Fresno State vs. Utah State prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins Saturday night’s matchup between the Bulldogs and Aggies.
When: Saturday, Oct. 22 – 10:30 p.m. ET
Where: Mackay Stadium, Reno, Nevada
TV Broadcast: CBSSN
Yikes. Take a look at Fresno State (1-6), and you might want to steer clear of this one. Things have not been great for head coach Tim DeRuyter, who’s on the hot seat right now. The Bulldogs have lost five games in a row to Toledo, Tulsa, UNLV, Nevada and, most recently, San Diego State. The 17-3 loss to the Aztecs saw Fresno State turn the ball over three times. After this matchup, the Bulldogs will have one more road game at Colorado State on Nov. 5.
To be fair, the Aggies (2-4) have been streaking in a bad way as well. They’ve lost three games in a row to Air Force, Boise State and Colorado State. Utah State is finally back home for the first time since Sept. 24. Matt Wells’ team is coming off of a bye week, though, but that 31-24 loss to the Rams was tough considering they exchanged the lead multiple times.
Fresno State had won six games in a row against the Aggies until last year when Utah State won, 56-14. The Bulldogs still lead the all-time series, 17-11-1.
What To Know About Fresno State
Chason Virgil wasn’t awful against San Diego State, but he certainly wasn’t good. He completed 16-of-26 passes for 139 yards but threw two interceptions. His leading receiver was KeeSean Johnson, who caught eight balls for 56 yards, but Fresno State certainly couldn’t run the ball either. Dontel James and Virgil combined for 78 rushing yards on 24 carries.
Defensively, the Bulldogs had plenty of opportunities to stop the Aztecs, and four Fresno State players wound up with double-digit tackles: Stratton Brown, DeShawn Potts, Jeff Camilli and Nela Otukolo.
What to Know About Utah State
Kent Myers kind of teetered on the same fence Virgil did last time out. Against Colorado State, the dual-threat quarterback completed 19-of-34 passes for 210 yards with one interception. He found Rayshad Lewis seven times for 99 yards, and Wyatt Houston tacked on 24 yards on four catches. Although, Myers did find a way to impact the game on the ground. He picked up 50 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries. Tonny Lindsey did most of the heavy lifting though with 137 yards on 17 carries. The real question for the Aggies is whether or not Devante Mays will play. The star tailback is battling a leg injury and is still uncertain for this one.
Offense: Utah State – Even with Mays hobbled, the Aggies have too much fire power on the ground with Myers, Lindsey and Lajuan Hunt.
Defense: Utah State – The Aggies are allowing 366.3 yards per game to Fresno State’s 439 yards per game.
Special Teams: Fresno State – Kody Kroening has accounted for 48 points in the kicking game, and the Bulldogs have gotten solid production in the kick return game from Johnson, Tyquwan Glass and Dejonte O’Neal.
Coaching: Utah State – Coach Wells has his team in a better situation than DeRuyter does. That’s for sure.
Matchup To Watch
Chason Virgil vs. Kent Myers
This game could be an ugly one. Neither Virgil nor Myers is elite from within the pocket, but the quarterback who protects the ball better will give a huge advantage to his respective team. If Myers can find room to run, too, that can help extend drives for the Aggies. In Virgil’s case, he’ll have to do a little digging and find the open man. He also needs to find Jamire Jordan more than once.
Spread: Utah State -16.5
Fresno State vs. Utah State Prediction
This is a lost cause for the Bulldogs. Utah State is winning this game. Anything can happen on any given Saturday, but Myers is going to tote the rock across the goal line twice and throw for a touchdown. Hunt will get a few more carries and add some points to the board, too. Utah State is going to jump out to an early lead and go up by 10 at halftime. Fresno State will see more than a few of its drives stall, and the Aggies will snap their losing streak while the Bulldogs’ streak will trudge on.
Fresno State vs. Utah State Score Prediction: Utah State 27, Fresno State 17