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Aggie Analysis: Rainbow Machine Broke

The Aggie offense continues to impress as USU (8-1, 5-0 MWC) dominates on the Islands

Eugene Tanner/AP

THE RUNDOWN:

OFFENSE:

- Jordan Love was looking like his regular self during the first half of Saturdays game against Hawaii (6-5, 3-3 MWC). Love was injured on a QB run late in the 2nd quarter and would not return to the game after finishing that drive. It appears as though he will be fine for next week’s game. Before his injury, the prolific passer threw for 127 yards and one TD on only 10 completions. He also ran it in for a one yard score in the 1st. Another solid game from a guy who has definitely got to be one of the favorites for Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year.

Henry Colombi came in for Love after his injury and played decently well. He led the team on a few touchdown drives and, most importantly, avoided mistakes. The Aggies have Love for another few years, but they’ve got good insurance with Colombi.

- The rushing attack was the leader in this game, as both Darwin Thompson and Gerold Bright notched three touchdown runs apiece. Thompson (147 rush yards) continues to lead the way in a rushing tandem that can strike fear into any defense that is already worried about the passing game. Five other rushers, including both Utah State Quarterbacks, amassed double-digit rush yards. All in all, the Aggies ran for 426 yards; fairly impressive for a team that airs it out so often.

- Another game where it was catching by committee, yet this one was a little more extreme than others. Ron’Quavion Tarver led the way with 40 receiving yards and a touchdown, but NINE players had at least one catch, and eight of those totaled double-digit yards. Jordan love’s got a special connection with this band of players, and it’s really something special to watch.

DEFENSE:

- As dominant as Utah State’s running offense was, their run defense was just as overwhelming for the Rainbow Warriors. Hawaii gained only 43 total rushing yards, their longest run being an eight yard scamper by QB Cole McDonald. The pass rush also got to McDonald, sacking him three times in the contest.

- The pass defense was going to be up for quite a challenge against a very talented Hawaii pass attack, and losing Deante Fortenberry in the early going to a targeting call did not help the cause. In the end, the Aggies gave up 347 passing yards, 331 of those coming from McDonald. He also had two touchdowns through the air BUT the Aggies picked him off twice as well. It’s pretty excusable to allow those kind of numbers when A) the opponent’s air game is fairly elite, B) you pick the ball of twice, and C) your offense is consistently putting up video game numbers.

- After allowing 20+ points in four of their first six games, USU hasn’t allowed more than 19 points in their last three contests. Impressive stats no matter the competition level. Especially considering how high scoring Hawaii can get.

SPECIAL TEAMS:

- Not much to say here, Dominik Eberle was 0/1 but that’s because that kick was blocked. I’m 100% confident Eberle would’ve made it anyway, it was only a 28-yard attempt. He was otherwise perfect on all eight extra points.

- After Hawaii kicked a field goal to make it 21-3, Savon Scarver took the ensuing kickoff 66 yards, a huge return to set the Aggies up with great field position. The offense would score a touchdown seven plays later.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

- Once again the Aggies looked slick and basically impossible to stop, yet the more USU continues to dominate games the more I stay confused over that Wyoming game. I know, I know that was over two weeks ago, but it just boggles my mind how this high-flying offense only managed 24 points and looked utterly lost. Back to this game though, the entire team was clicking. Running and passing offense was insane, run defense couldn’t be shaken, and the pass defense is forgivable against a well-known talent at QB for Hawaii. The Aggies look sharp and will look to finish the season strong in their last three games:

NEXT MAN UP:

- San Jose State will come into Saturday’s game in Logan with a 1-8 record, 1-5 in conference play. I’m of the belief that you can never take any opponent for granted … but this might get ugly REALLY quickly. The Spartans are currently allowing 462 yards and 36.1 points per game, compared to the Aggies tallying 486 yards and 50.1 points per game. Yikes.

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

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