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Aggie Analysis: I’m Sorry, What?

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Offense goes stale, defense steps up, and Aggies get miracle win in Fort Collins

Jack Dempsey/AP Photo

THE RUNDOWN:

OFFENSE:

- Jordan Love did not have a good game, not by his and not by anyone’s standards. Did he stay interception-free? Yes. Did he throw the game-winning touchdown? Yes. Yet the whole performance was … underwhelming. He ended the day with 15 completions for 169 yards and that game-winning TD to WR Aaren Vaughns. He was never sacked and was only hurried a handful of times, so good job to the solid offensive line for keeping Love on his feet.

- Gerold Bright led the way on the ground with 13 carries for 89 yards. Darwin Thompson registered only 48 yards on the same number of carries. 13 is definitely not the lucky number for these guys. On an incredibly lackluster day for the offense, the running game did it no favors. The team as a whole ran for 141 yards, that’s 153 less yards than last week’s performance vs San Jose State.

- The receiving corps was pretty flat as well. Ron’Quavion Tarver led the group with six catches for 69 yards, but Aaren Vaughns was the only receiver to score, albeit it was the game-winner. The tight ends were non-existent, and everyone just seemed off. Maybe it was the snow, maybe it was the high attitude.

DEFENSE:

- The rush defense played reasonably well on the day. They allowed a 100-yard rusher in CSU’s Izzy Matthews, but kept most other rushers in check. The Rams totaled 199 rushing yards in the game. Tipa Galeai got another sack, giving him 7.5 on the year. Adewale Adeoye got his first sack of the year as well. They also tallied four QB Hurries, so the defense did a good job of getting in QB Collin Hill’s face.

- The pass defense is the star of the game, and not just for how insanely lucky they got on that last play (more about THAT at the end). Without two pick-sixes from Aaron Wade and Jontrell Rocquemore, the Aggies would have lost this game. Rams QB Hill had a good day, but that’s honestly not surprising against an Aggies passing defense that isn’t the most dominant force on the Earth. The Rams QB tossed for 296 yards and two (almost three) touchdowns. Shout out to PJ Williams, who had THREE pass deflections in the game.

SPECIAL TEAMS:

- When the offense is struggling to get into the endzone, it’s usually a good day for USU K Dominik Eberle. Today was no different, as Eberle went three for three on all field goal attempts. He also made both extra points he attempted.

- The biggest topic on special teams was the miscue by USU returner Deven Thompkins, who muffed a punt late in the game and gave the Rams back the ball with a very short field. They would use that opportunity to take a 24-23 lead with under two minutes to play. Thompkins was let off the hook by a solid drive by Jordan Love and the fast-paced Aggies offense to score the eventual game-winner.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

- I’m going to use this space the talk about that last play. If you don’t know what I mean, here’s what I’m talking about:

- The first thought that came into my head is that the Aggies were very lucky to win this game. If CSU’s Preston Williams, who had already hauled in two touchdowns in the game, hadn’t stepped out of bounds running his route, Utah State would have lost this one. What an insane victory for an Aggies team that just looked flat the entire game. On the flip side, what a heartbreaker for the Rams in what has already been a huge disappointment of a season.

NEXT MAN UP:

- This is it, the biggest game of the year. The Aggies head to Boise and the blue turf to take on the Broncos with the Mountain Division title on the line. If the Aggies want to prove themselves worthy on national television (ESPN, 8:15 MST), they’ll have to really focus up and come out playing with more gusto than they did this week. This is the best team they’ll have faced all year. Needless to say, this will be must-see TV.

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

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