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Utah State Perspective: Aggies vs Aggies

Three keys to victory and a score prediction for Utah State vs New Mexico State

NCAA Football: Utah State at UNLV Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Last week was a key victory for Utah State because it helped them to stay one loss in conference play. Right now, Utah State leads the Mountain Division as they hold the tie breaker over Air Force and they are currently the only one loss conference team in the division. Utah State picked up a 51-31 victory over Hawaii to stay on top of the division. The Aggies need to stay on top of the division going into November, a critical point in the conference championship run. Utah State will get a break from conference play this as they face New Mexico State.

Utah State at New Mexico

Location: Las Cruces, New Mexico

Line: Utah State (-18.5)

Date/Time: Saturday, November 6th 4:00 P.M. EST

Television: FloSports

Head-to-Head: Utah State is 31-8 all-time against New Mexico State, with Utah State winning the most recent game in a 60-13 matchup in 2018. In 2017, New Mexico State beat Utah State 26-20 in overtime in the Arizona Bowl. Before that 2017 game, the last time New Mexico State and Utah State had played was in 2012, when both were still members of the WAC conference. The last regular season win over Utah State for New Mexico State came in 20-17 win in 2009.

Three keys to victory

1. Stop Juwaun Price

The running back for New Mexico State has averaged 5.4 yards per carry and has carried the ball 83 times for 451 yards and five touchdowns. He is coming off a big game against Hawaii where he had 159 yards on 17 attempts and two touchdowns. If Utah State can’t stop Price, then New Mexico State will be able to control the clock.

2. Limit the turnovers

One of the keys to victory when Utah State and Hawaii played last weekend was for Utah State to limit their turnovers and force some. Logan Bonner and thrown an interception in every game prior to this one but he finally posted an interception free game. That being said, Utah State did fumble the ball twice. The Aggies also forced Hawaii into three turnovers, two interceptions and a fumble. Utah State needs to win in the turnover department again and continue to find ways to force turnovers.

3. Third down efficiency

In losses to Boise State and BYU earlier this season, Utah State was 6-17 and 11-21 on third downs respectively. Utah State needs to do a better job of converting third downs in order to keep winning. The Aggies also need to find ways to convert more first and second downs to avoid long third downs.

Analysis

After this game, Utah State is going to be on the road against San Jose State and then at home against Wyoming before concluding the regular season at New Mexico. Utah State is 6-2 (4-1) and has a chance to win the mountain division with a strong November run. Expect Utah State to take it slower in this game and continue to build off the good things they have been doing while correcting the bad since they got on this winning streak.

New Mexico State is 1-7 on the year and the Aggies have lost three straight in the regular season to Utah State. Make it four.

Score Prediction: USU: 42; NMSU: 7