Location: Logan, Utah (Maverik Stadium)
Date/Time: Saturday, September 9th at 8:00 P.M. EST (6:00 Utah Time)
Streaming: The game will be streamed here
Radio: Aggie Sports Network
Odds: Not announced
Head-to-Head: Utah State is 18-2 against Idaho State with the most recent game in 2017 resulting in a 51-17 win for Utah State in Logan. Utah State and Idaho State have met six times since the year 2000 and the Aggies have only lost to Idaho State once in the past 23 years, a 27-24 home loss. The only other time that Idaho State has beaten Utah State was in 1981 where Idaho State won a 50-24 home game against the Aggies. Since 1982 all games have been played in Logan, Utah.
Three things to look for:
1. Which wide receivers show up for Utah State?
In the game against Utah State Terrell Vaughns stepped up for Utah State, going for 93 yards and a touchdown off of 12 receptions. Jalen Royals was the only other receiver for Utah State that broke 30 yards and Terrell Vaughn was the only receiver to score a touchdown. Other receivers such as Colby Bowman need to step up in order for this group to be productive. As a group the receivers not only need to work on pass catching but also run blocking which brings up the next important thing to look for in this game...
2. Can Utah State get a rushing attack going?
Utah State’s leading rusher for this game was Rahsul Faison, who rushed for 59 yards on 7 carries. Utah State did not score a touchdown in the running game it is important to remember that the Aggies were going up against one of the top defenses in the nation. Davin Booth rushed for 33 yards on 8 carries. A bright spot to look at is that Rahsul Faison averaged 8.4 yards per carry, which could turn into a lot of yardage against Idaho State. In the game against Iowa Utah State had 116 total rushing yards but again the areas of concern are that Utah State did not have a rusher that was remotely close to 100 yards and Utah State did not score any rushing touchdowns. This is important to consider moving forward as Utah State needs to find a balance with the running game and the passing game and cannot become one dimensional on offense if they want to improve on the offensive numbers from last year.
3. Can Utah State improve on third down?
Utah State went 5-17 on third down against Iowa. Obviously if Utah State wants to be more competitive this year that number needs to improve. The other number that needs to improve is penalties. Utah State committed 10 penalties for 91 yards which affects how consistent Utah State can be on both offense and defense. If Utah State can improve both third down conversions and decrease penalty yardage they may be a competitive team in the Mountain West, especially come November when the race for the Mountain West championship heats up.
Utah State had a rough week last week and much of it came down to a lack of execution on third downs and the penalties that limited Utah State’s ability to execute on key plays. This is a new week where Cooper Legas can improve on the 213 passing yards and the receivers can find more ways to be productive. Utah State also needs to improve on the 116 rushing yards and needs to find production on the ground that can turn into touchdowns.
The rebound starts with Idaho State. Executing the gameplan that is set in practice and delivering on fundamentals. Getting the ball into third down and short would help Utah State to convert more third downs but in order for that to happen the Aggies need to minimize the penalties but also establish a dominant running game.
Expect Utah State to be more efficient on offense and decrease the amount of penalties to establish dominance against Idaho State and build confidence going into a pivotal game against Air Force on the road.
Prediction: Utah State: 38, Idaho State: 10