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Aggies look to buck Broncos in white out

Sports Editoy

Published: Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Updated: Wednesday, October 9, 2013 22:10

USU football vs USC

Mikayla Kapp

Members of the USU football team huddle during the Aggies' 17-14 loss to USU.

After last week’s loss to BYU, the Utah State football team has a number of question marks.

Who will start at quarterback? Will running backs Joey DeMartino and Robert Marshall see a bigger workload? Will the Aggie offense be able to put up points?

The Aggies are about to find out when Boise State comes to Romney Stadium on Saturday for USU’s white-out game.

“I have a lot of respect for Coach (Chris) Petersen and his staff. I've known him for a long time and have watched and competed against him,” said USU head coach Matt Wells. “I said the minute we got into the Mountain West that they are the program we all want to model ourselves after. From a consistency standpoint, from an effort standpoint and a toughness standpoint, I think they do a great job.”

The Broncos come to Logan for the first time since 2009 when then-No. 6 Boise State had current-NFL running back Doug Martin, who ran for four touchdowns and 121 yards in a 52-21 win. BSU topped the Aggies again a year later in Boise 50-14, but the teams haven’t met since the Broncos made the jump to the Mountain West Conference.

Boise is 3-2 overall this season but has proved to be an offensive juggernaut, putting up 42.2 points per game. Quarterback Joe Southwick has found six different receivers for touchdowns this season.

Southwick has thrown for 1,254 yards and nine touchdowns, and running back Jay Ajayi has 45 yards and eight touchdowns. The Broncos are averaging 491.4 yards per game this season with Southwick under center.

"Offensively, I think Joe Southwick is finding his groove. They've got a lot of mojo. They scheme around his talents, which I think good offensive coaches do,” Wells said. “They've done a nice job there. Both backs are downhill, physical running backs, and I like them both. They do a nice job."

USU on the other hand will be shifting their gameplan with a new quarterback in the backfield after Chuckie Keeton suffered a season-ending injury against the Cougars, but Coach Wells isn’t saying who will be taking the snaps just yet.

“It will be Craig Harrison or Darrell Garretson. We'll look at them both this week,” Wells said. “You'll know on game day. That'll be about the last time I answer that. Those two guys are going to work together, and we'll see who settles in the best.”

Fortunately for USU, the Broncos’ defense isn’t ranked as highly as the Cougars.

Boise State has allowed 405.6 yards per game to its opponents so far this season. Opposing offenses have run for an average of 154.6 yards per game and passed for 251.2 yards per game. In their two losses this season, the Broncos have given up 78 total points to No. 16 Washington and No. 21 Fresno State.

In the three wins, the Broncos have allowed just 13.6 points per game against Tennessee-Martin, Air Force and Southern Mississippi.

Wells said the Aggies will be ready for what Boise throws at them.

“They're very sound on defense. Their defensive front is typical Boise State. They're blue-collared, tough, hard-nosed players,” Wells said. “They two-gap a lot up front and they do a nice job in their pressure packages, which I would expect to heat up this week. It will be something we're ready for."

Boise State is 1-1 in MWC action, while USU is 2-0. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12.

 

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