Dalton Renshaw – @dren_sports
Let me start off by saying, I was very wrong last week. Utah State, offensively, performed about as well as I expected; I mean Jordan Love threw for 416 yards and three touchdowns. The Aggies rushed for 180 yards, 141 of them coming from junior transfer Jaylen Warren. But Love threw three interceptions and the defense gave up more yards than it had in two seasons. The good news is, well, Stony Brook isn’t good. Last weekend the vaunted Seawolves (yes that’s a made up creature) put up 35 points on Bryant and ran for 272 yards, but the passing game wasn’t a factor. If there’s one weakness on Utah State’s defense, it’s the secondary. Which means Stony Brook most likely won’t be a threat in the game. The offense will be fine. Expect 50 to 60 points, but the defense is what I’m curious about. Can the Aggies hold Stony Brook under 20 points? Anything under that is a success, in my mind.
Prediction: Utah State 55 Stony Brook 17
Despite last weeks’ loss, the team put together some impressive numbers on both sides of the ball. Offensively, Aggie quarterback Jordan Love posted 416 yards, tossing three touchdowns in the process. Also prominent on the offense was wide receiver Siaosi Mariner who recorded 118 yards on eight catches.
Defensively, USU’s David Woodward made 24 tackles and one sack to limit Wake Forest throughout most of the game. Unfortunately, turnovers proved to be problematic for the Aggies, as Love threw three interceptions, two of which led to scoring drives for their opponent.
Looking ahead to the game against Stony Brook, USU needs to limit its interceptions and be more productive on third downs. In its loss last week, the Aggies went six for 16 on third downs, whereas Wake Forest converted on 13 of 24. If they can put up similar numbers against Stony Brook, while stifling them on defense, the Aggies can grab the first victory of a young season.
Prediction: Aggies win 42-17
Jason Walker – @thejwalk67
If they’re still playing competitive football at Maverick Stadium in the fourth quarter, things will have gone terribly wrong for Utah State. Stony Brook is a team the Aggies have to beat and beat badly. The offense will be up to the task in every conceivable way. Scoring 60 points will be cake, though, some late-game sportsmanship on USU’s part may prevent that accomplishment.
On Saturday we’ll see some solid rebound performances in terms of statistics, primarily Gerold Bright who will probably top 100 yards rushing for the first time this year and might even have a long catch-and-run on a screen. The secondary will look considerably better against a Stony Brook team that doesn’t really throw the ball well. USU’s front seven should shut down the Seawolves’ run game. Toward the end of the game, Stony Brook will get a few big plays and points to make the final score look less one-sided.
Prediction: Utah State 58, Stony Brook 20
Joseph Crook – @Crooked_sports
There is something to be said for a confidence game. Having just come out of a loss that could have easily been a win, this is the perfect game to rebuild any confidence that they may have lost. No disrespect is meant towards Stoney Brook, but they are outclassed in this matchup. Utah State is by far the better team, and I anticipate that they will play that way.
Jordan Love made some obvious errors against Wake Forest, but hopefully, those errors have served as a wake-up call for Love, and the coaching staff, that opposing defenses have taken the offseason to further scout him and passes that worked last season will not this season. Luckily, Love is still a Heisman level talent, and I anticipate him adjusting and then decimating Stony Brook’s second-tier secondary.
Utah State will also be able to dominate in the rushing game if the explosive performance of Jaylen Warren carries over into week two. And let’s not forget the defensive performance of our national player of the week David Woodward.
Look for Utah State to gain some confidence, and raise their averages quite a bit.
Prediction: Utah State 63 Stoney Brook 24