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WAC football title on the line

sports editor

Published: Thursday, November 15, 2012

Updated: Thursday, November 15, 2012 12:11

Chuckie Keeton identifies defensive scheme in a game earlier this season

SOPHMORE QB CHUCKIE KEETON, identifies a defensive scheme in a game earlier this season. Keeton must keep up with the high-powered La. Tech offense Saturday for USU to have a chance at the WAC title. CURTIS RIPPLINGER photo

Saturday’s game between Utah State and No. 19 Louisiana Tech will in all likelihood be the Western Athletic Conference championship game. Both teams sit at 4-0 in the WAC with one game to be played after this weekend.


“Obviously, the Louisiana Tech game is a huge game for the Aggies and a huge game for the Bulldogs,” said Utah State head coach Gary Andersen. “It’s a great accomplishment by both sides to get to the point where both teams are.”


Utah State enters the game with an 8-2 record while La. Tech is 9-1. A combined seven points at the hands of Wisconsin, BYU and Texas A&M separate these teams from being a perfect 20-0 this season.


La. Tech has the second-best scoring offense in the nation, putting up an average of 53.4 points per game. The only team to hold the Bulldogs to fewer than 44 points was New Mexico State when La. Tech missed three field goals and entered halftime with seven points.


Louisiana Tech is led by senior quarterback Colby Cameron who has 3,283 passing yards and a 71 completion percentage. The Newbury Park, Calif., native has 30 total touchdowns this season and has set an active NCAA record for consecutive career pass attempts without an interception at 419.


Wide receiver Quinton Patton’s 1,086 yards and 11 touchdown catches are a complement to running back Kenneth Dixon’s 1,052 yards rushing and 24 rushing touchdowns in a fast-paced, well-balanced offense.


Andersen said the Aggie defense will have to substitute well to keep control of the game.


“When Louisiana Tech feels that they’ve got you tired, they are going to put the pedal to the metal,” Andersen said. “They are going to say keep the same personnel group on the field and they are going to come after you. We cannot let fatigue be a factor to us. You may have to strategically use a timeout here and there to let you catch your breath if you need to.”


Utah State ranks sixth in the nation in scoring defense, allowing 13.5 points per game. The Aggies have only allowed more than 20 points in a game twice this season, 27 to San Jose State on the road and against Utah in overtime. USU won both games.


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