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Utah State Week 2 Simulation

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Looking at how Utah State would have fared in a simulation of the second game of the original 2020 schedule

NCAA Football: Frisco Bowl-Utah State vs Kent State Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Each week a simulation through NCAA 14 will be used with updated rosters for the 2020 season to predict how the season may have gone for the Utah State Aggies. How would the 2020 season have looked if Utah State had played the original schedule? What if Henry Colombi hand’t transferred and he had won the starting job after playing behind Jordan Love? This is a look into a un-disrupted 2020 season for the Utah State Aggies.

Last Week:

Utah State lost a close game in their season opener at home to Washington State 38-31. Henry Colombi threw for 240 yards and three touchdowns on 23 completions but also threw two costly interceptions. Jaylen Warren rushed for 110 yards and had a touchdown and Jordan Nathan had a big game catching the football with 15 receptions 110 yards and two touchdwons.

This Week:

Utah State vs Southern Utah. In this case, since NCAA 14 does not have Southern Utah, I replaced this team with the next best thing, the Idaho Vandals, who recently moved to the Big Sky Conference which is the same FCS conference that Southern Utah plays in. This was the game right before the Washington game in Seattle so Utah State would need to come out focused on the second Saturday of college football. The big story line in this game would be if the Aggies can learn from the mistakes that they made in their season opener and use this game as a tune up before another PAC-12 showdown. Once again Henry Colombi likely would have been the starter in this game and Utah State would have been favored by about 17.

First Quarter: Idaho: 0 USU: 14

This was a big quarter for Utah State because they took advantages of the opportunities to score. Both touchdowns in the first quarter were scored by Henry Colombi on an six yard touchdown run and an eight yard touchdown one just moments later after Utah State recovered a fumble in Vandal territory. Henry Colombi was able to get the offense moving by running the football, running for a couple of first downs in the quarter while Idaho struggled to find any consistency on offense.

Second Quarter: Idaho: 3 USU: 24

Four minutes into the second quarter Henry Colombi threw an four yard touchdown pass to Carson Terrel to make the score 21-0 and this was the only touchdown pass for Henry Colombi as he would be taken out of the game for two quarters with an injury. On the ensuing kickoff Utah State would fumble the ball but get it back as it rolled out of bounds. The Utah State offense stalled in getting to the red zone but eventually managed by the running game from backup quarterback Jalen Calvin, who led the Aggies down the field late in the quarter to set up a field goal that would send the Aggies up 24-0 with two minutes to go in the second quarter. With a couple of big passes from Idaho quarterback Mason Petrino, the Vandals would march down the field and answer the Aggies field goal as time in the half expired.

Third Quarter: Idaho: 10 USU: 31

With Henry Colombi still out of the game due to injury, Jalen Calvin continued to take command of the offense. In the third quarter, Calvin completed four passes on four attempts to end the third quarter going eight for eight and passing for 88 yards total and would continue to run the ball very well and keep the Utah State offense moving. Idaho would score a rushing touchdown midway through the quarter and on the very next drive, Jalen Calvin would bust loose on a 24 yard touchdown run to give the Aggies a 31-10 lead.

Fourth Quarter: Idaho: 10 USU: 34

The big story line of the fourth quarter was the return of Henry Colombi to the action as he continued to run the ball efficiently and feed the other running backs. Eventually Colombi was taken out of the game in garbage time and Jalen Calvin would put the finishing touches on the Aggies win, marching Utah State down the field for a late field goal to make the score 34-10. Jaylen Warren went down late with a concussion and it is unclear what his status will be for next week. The Vandals never managed to get passed midfield in the fourth quarter as the Aggies locked in on defense and forced an interception and Utah State celebrated their first win of the season as the clock ran out. FINAL: Utah State beats Idaho 34-10 and goes 1-1

Idaho Passing:

Mason Petrino: 7/16 119 yards passing 0 TDs 1 INT

Utah State Passing

Henry Colombi: 8/12 72 yards passing 1 TD 0 INTs

Jalen Calvin: 8/8 88 yards

Idaho Rushing:

Roshaun Johnson: 15 attempts 72 yards rushing 1 TD

Mason Petrino: 12 attempts 17 yards rushing 0 TDs

Utah State Rushing:

Henry Colombi: 12 attempts 115 yards rushing 2 TDs

Jalen Calvin: 8 attempts 50 yards 1 TD

Jaylen Warren: 10 attempts 42 yards

Eric Nawahine: 2 attempts 21 yards

Idaho Receiving:

Jeff Cotton: 3 receptions 69 yards 0 TDs

Jante Boston: 2 receptions 36 yards 0 TDs

Utah State Receiving:

Savon Scarver: 6 receptions 100 yards 0 TDs

Derek Wright: 4 receptions 32 yards 0 TDs

Jordan Nathan: 1 reception 6 yards 0 TDs

Carson Terrel: 2 receptions 10 yards 1 TD

Idaho Defense:

Christian Elliss (MLB): 6 tackles 1 tackle for loss

Davontae Ginwright: 6 tackles 1 tackle for loss 1 forced fumble

Tevin Duke: 5 tackles

Llyod Hightower: 4 tackles

Rashaan Crawford: 4 tackles

Utah State Defense:

Hale Motu’Apuaka: 5 tackles 3 tackles for loss 3 sacks

Dominic Tatum: 4 tackles 1 forced fumble

Eric Munoz: 4 tackles 1 assist tackle 1 fumble recovery

Shaq Bond: 4 tackles

Kevin Meitzenheimer: 3 tackles 1 INT

Trey Lefeged: 2 tackles

Team Statistics

First Downs: Idaho: 12 USU: 21

Total Offense: Idaho: 208 yards USU: 388 yards

Rushing: Idaho: 27 attempts 89 yards 1 TD USU: 32 attempts 228 yards 3 TDs

Passing: Idaho: 7/16 119 yards 1 INT USU: 16/20 160 yards 1 TD

Third Down: Idaho: 7-10 USU: 7-10

Red Zone: Idaho: 2-1-1 (100%) USU: 5-3-2 (100%)

Turnovers: Idaho: 2 USU: 0

Punt return yards: Idaho: 20 yards USU: 48 yards I

Kick return yards: Idaho: 159 USU: 48

Total yards: Idaho: 387 USU: 467

Penalties: Idaho: 0 USU: 0

Season Leaders So Far

Passing: Henry Colombi: 31/50 412 yards passing 4 TDs 2 INTS 1 16 attempts 115 yards rushing 2 TDs

Rushing: Jaylen Warren: 30 attempts 152 yards 1 TD

Receiving: Savon Scarver 14 receptions 177 yards 1 TD

Defensive tackles: Eric Munoz: 11 tackles 1 assist tackle 1 fumble recovery

Sacks: Hale Motu’Apuaka: 5 tackles 3 tackles for loss 3 sacks

Thoughts

Utah State got a much needed win in week two of the season and this is going to be important in giving the Aggies confidence as they head to Seattle for a showdown with the Huskies in week three. This was not a perfect game for Utah State by any means as the offense struggled to move the ball consistently and needed more effort from the passing game. The Aggies played a very clean game with no penalties or turnovers (though the penalties may be a bit unrealistic because NCAA 14 never seems to call anything) and they also fixed there red zone problems from a week ago. The only problem this time was the the Aggies did not reach the red zone as many times as they may have wanted to. The game against Washington is big and Utah State will need to do more than just run the ball with the quarterbacks (especially with the potential absence of Jaylen Warren) if they want any chance of pulling off an upset.