Aggies look to course-correct on the road against ranked BYU
This game is sure to be super fun and definitely not terrible
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Utah State vs. No. 19 BYU Game Preview, How to Watch, Odds, Prediction
WEEK 5: Utah State (1-3, 0-1 MW) vs. No. 19 BYU (3-1)
WHEN: Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022 at 6pm
WHERE: LaVell Edwards Stadium (63,725), Provo, UT
STREAM: ESPN+ or get a free trial at FuboTV
RADIO: BYU: KSL News Radio Utah State: KSL Sports Zone.
SERIES RECORD: Utah State trails BYU in the all-time series 37-50-3, which includes an 18-28-1 road record.
LAST WEEK: Utah State dropped its homecoming game against UNLV 34-24. BYU won at home vs. Wyoming 38-24.
WEBSITES: UtahStateAggies.com | Byucougars.com
ODDS: Money line: Utah State +1250, BYU -2800. Spread: BYU -24. Over/under: 59.5 points
Well. This should be an interesting voyage down to Provo for the Aggies, who are still searching for themselves this season after a disappointing 1-3 start. On the road against a top-20 opponent isn’t generally where you see a team figure out its offense, but hey — any given Sunday, er…Thursday, right?
Key #1: Limit BYU QB Jaren Hall
Hall has the goods to captain a ranked Cougar squad through its decently challenging schedule this season, already tallying 103-of-144 passing for 1,164 yards (291.0 ypg), nine touchdowns and one solitary interception. This year’s Aggie defense has routinely been placed in awful situations thanks to an offense that turns the ball over more often than it crosses midfield, but in the right circumstances the front seven in particular have flashed some playmaking ability.
Get creative, get to Hall, force difficult passes and perhaps Utah State can keep things competitive early.
Key #2: For the Love of God, Please Take Care of the Ball
Masochists who watched the UNLV game in its entirety technically witnessed six Aggie turnovers, but if you add unsuccessful 4th down tries and accidentally downing a punt attempt at the wrong 5-yard-line to the mix USU effectively gifted UNLV the ball nine times.
NINE TIMES? Nine times.
Rumors abound regarding Aggie QB Logan Bonner’s status for this game and an alleged foot injury that may cost him the rest of his season, meaning backups Cooper Legas and/or Levi Williams may well see action tonight. Whoever winds up under center (and let’s be honest, it could change more than once given the history of QB injuries for both teams in this series), the Aggies just can’t afford turning the ball over. This matchup is already lopsided in terms of the available talent on the field — give the ranked Cougars free passes into plus territory and the game’s as good as over.
Key #3 Be Better at Offense. And Eliminate Penalties. And Call Better Plays. And…
Just…play better football. You can point to a significantly reduced WR corps failing to create separation, a softer OL than USU anticipated and stale play calling as pretty critical holes in this team’s armor, but nothing excuses 11 penalties for 93 yards last weekend. This may not be a very fun game for the Aggie faithful or the dudes on the field, but controlling the things you can control even when you appear outmatched goes a long way.
BYU may throw all over this secondary, or find the edge repeatedly in the ground game once they shift things into cruise control mid-third quarter, but staying competitive through disciplined football would give reason for optimism in the rest of USU’s season.
It’s tough to picture the Aggies pulling off a stunner in Provo considering how stagnant their offense has looked through four games. However, there’s a lot of easy room for improvement in terms of cleaning up dumb penalties and even dumber turnovers, not to mention simply acting like they’ve played in big games before (because they have!) which might make this one worth the watch for a quarter or two.
Final Score: BYU 42, USU 10