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GAME PREVIEW: Utah State vs. Weber State

GAME PREVIEW: Utah State vs. Weber State

By Justin McKissick, KSL.com Contributor | Posted - Sep. 8, 2011 at 6:00 p.m.



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LOGAN -- After a heartbreaking loss to Auburn this past weekend head coach Gary Andersen and his Utah St. Aggies now look forward to what seems to be a much better matchup against the Wildcats of Weber St in the home opener for USU.

Weber St. is coming off a difficult loss as well, falling to Wyoming 35-32 this past week after dominating the stat sheet. While both the Wildcats and the Aggies were impressive in week one on offense, neither team's defense was able to hold onto the lead and both look to avenge their loss this Saturday in Logan.

What did we learn about USU against Auburn?

  • This is an offensive line that is talented and experienced. While they may not be the biggest or most skilled line in division-one football, they proved they could hang with the big boys against Auburn and gave true-freshman quarterback Chuckie Keeton plenty of time to make plays with his arm and his feet.
  • Speaking of Keeton, that is a young man who was made to play the quarterback position. Keeton finished 21-30 passing for 213 yards. Although he didn't throw for a touchdown against Auburn, Keeton was able to rush for two scores, rushing for 33 yards on eight carries.
  • Because of the Aggies' experienced offensive line, Utah St.'s talented running backs were able to get into the backfield for important yards. Junior running back Robert Turbin rushed for 70 yards on 22 attempts and two touchdowns while fellow junior running back Kerwynn Williams rushed for 69 yards and one score on ten carries.

What questions do we have about USU?
There is really only one question Coach Andsersen needs answered: can the Aggies come up with a defensive stop when the game is on the line. The Aggies were solid against the run (led by their linebacking core), but when the game came down to it, the defensive secondary wasn't able to make plays. Auburn's junior quarterback Barrett Trotter threw for 261 yards and three touchdowns against the Aggies. Gary Andersen is also the Aggies defensive coordinator and don't expect him to allow his squad to play like that again against Weber St.

What can USU expect from Weber St.?

  • Look for Weber St. to attempt to run the ball against the Aggies having rushed for 227 yards on the Wyoming defense.
  • USU should expect to be able to run and pass against the Wolverine defense. The Aggies proved they could perform offensively against Auburn and look for more of the same against Weber St.

What can we expect from USU vs. Auburn?
The Wolverines were able to gain 541 yards of total offense while the Aggies went for 448 yards of total offense, this game will be a shootout. Expect USU to be able to make the necessary defensive stops and score at will.

Miscellaneous:

  • This weekend is also USU's Hall of Fame Induction weekend, with a dinner and induction ceremony Friday and an introduction to the public during halftime of Saturday's game.
  • Saturday's game will be the first against Weber St. for the Aggies since 2001 with USU having won the previous five meetings in a row.
  • USU junior RB Robert Turbin needs:
    • 55 rushing yards to reach the No. 9 spot on USU's Career Rushing list and 91 for the No. 8 spot.
    • 132 rushing yards to become just the eighth Aggie running back to hit the 2,000 yard milestone.
  • Aggie senior LB Bobby Wagner needs:
    • Nine tackles to crack WAC's top 10 career tackles list, 18 for USU's top 10 list.

Conclusion:

While it was unexpected for USU to win last Saturday against Auburn, they made a game of it and almost pulled out a victory. One thing is for sure, Weber St. is no Auburn and the Aggies should pull away with this one. Look for Chuckie Keeton to have a huge game and lead Coach Andersen's team to a win.

Email: onlinesports@ksl.com

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Justin McKissick

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