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Eli Lucero, The Herald Journal via AP Photo

Red hot Aggies host San Jose State in home finale

By Kyle McDonald, KSL.com Contributor | Posted - Nov 8th, 2018 @ 11:46am



LOGAN — Perhaps the greatest show on turf in the 2018 college football season will be playing its last home game of the year on Saturday afternoon.

The 14th-ranked Utah State Aggies host San Jose State at Maverik Stadium looking to improve to 9-1, 6-0 in Mountain West Conference play and finish the season unbeaten at home.

A perfect season at home would be just the sixth undefeated home season in the 51-year history of Maverik Stadium.

"We're motivated to send this senior class out undefeated," Utah State head coach Matt Wells said. "There has only been three other teams that have been 6-0 in 126 years of Utah State football. When you have a season where you go undefeated at home, you could have a special season overall. We're putting ourselves in a position to continue to do that."

Utah State will honor 25 seniors prior to kickoff Saturday. Among the group of seniors are wide receivers Ron'quavion Tarver, Jalen Greene and DJ Nelson; offensive linemen Quin Ficklin, Rob Castaneda and Roman Adrus; and on the defensive side, the Aggies will honor safeties Gaje Ferguson and Jontrell Rocquemore as well as linebackers Chase Christiansen and Suli Tamaivena.

"We're already fired up about it because it's senior day and that's an important day," Wells said. "We make a little bit of a bigger deal about it around here and I know we always play well on senior day."

Coming into its home finale, Utah State is averaging 52 points per game over its last two wins. Utah State hung 61 on New Mexico and 56 on Hawaii. Overall, Utah State is averaging 50.1 points per game and 485.7 yards of total offense.

Sophomore quarterback Jordan Love has thrown for 2,185 yards, 19 touchdowns and just four interceptions. Following his performance at Hawaii, Love was named a semifinalist for the Davey O'Brien Award, which is presented annually to the nation's best college quarterback.

Love left the game against Hawaii prior to halftime with an undisclosed injury but Wells said he's not concerned when asked about his quarterback's health and playing this week on his weekly coaches show.

In the win against Hawaii, the Aggies showed that they are much more than a passing offense. Utah State rushed for over 400 yards in the win with both Darwin Thompson and Gerold Bright each having over 100 yards, respectively. And Wells knows how important his two-headed monster is to keeping his offense chugging along at a record pace.

"They're both very good backs and that may be the first time I've said that all year," Wells said. "I've been waiting to say it just because I think the tale of the tape for a running back as a season goes on, and hits do accumulate, you tired and sore. Those two have played at a very high level and it's a credit to them. ... They both have another gear and speed to be able to hit home runs."

Considering that it is senior day and San Jose State allows 36.1 points per game and 462.1 yards of total offense, it might be another record day for the Utah State offense.

Utah State fans might expect a non-offensive touchdown, as well, on Saturday as the Aggies are tied for first in the nation with Temple at eight non-offensive touchdowns. Four interception returns, two kickoff returns, a punt return and a blocked field goal returned for a touchdown make every play an adventure for the Utah State defense and special teams.

It is just another day at the office the Aggies who will look to be one step closer to winning the Mountain Division and earning a trip to the Mountain West Conference Championship Game. Kickoff on Saturday is slated for 2 p.m. MST and can be streamed on Facebook or heard on Aggie Sports Network 1280 AM.

Kyle McDonald is sports fan who loves the Chicago Cubs. Follow him on Twitter at @kylesportsbias

Kyle McDonald

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Updated: Friday November 16, 2018 11:01 pm