Not having Keeton’s leadership and improvisational skills changes everything for the Utah State offense, if not the entire team. Sure, the Aggie D will keep the program competitive, but Boise State coming out of a bye was going to [be] challenging regardless of the circumstances. —Scout.com staff
After losing Chuckie Keeton to a knee injury in last week's disappointing loss to BYU, the Aggies have another home game against a tough Boise State squad. The Aggies are 2-0 in conference, one game ahead of Boise State, but the Broncos will try to assert themselves as the best team in the Mountain Division. Several news outlets give their analysis.
Scout.com predicts the Broncos will win by 10 points, largely because of the loss of Chuckie Keeton: "Not having Keeton’s leadership and improvisational skills changes everything for the Utah State offense, if not the entire team. Sure, the Aggie D will keep the program competitive, but Boise State coming out of a bye was going to [be] challenging regardless of the circumstances."
The Examiner has picked the Broncos to win decisively as a 25-point favorite: "Boise State rolled in their previous game against Southern Miss ... [and] this Broncos offense is certainly not that same offense we saw shut out of the end zone [at Washington]." The author also noted that without Keeton and Joe Hill, Utah State's offense will struggle to score points.
Brian Murphy of the Idaho Statesman predicts the Broncos will win by 14, emphasizing that the loss of Keeton no longer makes the game a toss-up. He also notes that with the Aggies starting an unproven quarterback, it should ultimately allow the Broncos to "seize control of the Mountain Division."
Make no mistake about it: This is going to be an exceptionally hard game for the Aggies to win. Even though the Broncos have sustained some key injuries, including the loss of their top running back and wide recievers, USU's defense will have to shoulder more of the load than usual while the offense finds a rhythm.
Boise State leads the all-time series 13-4. The teams last played in Boise in 2010 while both teams were members of the Western Athletic Conference.
Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m. MDT at Romney Stadium in Logan, Utah. The game will be televised on CBS Sports Network (DirecTV 221/Comcast 269).
Sam McConkie is a technical and professional writing graduate from Utah State University. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org