Darell Garretson looks to get the starting nod again at quarterback for the Aggies. Despite it being his first career start against New Mexico, the true freshman was efficient and accurate on his throws. Garretson finished the day 15-of-23 passing for 144 yards, a touchdown and most importantly, did not turn the ball over.
If the Aggies want to continue their winning ways, they will have to protect their young quarterback, make big plays and win the turnover battle.
Utah State will be counting on its fans not only for support, but to set a new record as well. The Aggies are looking for their fourth consecutive home sellout this year. Selling out the first three home games this year marked the first time in the 46-year history of Romney Stadium that USU has recorded three-straight sellouts. Prior to 2013, USU had never recorded three sellouts in the same season at Romney Stadium.
After playing four of its first five games of the year on the road, Utah State is concluding the 2013 campaign by playing three of its final four games at home.
So what do the national media members think about the local teams?
Every week, USA Today's Paul Myerberg re-ranks all the college football teams. Utah was the only local team to drop in the rankings, as it fell from No. 51 to No. 59. BYU jumped up seven spots to come in at No. 26, knocking on the top 25 door. Utah State, even with its bye, moved up 10 spots to come in at No. 57.
Like USA Today, CBS Sports also updates its rankings after every week in the college football season. So where do they rank the Utes, Cougars and Aggies?
BYU is the first team to check in, coming in at No. 29. The Cougars’ impressive victory over Boise State didn't sway voters too much as they moved up just one spot. As for the Utes, last weekend's loss to USC dropped them four spots as they check in at No. 46. Utah State dropped a spot to come in at No. 71 even though it did not play a game last week due to its bye.
The Sagarin rankings come from Jeff Sagarin, who is a well-known sports statistician who developed a methodology for ranking and rating a variety of sports. The NCAA has used his ratings for events such as the NCAA tournament, as well as the BCS.
Looking over his latest rankings, we can see that the Cougars moved up four spots to come in at No. 24, while the Utes dropped four spots to No. 39. Utah State dropped one spot to come in at No. 41. Looking at strength of schedule, we see that the Utes have faced the fourth-toughest schedule nationally, while BYU and USU's schedules come in at a respectable 21 and 47.
Out of all the rankings, the one that draws the most attention is the Bowl Championship Series standings. Those results now come out every Sunday night and will decide who will play for the BCS National Championship as well as the remaining big-money BCS bowls.
While no local teams made the initial list of 25, they were all still ranked. BYU is knocking on the door as the Cougars check in at No. 28, while Utah and Utah State come in at No. 45 and No. 78, respectively.
Even though the Utes and Cougars have a bye this week, both teams still have plenty of ranked teams they will face come November, including Arizona State, Oregon, Wisconsin and Notre Dame.
If Utah State can get past Hawaii this Saturday, they will be one win away from bowl eligibility — and if some luck bounces their way, the Aggies could represent their division in the Mountain West title game in which their opponent looks to be a ranked Fresno State team out of the West Division.
Justin is a recent graduate of the University of Utah. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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