When: Saturday, September 28th @ 5:30 PM MST
Where: Maverik Stadium – Logan, UT
TV: CBS Sports Network
Radio: Aggie Sports Network
Last Time Out: The Aggies came out with a miraculous 29-24 victory over the Rams last year in Ft. Collins. A potential walk-off game-winning touchdown for CSU was controversially called back by penalty.
After a solid victory over San Diego State to start Mountain West play, the Aggies return home to take on the Colorado State Rams (1-3, 0-0 MW). The Aggies (2-1, 1-0 MW) played great defensively last weekend and will hope to continue that trend this week along with keeping the offense exciting.
Let’s take a look at the upcoming matchup:
The Rams defense is a bit worse for wear, can the Aggies take advantage?
Colorado State is giving up well … a lot. They’re allowing 40.3 PPG, that ranks 123rd in the country and 239.5 rushing YPG, which is also 123rd nationally. Their “strength” is in the passing defense, as they’re 42nd in the country allowing 199.8 passing YPG. Having a defense that struggles in almost every fact of the game is not the kind of thing you want to bring to a game against the Utah State offense.
It will be interesting to see how the passing game gets back on schedule after an effort that resulted in 0 TDs through the air last week. Jordan Love is still the NFL-caliber talent he’s been, and the wideouts, led by Siaosi Mariner, are still talented. It all depends on the redzone efficiency.
Can the offense find the endzone after redzone struggles last week?
- The 23-17 final score from last week’s game could have been a lot less close had the offense been able to punctuate their drives into the redzone with touchdowns, but they settled for field goals all but once. They shouldn’t have trouble getting the opportunities to finish drives off, as Jordan Love should get plenty of time in the pocket with a stout OL in front of him and a below-average DL attacking him. The Aggies need to get TE Caleb Repp into the endzone and show his true potential. He very much can be a solid and reliable option to throw to, he just hasn’t been able to punch it in for six quite yet.
Can the defensive line keep up the pressure they’ve been dishing out?
- Last week’s win was helped by the Aggie defensive front seven getting into the backfield and disrupting any Aztec plans. This week, they face a Colorado State OL that has allowed seven sacks through four games. That ranks 61st nationally, basically right on the average. They’re not facing off against an average defensive front, however. The Aggies have matched CSU’s number by getting to the QB seven times this year, led by Nick Heninger’s 2 sacks. The DL is defined by more than their sack total, however, as they’ve accumulated 21 tackles for loss led by Tipa Galeai’s 4. The big men know how to pierce through the line and stop plays before they even get started. This is especially important when acknowledging that CSU’s strength, especially with QB Collin Hill out with an ACL injury, is their run game.
- The Rams come into Logan boasting a talented player in the backfield in Kinsey Jr., but aside from that, CSU doesn’t have much else. Still, revenge is one hell of a drug and I’m sure HC Mike Bobo and company have not forgotten about last year’s debacle. It just doesn’t seem like Colorado State has what it takes here. The Aggie offense will be way too much for the Ram defense and this game may just be over by halftime. I like the Rams rushing game, but the USU offense will just be too much for CSU to handle/overcome.
Final Score Prediction: Utah State 56, Colorado State 27
What do you think of the matchup? Let us know in the comments!
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