passing game which was not great last year will have a tough time by breaking in a new QB and new WR's. The basic point is that their offense will struggle to score points this year.
Defense: Not much better here with the Aggies defense they gave up 31.25 points per game last year. Utah State does have 9 returning starters, so the defense better come up with big plays and overall be better. Just by being experienced this defensive squad should improve on last seasons play. The BYU offense will be very explosive and it may not matter how the Aggies defense plays their defense will have a tough time.
Early Prediction: This will get ugly early and often, BYU should win by at least 21 points and that is being conservative.