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Aggie Analysis: Big Wheel Keep on Turnin’

Offense shines, defense looks okay, Aggies win back-to-back against BYU for first time in 44 years

Steve Griffin, Deseret News

THE RUNDOWN:

OFFENSE:

- Jordan Love once again made the biggest impact to the game. Though he threw for only 165 yards, he found the endzone on five occasions: a career-high four times through the air and once on the ground. Once again, give credit to the Utah State Offensive Line, who kept Love upright and protected all night. Another plus? Love was interception free, his third straight game without throwing a pick.

- The usual guys got their usual numbers tonight. Darwin Thompson led the way with 109 rushing yards; Gerold Bright tallied 61. The only things missing were some scores for the RBs, although Bright caught one on fourth down near the goal line in the first.

- An off night by TE Dax Raymond (one catch for seven yards), seemingly because of a hand injury he sustained early in the game, led to solid games from guys like Jalen Greene (five catches, 58 yards, one TD), Carson Terrell (two catches, 42 yards), and Ron’Quavion Tarver (three catches, eighteen yards, two TDs). The offensive numbers from this game don’t look very impressive, but they didn’t have to work as hard because the defense was simply causing so many issues for BYU.

DEFENSE:

- The Aggie passing defense had many ups (Tipa Galeai intercepted a Mangum pass for six to start off the game) and downs (some silly pass interference plays and avoidable big receptions). Altogether, it was a commendable effort but there are definitely some things to work on.

- Aside from the passing game, the run defense was the most important key to this victory. Take away a 26-yard scamper by backup QB Zack Wilson late in the fourth quarter in garbage time, and BYU only ran for 13 yards. The defensive line was outstanding, forcing the Cougars to take to the air and make mistakes.

SPECIAL TEAMS:

- Dominik Eberle converted his only FG attempt of the night, a 47-yarder in the fourth quarter. Eberle is now a perfect 9/9 on the season. He also hit all six extra points, which he’s also perfect on this season. Dominik Eberle, pretty good.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

- Jordan Love made the plays he needed to make, and avoided the mistakes he needed to avoid. The run game was as solid as always, and the receiving group was reliable. The defense was both locked in and a bit frustrating. The line dominated, not allowing BYU to form any kind of run game. The secondary, while not terrible, showed signs of weakness with some unnecessary DPI calls and big play giveaways. I do think some of that can be credited to Tanner Mangum and his playmaking abilities. Overall this was a dominant, morale-boosting win for the Aggies. They’ve won four in a row and will look to keep this up as they get back to conference play next week.

NEXT MAN UP:

- Utah State returns to Logan to take on the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels next Saturday. Rebs dynamic QB Armani Rogers is out indefinitely with a toe injury, so UNLV will be starting Max Gilliam, who has yet to throw a pass in the FBS level. The Aggies can’t take it easy and they can’t get caught looking ahead to the suddenly very anticipated Hawai’i matchup on November 3rd. They’ve still got three games to go until then, all against Mountain West teams hungry for an upset.

WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE GAME? LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS!

Follow UnderDogsAlways/Alex Eiden (@alexyatta_) and the MountainWestConnection (@MWCConnection) on Twitter!