Utah State heads to Wyoming this week for a grudge match. The past two meetings have been blood baths in USU's favor, 63-19 in 2011 and 35-7 last year. Both contests were played in Logan, however, and this year the Aggies must play in Cowboy territory. Here are my three reasons why USU will pull out the win on the road.
1: Wyoming is terrible at getting pressure on the QB, is weak against the run, and doesn't defend the pass well. Okay, I'll just come out and say it... Wyoming's defense stinks. Yes, they've played some good teams, but when playing good teams, they stink. Wyoming allows 30.6 ppg (26.5 vs non-P5 schools, 28 vs MWC schools, and 40.5 vs winning schools), 244 passing ypg, 186 rushing ypg, and has 2 interceptions on the season. This is great news for a USU team that stinks at running the football, has a brand new quarterback, and is missing two of its top receivers. Kent Myers, the new freshman QB for USU, was nearly perfect last week against Hawaii, and given the time he'll be able to have in the pocket this week, he should pick apart this Wyoming defense.
2. Wyoming's strength offensively is the run game. Last week, the Cowboys ran for a staggering 374 yards, asserting themselves against a less than spectacular Fresno State defense. For some reason, though, good running teams struggle against the Aggies. I'm not sure what it is about seeing BJ Larsen, or Nick and Zack Vigil running straight at them that scares opposing players, but they just don't seem as eager to get downfield against USU. It's rumored that Kale Pearson and Garrett Grayson have both woken up in the middle of the night with cold shakes, screaming the work "Vigil!" in terror.
3. Finally, the hated SOS argument. Wyoming has won a few games. But they've done it against awful opponents (Air Force excluded). And with the exception of Fresno State last week, they have barely squeaked out those wins. Against quality opponents, Wyoming has lost in a big, big way. Against mediocre opponents, Wyoming has lost in closer games. The Cowboys are a barely sub-mediocre team who will not be able to play a better-than-average Aggie team well enough to pull out the win.
My personal prediction? Aggies come out of Laramie with a 35-20 win.
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