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Utah State Week 3 Simulation

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

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 05 Utah State at LSU Photo by Andy Altenburger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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 won their first game of the season last weekend against Southern Utah (Idaho) and looked good doing so. The Aggies won the game 34-10 with strong performances from Henry Colombi (8/12 passing 78 yards 1 TD; 12 attempts 115 yards rushing 2 TDs) and backup quarterback Jalen Calvin (8/8 88 yards; 8 attempts 50 yards 1 TD). The defense also stood strong for the Aggies as Hale Motu’Apuaka led the way with 5 tackles 3 tackles for loss and 3 sacks. The Aggies also forced two turnovers, a fumble and interception and were good on third downs at 70%.

This Week September 19th:

While the Aggies were able to celebrate their first win a week ago, this week presents a much stiffer opponent as the Aggies travel to Seattle to take on Washington. This game comes right before the bye week and it is a chance for Utah State to get a program defining win on the road and an opportunity to represent the Mountain West in the battle for a New Years Six spot. While the Huskies likely wouldn’t have been ranked if the season had played out with a close home loss to Washington, they are still a tough opponent at home.

First Quarter: UW: 7 USU: 7

This was an exciting quarter for a young Aggies team because they were able to keep up with a rebuilding Huskies team. The Aggies forced a three and out and on their first offensive drive of the game, Henry Colombi led the offense down the field and threw a touchdown pass to Carson Terrell to take a 7-0 lead. Washington would answer on the next drive with a three yard run and that would be the last score of the first quarter as the rest was filled with sloppy play and inconsistency in being able to run the ball and catch passes.

Second Quarter: UW: 14 USU: 14

In the second quarter, each team scored a lone touchdown and both were rushing touchdowns. Jaylen Warren ran in from one yard out and Washington had a 16 yard run to tie the game once again. The second quarter was relatively quiet other than Utah State getting an interception and the teams would continue to struggle on offense, specifically being able to move the ball through the running game.

Third Quarter: UW: 28 USU: 14

Things finally started to heat up for one offense but not the other in the third quarter. Washington had two long touchdown passes, one for 49 yards and another for 56 to build a 14 point lead going into the fourth quarter. Utah State was unable to score and despite their efforts to become more effective in the running game, their attempts were unsuccessful and Henry Colombi, though throwing for 339 yards by the end of the game, was unable to make big plays to get the Aggies offense moving down the field.

Fourth Quarter: UW: 38 USU: 28

The Aggies offense started the fourth quarter with a touchdown that brought hope because that meant they were only down by seven, but with half of the quarter gone, Washington quarterback Jacob Sirmon would run in for a touchdown and put the lead back into double digits. On the day, Sirmon only had 8 incompletions and was very smart in conservatively leading the offense in the 4th quarter to give the Aggies little chance of having the ball. Utah State would score a touchdown late however after failing to retrieve an onside kick, all hopes of an upset were lost. Washington would kick a field goal and walk away from a hard fought 38-28 win over the Aggies. FINAL: Washington beats Utah State 38-28.

USU Passing:

Henry Colombi: 24/38 339 yards two touchdowns

UW Passing:

Jacob Sirmon: 21/29 336 yards two touchdowns one interception

USU Rushing:

Jaylen Warren: 18 attempts 66 yards two touchdowns

Henry Colombi: 4 rushes 15 yards

UW Rushing:

Sean McGrew: 22 attempts 92 yards 1 touchdown

USU Receiving:

Derek Wright: 8 receptions 93 yards 1 touchdown

Jordan Nathan: 8 receptions 146 yards

Carson Terrell: 3 receptions 27 yards 1 touchdown

Savon Scarver: 2 receptions 40 yards

UW Receiving:

Marquis Spiker: 6 receptions 127 yards 1 touchdown

Cade Otton: 5 receptions 70 yards

Terrel Bynum: 3 receptions 40 yards

Richard Newton: 1 reception 56 yards 1 td

USU Defensive

Eric Munoz: 6 tackles

Kevin Meitzenheimer: 6 tackles

Zahodri Jackson: 5 tackles

Dominic Tatum: 5 tackles 1 INT

Troy Lefeged: 5 tackles

Shaq Bond: 3 tackles

UW defensive:

Elijah Molden: 10 tackles

Joe Tyron: 6 tackles

Trent Mcduffie: 5 tackles

MJ Tafisi: 4 tackles 2 for loss

Edefuan Ulofoshio: 4 tackles

Ryan Bowman: 4 tackles

Team Stats

First Downs: UW: 18 USU: 19

Total Offense: UW: 440 yards USU: 420 yards

Rushing: UW: 27-104-3 USU: 22-81-2

3rd Down: UW: 7-10 (70%) USU: 5-12 (41%)

Red Zone: UW: 4-3-0 (75%) USU: 5-4-0 (80%)

Turnovers: UW: 1 USU: 0

Penalties: 2-20 and 6-53

Thoughts

I think Washington might have scored another touchdown had this game actually been played for a little more of a sound win but I do think that most of the game is indicative of what would have happened. Washington lost important starters from last year as did Utah State, but I think Utah States defense would have been able to keep it a little closer than some people may have thought in the first half. However I think the third quarter that Washington had in this simulation is a good indication of what would have happened because despite just coming back from halftime, the Utah State defense would probably have been a little worn out after putting the team on their shoulders in the first half. What this loss came down to was inconsistency on offense. Henry Colombi played a good game but when drives started to get going, he struggled to throw and run the football. The running game for Utah State was not good at all with 81 yards and this is a significant problem that has presented itself in previous weeks and it will need to be addressed as Utah State moves closer to conference play. After playing a clean game the previous week, Utah State struggled in committing costly penalties this week and that would also be something that needs to be addressed. I would say this was not as disappointing of a loss as the Washington State loss because it was not as close but it does put pressure on Utah State as they are now 1-2 entering the bye week and have a challenging game against BYU coming up after the bye week.

Coming Soon during the bye week:

How are the other Mountain West teams faring as the Mountain West season is simulated and who are the teams so far that Utah State should keep an eye on? And another look at who are leading the Aggies this season thus far.