This past week the 2022 Utah State football schedule was released as the Aggies look to defend their 2021 conference title. So, who are the non-conference opponents and the toughest competition in the conference?
vs UConn; Saturday, August 27th
at Alabama; Saturday, September 3rd
vs Weber State; Saturday, September 10th
vs UNLV; Saturday, September 24th
at BYU; Friday, September 30th
vs Air Force; Saturday, October 8th
at Colorado State; Saturday, October 15th
at Wyoming; Saturday; October 22nd
vs New Mexico; Saturday, November 5th
at Hawaii; Saturday, November 12th
vs San Jose State; Saturday, November 19th
at Boise State; Saturday, November 26th
The season starts at home against UConn in a tune-up opener before a massive challenge in Alabama. In all reality, the Aggies aren’t going to beat Alabama but they will have a chance to tune things up against the Huskies before playing the Tide.
After returning from Tuscaloosa, Utah State will get another tune-up game against Weber State. At this point, I would expect Utah State to be 2-1 heading into conference play. There is also a bye week before the first conference game against UNLV.
After UNLV comes a big in-state rivalry game against BYU on the road. The Cougars should be a very interesting team this year as they look to build off the 2020 and 2021 seasons. Utah State then returns home to face off in an important Mountain Division game against Air Force. The Falcons aren’t as much of a threat on the road as they are at home but they are still an important team to beat to be competitive in the division.
There are two tricky back-to-back road games against Colorado State and Wyoming. The Rams haven’t been very good since the 2017 season, however, the addition of a more stable head coach in Jay Norvell could change things for the program. Wyoming on the other hand has been getting better as the years have gone on and playing in Laramie is never an easy task.
After the two bye weeks, the Aggies get a much-needed bye week before facing New Mexico. The Lobos have been at the bottom of the conference ever since the 2015 season, however, this could turn into a difficult game as the Lobos have a very good defensive coordinator and a pretty decent defense overall. After this game, the Aggies must travel to a difficult game in Honolulu to play Hawaii.
San Jose State at home serves as the senior day game for Utah State before they head to Boise to play their final game of the year to play a Boise State team that will likely be much better than last year's version.
Overall, this is a pretty manageable non-conference schedule excluding the Crimson Tide. While Utah State does avoid San Diego State and Fresno State, the Aggies do have to face Colorado State, Wyoming, Hawaii, and Boise State on the road and those are key conference games. If Utah State can manage to go 3-1 in those matchups, they will be in a good position in the division.
My early prediction for the schedule is that Utah State will go 8-4. I believe that Utah State will drop the games to Alabama and BYU on the road in addition to a game to either Colorado State or Wyoming. I also believe that Utah State will drop the final game to Boise State as the Aggies have historically not done well in Boise and this could likely decide the division.