Logan Jones, @Logantj: I need more Jalen Davis picks in my life. The Lobos managed to throw five interceptions last week against Wyoming, bringing their grand total to 21 turnovers through eight games (2.6 per game). Utah State will struggle against the option and probably give up points early, but expect Jordan Love to light things up in the second quarter — New Mexico has been outscored 108-33 in second quarters this year. If the Aggies can snag a halftime lead and force UNM to air it out, USU’s secondary will feast. A Davis INT will set up a sweet Love-to-Tarver touchdown late to seal a road win.
Utah State 31, New Mexico 27
Jaden Johnson, @jadenjohns0n: Every good college football coach in the country will tell you that the key to defending the option is discipline. New Mexico runs the ball an average of 44 times per game, and does it well. The Lobos average 5.31 yards per rush, and it can be easy for a defense to give up on what they’ve practiced if it’s not working early on. This Utah State defense has shown very little discipline this season, especially when it comes to stopping the run. The only run option-heavy team that the Aggies have played this season is UNLV, and they ran the ball for 300 yards in the first half. The only chance that the Aggies have in this game is that Jordan Love and the Aggie offense get clicking and put points up early on. A 14-0 lead in this game for either side will be insurmountable.
New Mexico 28, Utah State 20
Daniel Hansen, @thegranddanny: I don’t want to sound hyperbolic here, but this might be Utah State’s season here. A loss drops the Aggies to 4-6, needing to win out versus Hawaii and Air Force to qualify for a bowl. I also don’t want to sound pessimistic, but I don’t see that happening. New Mexico is the Aggies’ best shot to reach postseason play. USU does match up well versus the Lobos, especially given New Mexico’s turnover struggles this season, ranking third-last in FBS in turnover margin. Plus, the Aggies should find some offensive success versus New Mexico’s 81st-ranked scoring defense after being stonewalled versus Boise State last week. Am I really predicting the Aggies to win their third straight road victory? You bet I am.
Utah State 34, New Mexico 24
Thomas Sorenson, @tomcat340: Which Aggie defense are we going to see this week? With Love at the helm the offense has shown an ability to put points on the scoreboard, but a defensive showing like the first half in Las Vegas would put far too much pressure on the offense. The hope is that Love can take advantage of New Mexico’s defense the way he did the Rebel defense two weeks ago. If so, it might not matter what the Aggies do against the Lobos offensive unit. I think that’s asking too much of Love, though. If the defense gives up 200-plus yards and multiple touchdowns in the first half, it’s going to be nearly impossible for Utah State to come away with a victory. I don’t expect that to happen. Love will hit a couple deep passes, the defense will tighten up, and the Aggies will turn a close game into a blowout late.
Utah State 42, New Mexico 27