Best-case scenario for USU football

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LOGAN — Utah State has been in fall camp for the better part of two weeks. In the 90-plus heat, the Aggies are preparing for a run at the Mountain West Conference Mountain Division title as well as a spot in the MWC championship game on Dec. 3.

The Aggies have a favorable conference schedule that has Air Force and preseason favorite San Diego State coming to the newly renovated Maverik Stadium. Will that lead USU to the promised land? Let’s take a look at what a best-case scenario could look like in Logan in 2016.

vs. Weber State

Kent Myers throws for 300-plus yards and three touchdowns, LaJuan Hunt rushes for 150-plus yards and two more scores and the Aggie defense, led by senior defensive end Ricky Ali’ifua, puts up a shutout in their first game in their new digs.

Final score: USU 45, Weber 0 | Record: 1-0

at USC

Ali’ifua and the USU defense hold the Trojans' offense to a mediocre day. However, the USU offense is stymied too much by the stingy USC defense. The Aggies keep it close for the majority of the game, but depth, strength, size and athleticism win out in the end.

Final score: USC 24, USU 21 | Record: 1-1

vs. Arkansas State

USU doesn’t get caught looking ahead to the next two weeks and takes care of business against the Red Wolves. Myers throws for four touchdowns and Hunt adds two more to his total as USU gets warmed up for a home contest against Air Force the following week.

Ali’ifua and the defense give up less than 200 total yards, although late in garbage time, the Red Wolves put a few scores on the board to make the game appear closer than it really was.

Final score: USU 49, ASU 21 | Record: 2-1

vs. Air Force

The Aggies get some payback for 2015 with a dominating performance on both sides of the ball. Head coach Matt Wells decides to stack the box against the Falcons' triple option attack, and it pays off. The Aggies dominate the line of scrimmage in the conference opener for both schools. Myers and Hunt stay hot and the Aggies' special teams get a punt return for a touchdown in the statement win.

Final score: USU 31, AF 10 | Record: 3-1

at Boise State

USU forced seven turnovers in a surprisingly dominating win over the Broncos in Logan in 2015. Although the Aggie defense doesn't force seven turnovers in 2016, it keeps Bronco quarterback Brett Rypien off-balance all night, and the Aggies pick up their second straight win over the Broncos. Ali'ifua records three sacks as part of a seven-sack night for the defense.

On the offensive side, Myers takes advantage of a Bronco defense that has some holes to fill. He throws for 250 yards and two scores and runs for another to keep USU in the driver’s seat in the Mountain Division.

Final score: USU 24, Boise St. 13 | Record: 4-1

at Colorado State

Myers and the Aggie offense continue to rule the day as they score early and often in a win over the Rams. Myers and Hunt combine for six touchdowns and the defense records its first pick-six of the season as the torrid start to the season continues.

Final score: USU 51, CSU 20 | Record: 5-1

vs. Fresno State

Coming off a bye week and in a game that might have seen USU looking forward to San Diego State, the Aggies find a way to grind out a win against the gritty Bulldogs to become bowl eligible. Myers and company struggle to find rhythm, but a late touchdown pass seals the deal. It sets up a huge showdown with preseason favorite San Diego State.

Final score: USU 27, Fresno 21 | Record: 6-1

vs. San Diego State

It is a showdown of the division leaders, and the Aztecs come in undefeated and nationally ranked. In front of a capacity crowd, USU finds itself on the wrong end of an upset bid. Preseason MWC Offensive Player of the Year Donnell Pumphrey proves why he was chosen as the favorite for that award by running for 150-plus yards and three touchdowns. Myers and the Aggie offense keep pace but can't finish off a late drive to win the game. It is a much better performance than in 2015, when the Aztecs put up 48 points on the Aggies in a 48-14 win.

Final score: SDSU 31, USU 27 | Record: 6-2

at Wyoming

The Aggies are a little banged up after a physical game the week prior but they continue their winning ways with an impressive showing up on the plains. Myers throws three touchdown passes and the Aggie special teams block a punt and return it for a touchdown to help USU stay in control of the Mountain Division and on track to get to the MWC championship game.

Final score: USU 34, Wyoming 17 | Record: 7-2

vs. New Mexico

Instead of giving a game away like they did a year ago in Albuquerque, the Aggies dominate from the beginning. Hunt has the game of his life, rushing for 200-plus yards and four touchdowns and the defense shuts down another triple option attack. Myers also throws two touchdown passes in a dominating win.

Final score: USU 48, New Mexico 7 | Record: 8-2

at Nevada

Reno is always a tough place to play, especially at night. However, Myers has other ideas as the junior quarterback throws four touchdown passes on the night to help the Aggies win the Mountain Division and earn a spot in the MWC championship game. Ricki Ali’ifua and the Aggie defense put the clamps down on a prolific Wolfpack offense to set up a rematch with San Diego State in two weeks.

Final score: USU 38, Nevada 13 | Record: 9-2

at BYU

Two years ago, USU invaded LaVell Edwards Stadium and won for the first time in 17 tries over the rival Cougars. Unfortunately, their 2016 matchup is the final game at LaVell Edwards Stadium for Taysom Hill and he isn't going to let it slip away. Myers and the Aggie offense keep the game close for three quarters but in the end fall short of another bid to knock off the Cougars in the “Battle for the Old Wagon Wheel.”

Final score: BYU 38, USU 27 | Record 9-3

Mountain West Conference championship

USU exacts some revenge on San Diego State from their matchup earlier in the season. USU head coach Wells has a perfect game plan to stop MWC Offensive Player of the Year Donnell Pumphrey, and the Aggie defense executes it beautifully. Hunt puts the Aggie offense on his back by rushing for 160 yards and two scores to help USU win its first-ever conference championship. It is also just the third time in school history that the Aggies get to 10 wins or more.

Final score: USU 27, SDSU 13 | Record 10-3

Las Vegas Bowl

With the MWC championship in hand, the Aggies get an invite to Las Vegas to face the Oregon Ducks out of the Pac-12. The Oregon defense can’t stop anything and Myers, Hunt and the Aggie offense have themselves a day. Myers throws for 250 yards and four touchdowns, Hunt runs for 175 yards and two scores and the Aggies blow out the Ducks to put a stamp on their best season since the 2012-13 season.

Final score: USU 45, Oregon 17 | Final record: 11-3

With one of the most successful seasons in the books, Myers and Hunt acknowledge that they will return. Wells wins MWC Coach of the Year honors and the USU faithful have a good old time celebrating the success.

All's well that ends well in Logan.

Kyle McDonald is an avid sports fan especially for the Chicago Cubs and the Utah Valley University Wolverines. He is currently a communication major at UVU and will graduate in the spring of 2017. Email him at

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