Daniel Hansen, @thegranddanny: Utah State should be riding high after last week’s rivalry win. The crowd should again be pretty hype at Maverik Stadium. But this is a Colorado State team that only lost by 18 at Alabama. They were picked to finish second in the MW Mountain division and are coming off a 30-point shellacking of Hawaii on the road. The Rams are, in short, better than BYU. CSU has shown a propensity to turn the ball over this season, and that will be the Aggies’ key to stealing this game. But with senior QB Nick Stevens throwing nine TDs to only three INTs over the Rams’ previous three games (including Alabama), I don’t see it happening.
Colorado State 38, Utah State 24
Jaden Johnson, @jadenjohns0n: The past couple of weeks have been a lot of fun, and they’ve showed us that USU is better than many people (including myself) may have thought. The Aggies are very capable of putting up points and holding their own in the Mountain West, after demolishing San Jose State, and putting a nice whooping on a lower-tier Mountain West-caliber BYU team. However, Colorado State is a great team, and they’ve been clicking like a well-oiled machine lately. QB Nick Stevens is an absolute stud, and though Utah State will hold their own, they won’t be able to keep up.
Colorado State – 31, Utah State – 21
Jason Walker @thejwalk67: Every time Utah State has faced a quarterback who deserves to be playing division one football, it hasn’t been pretty for the Aggies. Their wins have come when they were able to force the opponent to become one dimensional or ineffective altogether on offense. Doing that against Colorado State will be a much greater challenge. QB Nick Stevens has thrown for less than 300 yards just once this season (247 against Alabama) and the Rams’ two leading rushers, Dalyn Dawkins and Izzy Matthews, both average north of 5.2 yards per carry. Kent Myers will have to have a huge game through the air and on the ground if the Aggies are going to keep up with Colorado State.
Colorado State – 40, Utah State – 23
Logan Jones @Logantj: I’m already frustrated just thinking about CSU jumping out to an early lead and controlling the clock all day tomorrow. The Rams’ passing game may take a slight step backward against what is likely the best secondary in the Mountain West, but even then this game’s outlook is pretty simple. Colorado State can run the ball; the Aggies can’t. Even with the aid of a stingy defense, Utah State doesn’t have the offensive firepower to keep up in this one. CSU is a legit conference contender, and unless Myers and Tarver put on All-Conference-level performances it seems like USU is due for just its 7th home loss under Coach Wells.
Colorado State 41, Utah State 17
Thomas Sorenson, @tomcat340: Can the Aggies slow down CSU’s running game? If they can, they’ll have a shot in this game. Stevens is fantastic and he has all the weapons he needs to dominate through the air. If the front seven can control the line of scrimmage and force the Rams into passing situations, though, they’ll be throwing into the strength of the defense. On the other side of the ball, Utah State needs to get the ground game going. Despite a 40-point performance last week, the offense struggled to consistently pick up yards. If the defense forces seven turnovers again this week it might not matter, but that won’t happen. The offense needs to move the ball, put up points and keep CSU’s offense off the field. That’s a tough task, but the Aggies have shown enough the past two weeks to make me think they might be able to do it.
Utah State 37, Colorado State 35