How to watch: Utah State vs. TN Tech
TENNESSEE TECH (0-2) vs. UTAH STATE (1-1)
Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018 • 6:00 p.m. (MT) • Logan, Utah • Maverik Stadium (25,100)
RADIO: AGGIE SPORTS NETWORK
• Play-by-Play: Scott Garrard
• Analyst: Kevin White
• Online: 1280thezone.com / Tunein.com
SOCIAL MEDIA: #AGGIESALLTHEWAY
• Live Stats: UtahState.Statbroadcast.com
AGGIE RADIO NETWORK
• Every Utah State football game can be heard live on the Aggie Radio Network. Scott Garrard serves as the play-by-play announcer, while former USU quarterback Kevin White (1988-89) will provide color analysis. Games can also be heard on the Internet (www.UtahStateAggies.com) by clicking on the ‘Listen Live’ link, as well as on the TuneIn App.
Utah State’s FCS opponent probably needs a miracle
A look at Tennessee Tech
What, you don’t know about the Golden Eagles? I can’t imagine why.
The Eagles are an FCS team averaging 10 pts per game against teams like Kennesaw State and Chattanooga. That doesn’t mean they can’t play football — ask Michigan State fans how they felt after a plucky mid-major program almost spoiled their entire season before it really began. Yeah, Utah State should pants Tennessee Tech Thursday night, but the game still needs to be played — and USU isn’t without its flaws.
That said, everything will have to go right for the Eagles to even be in this game by halftime. Freshman QB Bailey Fisher threw for 179 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT against Kennesaw State last week, failing to so much as sniff the red zone until garbage time. Top running back Andrew Goldsmith took 12 carries for a respectable 86 yards, and the defense is in the process of retooling under new head coach Dewayne Allen, but this is still a squad that hasn’t improved much since going 1-10 last year.
Tennessee Tech players are people too, but it will likely take an act of divine providence for the Eagles to avoid a Thursday night beatdown of the highest degree.
A look at Utah State
It’s time USU’s Ron’quavion Tarver took a break from getting punched in the facemask to hook up with QB Jordan Love for some explosive plays over the top.
Through two games, the Aggie defense and special teams have shown out. The ground game keeps defenses off-balance with Darwin Thompson’s thunder and Gerold Bright’s lightning. Eberle and DJ Nelson have been straight money as a kicker-holder duo. The only thing that’s missing? An aerial attack that takes advantage of Utah State’s hungry receiving corps.
Love currently ranks fifth in the conference with 478 total passing yards, and just eighth in passing yards per attempt (6.7). Game script and basic human decency had the Aggies running out most of the second half against New Mexico State, but the Eagles’ secondary marks another opportunity for Love to find a rhythm before conference play begins next week against Air Force.
That said, there’s certainly nothing wrong with continuing to feed Bright and Thompson, who rank no. 9 and no. 11 in conference rushing totals and nos. 2 and 3 in yards per carry (8.3 and 7.8, respectively). Utah State’s OL deserves major credit for opening holes for the Aggie backfield last week, as well as providing decent pass pro for Love. At this moment, C Quin Ficklin might be the most underappreciated player on the roster (though that’s hard to say, since it’s impossible to fully appreciate the DJ Nelson experience).
Defensively, look out.
Tipa Galeai and the rest of the Aggie pass rush is strong. There are weaknesses in the run defense and inconsistencies in the secondary that may not be fully exposed until conference play, but the experience on the 2-deep roster shows. Utah State’s defense has more forced turnovers (7) than touchdowns allowed (5) all year.
More of the same from the Aggies, as the ground game continually finds the endzone and the defense scores its third touchdown of the year. Let’s give Dominik Eberle three field goals while we’re at it.
USU 51, TN Tech 10