By now everyone knows about the Aggies defense. Ranked 10th in scoring and 18th in defensive efficiency. Far less talked about is their recent solid play on the other side of the ball. In addition to the 31.6 PPG they have averaged 421.6 YPG. Has the new found stability at quarterback allowed the offense to thrive?
Kent Myers started the year as the Aggies 4th string option at quarterback (Utah State is one injury away from Quinterback season). Going from most likely red-shirting to starting is no easy task and Myers has done very well, but his biggest contribution might come more from what he hasn't done. While Meyers passing yards have decreased each of the last four games he is more than making up for it by making big plays with his feet. What's really impressive is his ability to know when to throw the ball away instead of trying to make a play. His poise in the pocket far exceeds that expected from a true freshman. He has only one turnover in a combined 109 pass and rush attempts.
In addition to Kent Myers success is the resurgence of the Aggies run game. They have averaged 240.8 YPG on the ground these past five games. They are spreading the ball out as well with five ball carriers (3 RB's, a WR, and a QB) with 30+ runs and an average of 4.2 or more yards a carry. Utah State has speed and knows how to use it with a lot of fly sweeps and other plays designed to stretch the defense.
That is the good news. The bad news is Utah State hasn't see a decent defense in this stretch.
|Opponent||YPG||Scoring Def.||Defensive Efficiency|
|#23 Boise State||48||77||41|
|San Jose State||31||80||83|
If you need to you can double check these numbers here, here and here.
Here's a quick take on each teams defense against Utah State. No defense intended.
UNLV: 34 points is decent against a pretty bad defense, although it could be much better especially when forcing three turnovers.
Hawaii: They are nothing special on defense, but I'll give the Aggies credit for going to the islands and playing well in Myers first full game.
Wyoming: A slightly better defense than others in the group but not great. Still they did hold Utah State to just 356 total yards.
New Mexico: Arguably one of the worst overall defenses, and the Aggies only scored 28.
San Jose State: Those numbers in the chart above don't tell the whole story for San Jose. They are ranked 112th in yards per rushing attempt. It's no wonder Utah State rushed for 313 yards on 7.5 YPR.
Boise State looks like they will be the toughest defense the Aggies have faced this year. Their defense is giving up 23.8 PPG at home this season, nearly five points less than their average. I definitely think we will find out how good (or bad) this offense is come Saturday night. Hopefully Utah State's offense controls the game enough to keep their strong defense from getting worn down. One thing to keep in mind about the Bronco's offense is that it seems to be much more potent than Utah State's. Against common opponents Boise State has out scored Utah State 229 - 130.