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Utah State vs. New Mexico game preview:: Keys to victory for USU

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The Aggies look to keep momentum going as they travel down to Albuquerque to take on Lobos. Here we talk about what USU needs to do to come away victorious.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Game Info

Who: Utah State Aggies (5-3, 4-1 conf.) vs. New Mexico Lobos (4-4, 2-2 conf.)

When: Saturday, November 7, 2015  1:30 p.m. MT

Where: University Stadium, Albuquerque, NM

TV: CBS Sports Network

The spread for the game (-15) might be in favor of the Aggies, but don't let that fool you. New Mexico is a improved football team and has everything to play for: the Lobos need just two wins to become bowl eligible. Utah State, on the other hand, is trying to continue controlling it's own destiny for a Mountain Division title. It should be an intriguing matchup to watch. Here are three things Utah State must do in order to ensure a victory on Saturday

1. Stop the Run Game

It is no secret that New Mexico has one of the top rushing games in the country, thanks in large part to how they run the triple option. This is going to be very important for the Aggie defense. Since their win over Boise State three weeks ago, the run defense has not been the same. The most evident example came in their blowout loss to San Diego State, where they gave up 336 yards on the ground alone. It's easy to see: if you give up that many yards to an opponent, you are not going to win games. The triple option is going to be the biggest test USU sees on Saturday. Stopping it will be a big key if the Aggies want to win.

2. Who wants a Turnover?

In their game against the Broncos, the Aggies forced EIGHT turnovers. In their last two games since, the defense has not forced a single turnover. With the way the Lobos run and throw the ball, the defense will be on their toes. Turnovers could be the difference in the game. If either side can win the battle and lead in turnover margin then that team stands a good chance of winning. If the USU defense can replicate what it did against Boise, then they should have no problem defeating the Lobos.

3. Keep the offense going

Since Kent Myers was named the starting quarterback, the offense has stepped up in a big way. Last week, they scored a season high in points scored (58) against Wyoming. Now, New Mexico is a little bit of a tougher test, so scoring 58 might be a stretch, but I don't see why this offense couldn't drop at least 30 on the Lobos. Both offenses are very efficient and can score in bunches. Also, Myers himself has been impressive. Since being named the starter, he has amassed 893 passing yards, nine touchdowns and one interception. He also has rushed for 313 yards and three touchdowns. Again, if the Aggies keep the ball rolling on offense, they should be in good shape.

Prediction

As mentioned above, both teams have a lot to play for, so this should be a physical game. It will be a much closer game than what the spread is at right now. New Mexico will keep it close, but the Aggie defense will be too much to overcome in the end. USU 34, UNM 24.