Its been a tough few weeks for the Vandals. Three straight embarrassing losses have Idaho on the brink of being out of the post season and the team asking if they have what it takes to finish the season strong. The best step to take when regaining one’s confidence is the first one and the Vandals have that first step in front of them with a sporadic Utah State.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE UTAH STATE AGGIES:
-USU has been dealing with struggles of their own. Despite their upset of a equally as bad BYU, their only wins have come against SJSU, Idaho State, and NMSU.
-The Aggies offense has been up and down this year. They have put up 17 or more points in six games this year while scoring 16 or less in four.
-USU’s offense is led by QB Diondre Borel and RB Derrvin Speight. Borel has thrown for 1,964 yards, eight passing touchdowns and six rushing touchdowns. Speight has rushed for 673 yards this season, with eight touchdowns to his name.
-USU’s defense is currently ranked 95th in the nation for points allowed at 32.7 points per game.
KEYS TO THE GAME FOR IDAHO:
-Getting “Air Idaho” off the ground will need to be a top priority for the Vandals. Idaho has only managed to average 13.7 points per game over their last three, down from 33 in their first seven games. A big part of this offensive struggle can be placed on the wide receivers dropping too many passes and Enderle missing his targets more than usual. A complete and refocused mindset is needed to keep this game from getting ugly.
-If the injuries didn’t hurt the Idaho defense, Shiloh Keo’s suspension will. One of the teams leading tacklers, Keo will sit out this week’s game after a review of a hit he had in the BSU game was ruled to be illegal by the WAC, despite no penalty being thrown in the game. The Idaho secondary will need to step up epically to make up for this massive loss.
-The run game has been a mystery for the team until recently. Kama Bailey’s ability to run the ball is greatly improving and Idaho should be using him more often. If Idaho can use Bailey, Jackson, Vital, and McCarty is multiple ways, it should help keep the run game alive.
Idaho has a ton of ability and potential. The fact that the team has had so many issues in recent weeks though, shouldn’t come as a surprise. The team had a similar issue happen last year, so their play has been par for the course. A trip to Logan will be the difference between bowl and no bowl. USU is shaky and could provide Idaho with the chance to pull up their boot straps and reestablish themselves as an up and coming program in the WAC. The Vandals have what it takes to win this game and the bleeding should stop this week.
NCAA 11 Prediction: Idaho 24 Utah State 17
My Prediction: Idaho 35 Utah State 14
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