The end is hear and all Utah State fans -- and national fans -- have a lot of gratitude toward Aggies quarterback Chuckie Keeton. The quarterback has part of a group that helped lead Utah State out of the FBS gutter to multiple bowl appearances and 10-win seasons.
Utah State takes on the MAC's Akron in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl and it is uncertain if Keeton will play on Tuesday. Keeton injured his knee again this year and while sitting out Kent Myers filled in to start, and for the second consecutive year, but he hurt his shoulder against Nevada. Keeton took over for most of the come from behind victory over the Wolf Pack and started against BYU, a loss.
Head coach Matt Wells is keeping everyone guessing and is not letting anyone know who will start. That is mostly gamesmanship to keep Akron guessing, but really the style of play is not all that much different in this game.
As for the game itself these two teams are going in opposite directions with Akron winning their final four games.
Utah State's defense is not what it has been over the past few years but it still has solid players on it. The rush defense is the weaker part as they give up 156 yards per game. This is an area where the Akron offense has an edge with running back Conor Hundley and a mobile quarterback in Tommy Woodson.
Hundley provides enough of a ground attack to be a threat with 883 yards and 10 scores, but he is more of a consistent runner and has only one game where he rushed for over 100 yards. Consistency is not a bad thing but there is no real explosiveness in his game, and the Utah State linebacking group that includes Kyler Fackrell and Nick Vigil should be able to slow him down.
The Aggies offense has been inconsistent with the running game being the main culprit. The offense finally settled in on Devante Mays about midway through the season as the starting back. The other player is obviously wide receiver Hunter Sharp who is possibly the best player on either side of the ball. Myers has shown an ability to throw down field to Myers and Keeton can as well, plus Sharp is very good in the screen game and can break plays open.
The one concern with the Aggies offense is that offensive Josh Heupel is on his way out the door and took the same job at Missouri, so there could be a little bit of a set back on a different play caller.
This game will likely come down to what defense steps up more and stops the opposing teams offense, and based on history lets go with the Aggies to step up and make big plays Tuesday afternoon.