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Poke Preview Week 12: Utah State Aggies

Cowboys travel to Logan in clash with Aggies

NCAA Football: Utah State at Wyoming Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

What: Wyoming Cowboys at Utah State Aggies

When: 6 p.m. M.T.

Where: Maverik Stadium, Logan, UT

Network: CBSSN

Line: Wyoming + 6 (via William Hill)

Series: In the long history of seasons dating back to 1906 between the Aggies and the Cowboys, it’s the Aggies that lead the all-time series 40-26-4. Their most recent matchup came in 2019 when the Aggies beat the Cowboys by a final score of 26-21, in Logan.

The Wyoming Cowboys will travel down to Logan on Saturday evening to clash with the Utah State Aggies in a battle that will have major implications for both teams. The Cowboys on one hand need to win one game out of their next two in order to become bowl-eligible. On the other hand, the Aggies would like to stay atop the Mountain Division and continue their journey toward a title, with a win this weekend. In their previous matchup, the Cowboys (5-5,1-5) lost to Boise State on the blue turf with a final score of 23-13 in a game that didn’t see much offense until late. The Aggies (8-2,5-1) have had much different luck this season and are coming back home after winning their last two on the road, most recently beating San Jose State, handily, by a score of 48-17.

When Wyoming has the ball:

One team likes to run, the other likes to pass. The Cowboys are the runners, having done most of their work on the ground this season at both the RB and QB position. QB Levi Williams and RB Xazavian Valladay are the players that have done the most damage, with a lot of yardage and touchdown contributions from RB Titus Swen, as well. Last game, however, sustainable drives were hard to come by for the Poke offense. Valladay and Swen were limited to under 100 yards rushing by a stout Boise State defense that did a good job of keeping their offense off the field. Expect, however, the Pokes to stick with what they do best. While Williams has indeed developed a nice connection this season with WR Isaiah Neyor, it won’t be the focal point of their attack. If Valladay and Swen can bounce back and have big games against a Utah State front that is formidable, the Pokes can put themselves in a good position to win, given how well their defense has been playing, of late.

When Utah State has the ball:

Meanwhile, QB Logan Bonner has become a lethal threat in the passing game for the Aggies this season. He spreads the ball out well to all of his receivers but has a clear favorite target in WR Devin Thompkins. Thompkins has totaled over 1,400 yards on 77 receptions this season. He is coming off a huge game against San Jose State where he had 5 catches for 127 yards. Bonner did major damage last week as well, completing 20 of his 33 pass attempts for 263 yards and 4 touchdowns and throwing 1 interception. Expect the Aggies to try and exploit a Cowboy secondary that has played well, but is known to give up a big play here and there.

Prediction:

As hot as the Aggies have been of late, I don’t think Saturday’s matchup is a walk in the park against the team at the bottom of the Mountain Division in the Cowboys. While I do find it hard to see the Cowboys traveling to Logan and picking up a win, they do have a reason to fight with the chance to become bowl-eligible. I don’t think the Aggies will become complacent, but the Cowboys shouldn’t make it as comfortable as last week’s win was for the Aggies as long as the offense decides to show up.

Final Score:

Utah State 28

Wyoming 20