The start of the title defense starts at home for Utah State this season as the Aggies take on the UConn Huskies. Utah State finished last season 11-3 (6-2) and beat San Diego State in the Mountain West Championship game and Oregon State in the Los Angeles Bowl. The Aggies will look to improve on that record as they prepare to begin the 2022 football season.
UConn at Utah State
Location: Logan, Utah
Line: Utah State (-27)
Date/Time: Saturday, August 27th at 4:00 P.M. EST
Three things to watch for:
1. Can Logan Bonner have continued success?
Logan Bonner threw for 3,628 yards last season in his first year with Utah State and also had 36 touchdown passes and 12 interceptions on 263 completions to 430 attempts (61.2%). He was not nearly as productive during his time at Arkansas State and will be an important piece to the offense improving.
2. Who else steps up for Utah State in the running game?
Utah State loses Elelyon Noa, who transferred to Boise State, but the Aggies do return leading rusher Calvin Tyler Jr. and the third leading rusher on the team, John Gentry. Calvin Tyler Jr. rushed for 919 yards on 196 attempts and scored seven touchdowns with a long rush of 61 yards. John Gentry rushed for 257 yards on 66 attempts, didn’t score a touchdown, and had a long rush of 41 yards. Outside of Calvin Tyler Jr. and John Gentry, there isn’t a whole lot of production or experience. If Utah State is able to find a third player who can run the ball effectively, the Aggies running game should be strong again this year.
3. Can Utah State improve in the red zone?
Last season, Utah State ranked 101st in the nation with 54 red zone attempts and scored 42 times, 77.8% of the time. The Aggies scored 10 red zone rushing touchdown, 18 red zone passing touchdowns, and 14 red zone field goals.
The conversion percentage needs to improve this season if the Aggies want to improve their record this season. Utah State was able to get the yards last season but were unable to convert those yards into points easily.
The key to success this season will be taking advantage in the red zone and playing good red zone defense.
Utah State begins the title defense in Week 0 and this should be a great game for Utah State to find their rhythm before playing Alabama in Week 1.
UConn has taking strides in the past years and they do have an experienced coach in Jim Mora, but Utah State shouldn’t have a problem in this game as the Aggies kick their 2022 season off.
Score prediction: Utah State: 42; UConn: 10