Texas State (3-4) at Utah State (7-2)|
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, Nov. 3, 3 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Romney Stadium (25,513) -- Logan, Utah.
Television: Local. Home Record: Texas State 2-2, USU 4-0. Away Record: Texas
State 1-2, USU 3-2. Neutral Record: Texas State 0-0, USU 0-0. Conference
Record: Texas State 1-1, USU 3-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The leader in the Western Athletic Conference takes to the field
once again this weekend, as the Utah State Aggies entertain the Texas State
Bobcats at Romney Stadium in Logan.
The Aggies are off to their best start after nine games since 1978, and their
3-0 opening to the WAC schedule is their best league start since 2000 when the
team began with four consecutive triumphs in Big West Conference action. Last
week, the team delivered a knockout blow to UT San Antonio on the road at the
Alamodome, 48-17, their third straight outing with at least 40 points, the
first time that's happened since 1990.
Clearly on a roll right now, Utah State has won eight consecutive WAC games
dating back to last season and the team is receiving votes in the AP Poll for
the second time this season.
As for the Bobcats, their transition to the WAC hasn't gone quite as smoothly,
although they have split their first two league bouts thanks to a 38-7 romp
over Idaho a few weeks back. More recently the team was sent packing by San
Jose State in a 31-20 final in California over the weekend. The loss was the
third in the last four games for a team that is still searching for
consecutive wins on the season.
This is the first-ever meeting between these two schools on the football
Texas State held an early lead against the Spartans, even owned an edge at
intermission, but the team failed to score a single point in the second half
as they went down against SJSU on the road. Shaun Rutherford converted 14-
of-26 passes for just 130 yards, was sacked two times and had two passes
picked off. The signal-caller also ran for a team-best 70 yards and a score,
but it made little difference in the end.
Defensively, the Bobcats allowed San Jose State to not only pass for 376 yards
and two TDs but also run for another 195 yards and a pair of scores which
means Texas State was getting attacked on all sides by the hosts. Jason McLean
finished with a team-best 10 tackles, one behind the line of scrimmage, and
forced a fumble in the setback.
McLean leads the team overall on the season with his 56 total stops. More
impressive is the fact that he has 36 solo stops which by themselves would
have him tied for the third-most overall tackles for the Bobcats. Also making
an impact for the defense in 2012 are Darryl Morris and Craig Mager who each
have three interceptions in an effort to slow down the opposition.
Rutherford has been trying to do it all for the Bobcats on offense, completing
67.6 percent of his passes for nine touchdowns and also placing second on the
team with 288 yards and three TDs on the ground. Marcus Curry, who scored a
touchdown last weekend against the Spartans, paces the running attack with 333
yards and six TDs.
Directing the offense for the Aggies is quarterback Chuckie Keeton who
register a new career high with 27 completions on Saturday in the win over the
Roadrunners. Keeton attempted 36 passes and finished with 340 yards and three
touchdowns, against just one interception.
Still an offensive sparkplug for Utah State, Kerwynn Williams not only ran for
90 yards and two touchdowns versus UTSA, he also caught three passes for a
team-best 68 yards as well which makes him tough to cover for most defenses.
Emulating Williams was Joe Hill who scored one touchdown on the ground and
another through the air.
After nine games the Aggies rank first in the conference and sixth in the
nation in scoring defense, allowing only 14.2 ppg and yet very few people
outside of Utah even know about them. The squad is also tops in the league and
fifth in the nation in sacks with 3.56 per outing, although the squad had just
two of them versus the Roadrunners, one each by Al Lapuaho and Connor
The good news for the USU defense is that there isn't one single player who is
doing most of the damage himself, it is coming from a variety of guys which
means opponents have to try and plan accordingly. Zach Vigil, second in total
tackles (71) leads with 8.5 tackles for loss and is tied for the team high
with five sacks at the moment.
With 19 passing scores and another three on the ground, Keeton is obviously an
integral part of the offense for the Aggies, but few players in the WAC, or
the rest of the FBS for that matter, can compare to Williams who has nine
rushing TDs and three more through the air as he paces the team in yardage in
both areas which means the Bobcats will have to pick their poison this
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Utah State 49, Texas State 24
10/31 10:38:15 ET