Location: Logan, Utah (Maverik Stadium)
Date/Time: Saturday, November 18th at 7:00 EST (5:00 Utah Time)
Television: CBS Sports Network
Radio: Aggie Sports Network
Streaming: You can stream the game here
Odds: Boise State (-3.5); Over/Under: 64.5 Provided by DraftKings Sportsbook
Head-to-Head: Overall, Utah State is 5-22 all-time against Boise State. Since the 2000s, the Aggies have won just one game against Boise State. In 2015, the Broncos committed an incredible number of turnovers. Since the 2015 game Utah State has lost seven straight against the Broncos, with the closest games being in 2016 (21-10), 2018 (33-24), and 2022 (42-23). Utah State is 3-18 in conference play against Boise State and is 1-9 in the last ten matchups against the Broncos. The longest losing streak for the Aggies is 12 games from 1998-2014 and the longest winning streak against the Broncos is two games from 1996-1997.
Three keys to the game:
1. Put up a strong first half
This is an area that Utah State has struggled in throughout the season. In four of the five losses that Utah State has suffered this year, Utah State has not scored in the first quarter. The only loss that Utah State scored in the first quarter was against Fresno State. It is also official that Ashton Jeanty will be returning off injury, and while he may not be full strength, this still spells a major problem for the Aggies. Taylen Green was named a captain by interim head coach Spencer Danielson and is motivated to show what he can do. The key for Utah State in this situation is going to be to force Taylen Green into mistakes and to play consistent on offense.
2. Be consistent on third down
Utah State has struggled on third down all year long and the number one thing Utah State cannot do is give a Boise State offense that exploded last weekend more opportunities to be on the field. If Utah State consistently puts their defense on the field this game feels like it will have a similar score to the Air Force game, where the final score was 39-21. Boise State’s defense has struggled this year so being consistent on third down and keeping the pressure on the Boise State defense is going to be a key to this game.
3. Get Cooper Legas going
As mentioned, Boise State’s defense is struggling this year, specifically in the passing game. Cooper Legas has made mistakes this season in the passing game but the key is to get Cooper Legas going. If the Aggies can use their receivers to beat Boise State deep and score quickly, that is going to greatly improve the chances of Utah State winning this game. Cooper Legas cannot get into the rhythm of throwing interceptions and has been prone to doing just that this season. The key, as stated, will be to beat Boise State deep and to use Cooper Legas and his legs to pick up first downs. Utah State cannot afford to have costly penalties as one of the most penalized teams in the nation as this will not only get Boise State’s offense back on the field quicker but will also limit the success that the Utah State offense can have.
Utah State has struggled on both sides of the ball this year, especially on defense. The key to winning this game is going to be to play a full four quarters. That is going to require Utah State’s defense to step up and stop an offense that has found its identity. It is going to require Utah State to convert on third downs and limit the number of penalties. Utah State needs to find a way to get a run game going against one of the better rush defences in the conference and will need to take opportunities over the top of a young Boise State secondary. Boise State still has a lot to play for, not just bowl eligibility. With a loss by Fresno State or two losses by Wyoming and managing to win out, the Broncos could find themselves in the conference championship game. Ultimately, the Broncos are going to come into this one fired up playing for interim coach Spencer Danielson, and the energy and speed that Boise State plays with is going to be the difference in this game.
Prediction: Boise State: 38, Utah State: 21