When: Saturday, September 7th @5:30pm MDT
Where: Maverik Stadium – Logan, UT
TV: Facebook (Stadium)
Radio: Aggie Sports Network
Last Time Out: This is the first time the Aggies are ever facing the Seawolves.
The Aggies came close to getting a big win over P5 member Wake Forest last Friday, but fell just short. There were many ups and downs for Utah State in the game: weaknesses to be improved upon and strengths to lean on. The Aggies now turn their attention to their home opener against Stony Brook:
Can Jordan Love right the ship after critical mistakes last week?
- Love showed flashes of brilliance against the Demon Deacons last week, tossing some pretty passes and looking good in the pocket. He had bad mistakes, however, that turned the tide of the game. Back-breaking interceptions, especially one that sealed the deal on the final drive of the game, cost the Aggies a chance at victory. We know he has the skills, the talented receivers to go to, and the protection; now it’s time to see if Love has the ability to bounce back and limit mistakes. The Seawolves defense will without a doubt be less of a threat than Wake’s, but it would behoove the junior QB to come out and rebound with a nice performance with limited mistakes.
Is Siaosi Mariner the #1 target for Love now?
- There were many unknown variables heading into the 2019 season for the Aggies. One of those issues was figuring out who would be the top receiving target after so much production from the unit was lost from last season. In game one, Siaosi Mariner made a strong case for that role. He caught eight passes for 118 yards and one (magnificent) score. He was a consistent and dependable target for Love throughout the night, and there’s little reason to think he won’t be target #1 on Saturday. The Utah transfer will be a name to watch when the offense takes the field; can he fully take over the top spot, or can someone like Deven Thompkins, Savon Scarver, or Jordan Nathan keep up and compete for it?
Has Jaylen Warren supplanted Gerold Bright as the starting RB?
- Leading up to the season, it was presumed that Gerold Bright would be the feature back, but there was definite talent behind him. We saw that quite clearly on Friday night, as Jaylen Warren came in and looked great, enough to take over the workload in the backfield. This isn’t to say Bright is done as the starting runningback for the Aggies. On the contrary, the fact that Warren can now be seen as a starter as well will only brew more competition between the backs, and that’s a good thing.
Can David Woodward keep up his hot start to the season?
- Woodward had himself a day against the Deacs, posting 24 tackles, one sack, two forced fumbles, and 3.5 tackles for loss. He almost had a defensive touchdown too, but it was called back by penalty. There are a ton of players to admire on the Aggies defense, but Woodward remains the centerpiece and the leader. The question is: can he maintain this hot start, at least statistically? He gets to the football no matter who’s holding it and, with an offense like Stony Brook’s that doesn’t have the same talent level as Wake Forest, Woodward may find himself with a similar stat line at the end of the night.
Can the secondary learn to limit mistakes?
- Aside from Love’s passing flubs, the secondary must shoulder some of the blame for the loss on Friday. They were getting killed on short and medium length passes all night, and when they needed to not allow a big play most, they gave up a killer 70-yard pass from Jamie Newman to Sage Surratt to eventually set up a TD run that gave Wake the lead with a little over a minute remaining in the game. Getting beat on short passes is all well and good as long as the defense can stick with that bend don’t break policy … and they do that by not breaking. Aside from that play, the coverage team did a fine enough job, keeping Wake’s longest pass play to just 20 yards. Luckily for this unit, Stony Brook is a more rush-heavy team. It’s hard to gauge progress this corps can make against a lesser opponent like SBU, but getting reps and making plays will still help to improve everyone all the same. They’ll need to get their act together, because two weeks later the Aggies travel to San Diego State to open conference play.
- There should not be any worry of the Aggies losing this game, Stony Brook isn’t a team that can pull of a victory like this. It should be said, however, that they aren’t Tennessee Tech from last year. Expect more of a fight from the Seawolves. This matchup is all about the Aggies improving upon the weaknesses found last week against Wake. They get a nice bye week after this game, so they’ll have plenty of time to heal up and get ready for the Aztecs on the 21st. The Aggies can’t get caught looking ahead, for that could spell doom against an opponent Utah State should otherwise have no problem getting the victory over.
Final Score Prediction: Utah State 48, Stony Brook 20
What are your thoughts on the upcoming game? Tell us what you think in the comments!
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