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Utah State @ Hawaii: There Will Be Points

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Expect a shootout on the islands as the Aggies once again travel for conference play

NCAA Football: Utah State at Brigham Young Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Location: Aloha Stadium (Honolulu, HI)

Date/Time: Saturday, November 3rd at 9:59 p.m. (MDT)

Television: N/A

Streaming: Facebook (Stadium)

Radio: Aggie Sports Network (92.3 FM local)

Head-to-Head: The Aggies have an overall record of 9-6 all time against Hawaii. That includes an even 4-4 record away from Logan.

What to look for:

Which Offense Stumbles First?

- Everyone who knows these teams knows that it’s offense that carries each one to victory more often than not. Both QBs are putting up video game numbers. USU has a committee of wideouts and tight ends that make up a well-rounded crop of players, while Hawaii’s receiving is led by John Ursua (1,038 receiving yards and 14 TDs.) These teams put up prolific numbers against everyone (except Wyoming apparently.) The key to victory will rely upon which offense can either A.) stumble first or B.) have the ball last.

Alternatively, Which Defense Can Make More Plays?

- For as good as the offense is, the defense is equally as mediocre for both clubs. Both units give up some points, Hawaii especially, so it will be interesting to watch them fight off such ridiculous offenses. Utah State’s ability to take away the football might be the biggest x-factor here. Obviously keeping the ball out of Cole McDonald’s hands is the best way to defeat the Rainbow Warriors.

Utah State’s First Real Test Since Sparty

- No offense to the teams Utah State has played from week 2 up to now, but the Aggies haven’t faced a truly challenging opponent since Week 1 when they almost beat Michigan State in East Lansing. I’m not counting that weird Wyoming game because really … the Aggies were beating themselves in that game. Three-game losing streak aside, Hawaii is still very talented. The offense is good enough to win games even with a porous defense, and Cole McDonald is a very talented gun-slinger. Let’s see how USU stacks up against them. (Okay so maybe a little offense intended to BYU, but hey, it’s a rivalry ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ .)

PREDICTION:

- I could take the easy way out and just chalk this up as a 70-63 type of shootout, but I’m not going to do that. I have to consider every aspect of this game: offense, defense, special teams, coaching, location, atmosphere. It’s going to be a chess match between USU Head Coach Matt Wells and Hawaii’s Nick Rolovich. The defenses need to be prepared to face adversity and keep their minds in the game. The offenses are going to put points on the board. That being said:

FINAL SCORE: Utah State 70, Hawaii 63

What’re your thoughts on the game? Let us know in the comments.

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