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College Football: Thursday, September 3, 2015 at 9:00 pm (Romney Stadium)
The Southern Utah Thunderbirds will look to upset the Utah State Aggies this Thursday night at Merlin Olsen Field
The Southern Utah Thunderbirds who made an appearance in the FCS playoffs in 2013 didn’t repeat the their success last year as they were able to go only 3-9 on the season and 3-5 in conference (Big Sky) play. If Southern Utah is going show improvement this year it will need to come from their defense who struggled last year giving up 35+ points in over half their games played. The good news for the Thunderbirds is that they do have Big Sky Preseason Defensive MVP in DE James Cowser.
The Thunderbirds will also be hoping that defensive backs LeShaun Sims and Miles Killebrew will be able to help Cowser and prevent some of the big plays that hurt them last year. On the offensive side of the ball, Southern Utah is hoping the former BYU transfer Ammon Olsen (241-381, 3049 yds and 21 TDs) can continue the strong showing he put together last season. Southern Utah has some talent on this team and if they can find some additional weapons on offensive, this team could be a threat to some of the top teams of the Big Sky conference.
The Utah State Aggies finished last season with a 10-4 record and 6-2 conference and earned a trip to the New Mexico Bowl in which they beat UTEP 21-6. The Aggies were able to overcome injuries to their top two quarterbacks last season (Chuckie Keeton and Darrell Garretson) and with Chuckie Keeton ( 1st team WAC in 2012) can return to form and avoid injury, the Aggies will be a threat to Boise State in the Mountain West this season.
Utah State has a strong and experienced offensive line that should help provide Garretson some protection and have a great wide receiver in Hunter Sharp who finished last season with 66 receptions, 939 yds, and 7 TD’s. On the defensive side of the ball Utah State is returning 6 starters that led the Mountain West conference in 2014 in conference ppg (18.4). The Aggies are stacked at the LB and DB position and are led by LB’s Nick Vigil and Kyler Fackrell.
The Thunderbirds are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. MWC and 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games in September. The Aggies are 8-3-1 ATS in their last 12 games in September.
The line has yet to be posted for this one and although Southern Utah does have a few playmakers on each side of the ball, they don’t have overall talent to stay close with Utah State. The Aggies defeated the Thunderbirds in their last matchup in 2012, 34-3
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED BY: sportschatplace.com