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Questions about Utah State Heading into the 2023 season: #4 What is the win total?

A series of four questions heading to the season opener against Iowa

SERVPRO First Responder Bowl - Memphis v Utah State Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

This is a series of four questions that will be important to consider for Utah State’s success this season. Each week of the series will look into a different question, leading to the season opener against Iowa. This weeks question:

#4: What could Utah State’s win total be for this season?

Last season the Aggies finished 6-7 (5-3) as they were decimated by injuries and experience and finished tied for second in the Mountain Division. While Utah State does lose key players due to graduation and the transfer portal several players return such as quarterback Cooper Legas, running back Robert Briggs, receiver Terrell Vaughn, transfer receiver Colby Bowman from Stanford, defensive tackle Hale Motu’Apuaka, linebacker Max Alford, linebacker MJ Tafisi, cornerback Michael Anyanwu, and safety Ike Larsen.

In order to improve on the 6 wins from last year the Aggies must improve on the 22,2 points per game scored. 159 rushing yards wasn’t necessarily what cost Utah State last season even though the Aggies had a player rush for over 100 yards just six times last season. What hurt the Aggies most on offense last season was the 195 passing yards per game. Utah State only passed for over 300 yards twice and only scored over 40 points once. In a competitive Mountain West conference, those numbers are going to need to improve, especially the 354 offensive yard per game.

Defensively Utah State allowed 31.2 points per game last season and 194 yards rushing with 205 yards passing. The Aggies gave up 399 offensive yards per game and 5.8 yards per play. The biggest question for Utah State comes at the defensive end position where the Aggies lose Byron Vaughns and Daniel Grzesiak, who were leaders on this team last season. Utah State has added junior college transfers and FBS transfers that should help to bolster the defense and improve the numbers.

The key for Utah State to improve their win percentage this season is going to be to win the winable games. Utah State must beat Idaho State, Colorado State, New Mexico, Nevada, and UConn. It might also be important to get wins against James Madison and steal a game against Fresno State, San Jose State, or San Diego State. Beating Boise State would be a major plus for Utah State but the Broncos are projected to be one of the top Mountain West teams but also one of the best teams in the group of five.

With that being said, Utah State could potentially end up with 7 wins at the end of the season if the Aggies are able to improve on the offensive and defensive numbers and stay away from the injuries.

Utah State win projection according to ESPN matchup predictor

Saturday, September 2nd: at Iowa (8.9%)

Saturday, September 9th: vs Idaho State (89.9%)

Friday, September 15th: at Air Force (28.5%)

Saturday, September 23rd: vs JMU (45.3%)

Saturday, September 30th: at UConn (39.9%)

Saturday, October 7th: vs Colorado State (56.8%)

Friday, October 13th: vs Fresno State (36.5%)

Saturday, October 21st: at San Jose State (35.7%)

Saturday, November 4th: at San Diego State (30.4%)

Saturday, November 11th: vs Nevada (44.5%)

Saturday, November 18th: vs Boise State (24.5%)

Friday, November 24th: at New Mexico (57.9%)