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Aggie-Bowl Part 2: New Mexico State vs. Utah State Preview, Prediction, Start Time

Another week, another tough game looms for NM State

NCAA Football: New Mexico State at Minnesota Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Aggies have had a tough two games to open the season; home to Wyoming and away in Minnesota. Neither game went the way the Aggies wanted them to and the offense has a long way to go, averaging just 8.5 points through those two games.

While there is still reasons to be a skeptic about New Mexico State’s chances this Saturday, there are just as many reasons to be optimistic.


Game Time: Saturday, September 8th, 6 p.m. MT

Location: Maverik Stadium, Logan, Utah

TV: Stadium on Facebook!

Betting Line: Utah State is a 24 point favorite.

Forecast: Sunny and 89!

Series History: Utah State owns a 30-8 lead in the series but the Aggies won the last meeting 26-20 in overtime last December.


Let’s Get Reintroduced

Head Coach: Matt Wells (6th year, 34-32 overall)

Utah State v Boise State Photo by Loren Orr/Getty Images

Current Record: 0-1

The red Aggies last saw the blue Aggies last December when they beat them 26-20 in overtime in the Arizona bowl so what has changed for Utah State since then? Not much but at the same time, a lot. That’s because they have 20 returning starters but look much better than their 6-7 record last year, taking #11 Michigan State to the brink of an upset in the opening week, losing 38-31.

Jordan Love returns at quarterback and threw for 319 yards and two interceptions against a good Spartans defense. He’s also pretty mobile, and while he ended with negative yardage last week he still managed to score a touchdown.

His favorite target through the air is TE Dax Raymond who had seven catches for 76 yards. Six of his catches were for first downs and I expect the Aggies to see a lot of him on Saturday.

NCAA Football: Utah State at Michigan State
Dax Raymond is one of the best TEs in the nation. NM State will have their hands full guarding him.
Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Sophomore Jordan Nathan was the second leading receiver last week tallying four catches for 64 yards. Ron’quavion Tarver, last year’s top receiver returns as well.

Darwin Thompson is the team’s leading rusher so far, punching it in twice last week versus MSU but only gaining 28 yards. That total might rise as NM State has given up an average of 303.5 ypg and six TDs.

Defensively, Utah State’s top performer last week was LB David Woodward who had a career high 16 tackles which was the most by a USU Aggie since 2015. LB Chase Christiansen, S Jontrell Rocquemore and S Shaq Bond all added nine tackles apiece.

Prediction

Utah State has played P5 opponents well in the past 10 seasons, having eight games decided by one score and it shows. This team is solid and has depth throughout their squad. They are even more solid at home and are playing with revenge on their mind in front of a national TV audience.

Don’t expect Dominik Eberle to miss four field goals again this game.

Utah State 38, NMSU 21