Location: Dreamstyle Stadium (Albuquerque, NM)
Date/Time: Saturday, December 15th at 12:00 p.m. (MDT)
Radio: Aggie Sports Network (92.3 FM local)
Head-to-Head: The Aggies are 4-3 in this matchup all-time. North Texas has won the last two games, which took place in 2003-04.
What to look for:
- Yost calling the plays, but no Wells
o The departure of head coach Matt Wells comes with the cost of losing most staff members, including offensive coordinator David Yost. It’s being reported that while Wells will not be present for the bowl game, Yost will be there and will be calling the plays for the Aggies. This is quite a boon for USU, as their biggest reason for success this season was the up-tempo, no-huddle offense Yost had installed. The Aggies get one more outing under Yost’s decision making and if it’s anything like the rest of the year, Utah State has a good chance to win this game.
- Keeping Fine in check
UNT QB Mason Fine is more than fine at slinging the rock and making plays with his arm. The junior quarterback has thrown for 3734 yarda, 27 TDs and only 5 INTs over the course of the season. He’s been firing on all cylinders and it’s going to take a total defensive effort to keep USU in line for a win. The line, as they have been doing decently well this season, needs to get into the Mean Green backfield and get a few sacks. Most of the pressure will have to come from the secondary, as Fine is accurate and a threat to toss a touchdown whenever.
- Could Early Start Hurt Aggies?
o This game kicks off at 12:00 Mountain Time, fairly early compared to most other games the Aggies have played this season. The only other games that started at/around this time were the Wyoming (12:30) and the Colorado State (12:00) games and we all know how those went. Hopefully with so much time to prepare for this game and this time slot, the Aggies won’t let it affect them.
- This is difficult to prognosticate, as both teams have been so good at their respective strengths. Even their weakness aren’t blatant and soul-crushing. In his last game as play-caller, I think Yost has the offense crank it up to 11 and torch the UNT defense. The North Texas offense, however, can’t easily be sent away. Fine and comrades will put points on the board too. I think this one is close, and for the first time this year, we get to watch Dominik Eberle kick the Aggies into a win in the final seconds.
FINAL SCORE: Utah State 38, North Texas 35
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