Weber State vs. Utah State: Game Preview, How To Watch, Odds, Prediction
The Aggies hope to bounce back at home against the FCS Wildcats. Here’s how to watch and what to watch for.
A likely reprieve after Alabama.
WEEK 2: Weber State Wildcats (1-0) vs. Utah State Aggies (1-1)
WHEN: Saturday, September 10 — 5:00 PM MT/4:00 PM PT
WHERE: Maverik Stadium; Logan, UT
WEATHER: Patchy smoke and windy, high of 80 degrees
STREAMING: Mountain West Network
RADIO: The Weber State broadcast can be found on 103.1 FM The Wave (KLO) in and around Salt Lake City. The Utah State broadcast can be found on the affiliates of the Aggie Sports Network, which includes flagship 1280 AM/97.5 FM (KZNS) out of Salt Lake City.
SERIES RECORD: Utah State leads the all-time series, 14-1. In the last meeting on September 1, 2016, the Aggies defeated the Wildcats, 45-6, in Logan.
LAST WEEK: Weber State defeated Western Oregon at home, 41-5, while Utah State lost on the road to Alabama, 55-0.
SP+ PROJECTION: Utah State by 8.2
FEI PROJECTION: N/A
PARKER FLEMING PROJECTION: N/A
GAME 3️⃣ | vs Weber State
— USU Football (@USUFootball) September 5, 2022
The Utah State Aggies didn’t have an especially good time of things in a road loss to Alabama last week, but the friendly confines of Maverik Stadium await on Saturday when they host the FCS Weber State Wildcats.
Jay Hill’s team is on a mission of their own, to re-establish themselves as serious contenders in the Big Sky Conference, so a walk in the park isn’t necessarily a given in this matchup between Beehive State foes. Here’s what Utah State can do to stamp out a potential upset bid by the Wildcats.
Three Keys to a utah State Victory
1. Get the offense back on track.
The Aggies offense had a slow start against the UConn Huskies in Week 0, in a similar fashion to what marked many of their early rallies in 2021, and then had no chance whatsoever against the elite Crimson Tide defense last Saturday, so it’s difficult to say with much certain whether Anthony Tucker’s unit has regressed from 2021 or simply hasn’t had much chance to find its footing two games in.
Regardless of the reality, there’s every expectation that Utah State should get back to moving the football more consistently, though the Weber State once again appears to have a top-notch defense of their own. The Wildcats had ten tackles for loss in their win last week, including 3.5 from strong safety Naseme Colvin, and three interceptions, including two by cornerback Maxwell Anderson, but there’s a big difference between shutting down a Division II offense and a FBS one. Logan Bonner shouldn’t be shy about attacking down the field, while Robert Briggs and Calvin Tyler Jr. will get a chance to bounce back from quiet performances against Alabama.
2. Stop the Wildcats passing game.
Alabama’s legion of top pass catchers were simply too much for the Aggies secondary to handle, but the good news is Weber State does not have a Traeshon Holden on their roster. Despite last week’s romp, quarterback Bronson Barron was merely okay against WOU, completing 16-of-28 passes for just 152 yards, the longest pass play going for 24 yards.
The Wildcats didn’t really need to stretch the field, but Utah State has a good enough secondary to keep them from doing so on Saturday. Tight end Hayden Meachem and wide receiver Ty MacPherson could do a little damage if they catch the Aggies napping, but Michael Anyanwu, Andre Grayson, and company should have a much easier time of things overall.
3. Cut back on the avoidable penalties.
One thing that Blake Anderson has certainly harped upon in practice this week is that Utah State didn’t help their own cause last week with 11 penalties against Alabama, totaling 110 yards. The vast majority of that came on defense, with a targeting penalty, a face mask penalty, two defensive holding calls, and a pass interference flub doing a lot of damage.
It ended up being the second-most flags of Anderson’s tenure to date, but the upside is that this hasn’t typically been an issue for the Aggies in the last year-plus, so a course correction with more discipline behind it is probably in order.
The degree of difficulty has been all over the place for Utah State so far, but despite the fact WSU will probably be a tough out for many of its FCS peers this fall, the Aggies should be more than capable of holding serve at home and coming away with a victory.
Utah State 33, Weber State 20