Utah State vs. BYU: Complete Game Preview

Samuel Benson@@sambbensonContributor IIIOctober 2, 2012

Utah State vs. BYU: Complete Game Preview

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    Rewind a year ago, and we were watching as Jake Heaps made mistake after mistake against a decent Utah State football team. After a few quarters of play, Riley Nelson was inserted to the game to make a difference.

    And make a difference he did. Nelson led BYU to a 27-24 win, capped off by an absurd, tipped touchdown pass to Marcus Mathews to win the game.

    Now come back to the present, and the Cougars face a similar situation. After a rocky start, there's a quarterback quandary and Utah State is coming to town the day before General Conference. Only this time, USU is a much stronger team and, despite being a seven-point underdog, they could pull off the upset.

    So, here's a complete preview and prediction.

Game-Day Information

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    Who: Utah State at BYU

    When: Friday, 8:15 PM (MDT)

    Where: Provo, UT

    Stadium: LaVell Edwards Stadium (63,470)

    TV: ESPN

    Radio: KSL Radio 1160 AM, 102.7 FM and ksl.com

    Internet stream: www.espn.go.com/watchespn/

    All-time Series Record: BYU leads, 44–34–3

Depth Chart for BYU

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    Offense (Starters in bold)

    QB: Taysom Hill, Riley Nelson/ James Lark

    RB: David Foote, Iona Pritchard, Jamaal Williams (starter unknown with Michael Alisa injury)

    WR: Cody Hoffman, Ross Apo, JD Falslev;  Skyler Ridley, Dallin Cutler, David Foote

    TE: Kaneakua Friel, Austin Holt

    LT: Ryker Mathews, Michael Yeck

    LG: Famika Anae

    C: Braden Hansen, Blair Tushaus

    RG: Manaaki Vaitai, Brock Stringham 

    RT: Braden Brown, Manaaki Vaitai

    Special Teams

    K: Justin Sorensen

    P: Riley Stephenson

    LS: Reed Hornung

    H: JD Falslev

    Defense

    LE: Ezekiel Ansah, Mike Muehlmann

    DT: Romney Fuga, Simote Vea

    RE: Russell Tialavea, Ezekiel Ansah

    LB: Spencer Hadley, Alani Fua

    MLB: Uona Kaveinga, Zac Stout

    LB: Brandon Ogletree, Manoa Pikula

    OLB: Kyle Van Noy, Jherremya Leuta-Douyere

    CB: Jordan Johnson, Micah Hannemann, Robbie Buckner

    CB: Preston Hadley, Skye PoVey

    SS: Daniel Sorensen, Craig Bills

    FS: Joe Sampson, Mike Hague

    Special Teams

    PR: JD Falslev

    KR: Cody Hoffman, Mike Hague

Depth Chart for Utah State

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    Offense (Starters in bold)

    QB: Chuckie Keeton, Adam Kennedy

    RB: Kerwynn Williams, Joe Hill

    WR: Matt Austin, Brandon Swindall

    WR: Chuck Jacobs, Cameron Webb

    WR: Travis Reynolds, Travis Van Leeuwen

    TE: D.J. Tialavea, Brad Theurer

    TE: Kellen Bartlett, Keegan Andeen

    LT:  Kevin Whimpey, Logan Molohifo'ou

    LG: Jamie Markosian, Bryce Walker

    C: Tyler Larsen, Taani Fisilau

    RG: Eric Schultz, Kyle Whimpey

    RT:  Oscar Molina-Sanchez, Jorden Mattinson



    Defense

    DE: Al Lapuaho, Jordan Nielsen

    NG: Travis Seefeldt, Havea Lasike

    DE: Connor Williams, B.J. Larsen

    OLB: Bojay Filimoeatu, Jefferson Court

    ILB: Jake Doughty, Zach Vigil

    ILB: Tavaris McMillian, Parker Hausknecht

    OLB: Terrell Thompson, Kyler Fackrell

    CB: Jumanne Robertson, Ladale Jackson

    SS: Brian Suite, Frankie Sutera

    FS: McKade Brady, Cameron Sande

    CB: Nevin Lawson, Rashard Stewart

    NICK: Terrence Alston, Quinton Byrd

    DIME:  Will Davis, Jamaine Olson



    Special Teams

    PK: Nick Diaz

    P:Tyler Bennett

    KR: Kerwynn Williams

    PR: Chuck Jacobs

Recap of the Cougars' Last Game

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    BYU finally found the wheels that fell off of the offense a few weeks ago when Hawaii came to town, as the Cougs were able to score seven touchdowns on a less-than-great Warrior defense.

    Taysom Hill became the first freshman BYU quarterback to win in his first career start, and he didn't do so quietly. He threw for 112 yards and two touchdowns, and ran for 143 yards, including a 68-yard scramble for a touchdown early on.

    Running back Jamaal Williams was another freshman to have a great night, as he finished with 155 yards and two rushing touchdowns.

    The BYU defense had their first shutout since a 2009 game against Wyoming, and they moved up to fifth in the nation in overall defense.

Recap of the Aggies' Last Game

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    Chuckie Keeton had a career night against UNLV last week, as he was the first Aggie quarterback to throw for over 400 yards in a game since 2002. He completed 20 of 33 passes and led USU to their first 4-1 start since 1978.

    Running back Kerwynn Williams also had a great day, with 260 total yards. The defense held the Rebels to only 13 points, which is the lowest all season against an FBS team.

What This Game Means to Both Teams

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    Both Utah State and BYU are trying to prove that they are the best team in the state. Also, a win for either will mean either a national ranking or some votes in a poll.

    The Cougars will try to show that they are superior to USU, and that the so-called "rivalry" is not one. The Aggies are trying to make a splash on the national stage, and this could be their last chance, as the rest of their schedule should be a cakewalk.

Key Player for BYU

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    After a tremendous performance against Hawaii, Jammal Williams will need to have another stellar game for the Cougs on Friday. If Michael Alisa doesn't play because of an arm injury, the rushing attack will need to be carried by Williams.

    We all know that the defense will be fine; after all, the offense has been the weak point of the team thus far in the season. If Jamaal Williams can give them that spark to get the offense going, it could be all that they need for a good game.

Key Player for USU

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    Chuckie Keeton is, perhaps, the best quarterback in the state of Utah right now. At this point in the season, he has completed 105 of 154 passes for over 1,200 yards and 11 touchdowns.

    Heck, that's eight less than Riley Nelson had all of last season.

    With a strong rushing attack led by Kerwynn Williams, the offensive attack for USU is not one-sided, but Keeton is the definite leader of the squad and needs to play well. It will be fun to watch how he fares against BYU's fifth-ranked defense.

Final Prediction

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    It will be a close game, no doubt about it. But I think the Cougar D will prove strong, and BYU will slip away with this one.

    My Prediction: BYU wins, 23-17

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