Attack The Opponent: Utah State Aggies
See, you’d think that a team putting up numbers like Utah State is would have some confidence. They’ve won a couple of conference games against traditional powers like CSU and Fresnah, and looked pretty darned good last weekend.
But then we remember that Boise State put a hurting on CSU, and Fresno might not be able to beat the Vandals right now.
Sure, Utah State’s stats SAY they can play pass defense. They LOOKED like they can hurry the qb and be a real pain, but have some issues against a solid run game. Boise State could be weaker than usual in the backfield this weekend, with Jeremy McNichols status in question after a hard hit to the head v. CSU. This should theoretically lead to a defensive battle in which the top two defenses in the MWC clash to a 21-14 finish.
But that’s assuming that USU’s stats mean anything. Because when we look at the trend, well, it might not.
Offensively, Utah State is performing better consistently. This would be expected to continue if they can maintain their balanced attack. Boise State’s run defense is going to ensure that isn’t an issue for anybody sporting the correct color Blue. So the Aggies will be relying on the pass. Boise’s pass defense isn’t as good as the run D, but it’s good enough to get a pick or 3 and cut out the soul of a team like Utah State. I just don’t think Utah State has seen anything like what Boise is going to throw at them defensively, and they’re going to pay in #AggieTears of frustration and surrender cobras.
Boise’s Defense is a monster. The run defense is just….insane. I said last week that I would be stunned to see CSU rack up 100 yards on the ground…and I am. But 105 ain’t far off.
Here’s where I think the stats differ from what we’re actually going to see on the field. Theoretically, Utah State has a typically good Utah State defense.
Sure, UW went off on them, and Utah put up decent numbers. But CSU only fared a little bit worse against the Bronco Death Machine feat. Brett The Rypper than against USU, so that should be a decent sign. Or not. Because remember, Fresno is bad this season. Real bad, and it’s skewing the trend. I think Utah State is going to suffer the wrath of a Harsin who is apparently totally okay with style points.
Not to stack on pressure or anything, but this game might be Rypien’s arrival party. Kelsey Young/Devan Demas are a potent rushing attack. Nobody is saying otherwise, and Broncos are really good at that “next man up” thing. But the run game might get shut down a little bit, and that means relying on a true freshman quarterback who has done nothing but win, win, win. The WR/TE corps has been on fire since Ryp has taken the huddle, and with the amazingly creative play calling that has been the hallmark lately, well, this game might be the 500 yard dream that would soothe the Bronco soul like no other.
…and possibly be the one that makes the Aggies go over the edge. This fan base is coming across as supremely overconfident, we’re going to their house, and all of a sudden the pre-season MWC champs are talking like they’re the one with the #20 by their name and the champ trophy sitting in their amazing football complex.
Sorry, Aggies, this isn’t the season. You guys just aren’t quite there yet. Fresno beatdown or nah. Again, the Broncos are just going to be too much to handle.