In college football, winning isn't the only factor. Who you beat, and how, is a vital part of moving up the rankings and getting into a good bowl game. So each week during the 2012 season, we'll take a look at how Utah State's past and future opponents performed.
Utah State 2012 schedule
Aug. 30 Southern Utah W, 34-3
Sept. 7 Utah, W, 27-20
Sept. 15 at Wisconsin, L, 16-14
Sept. 22 at Colorado State, W, 31-19
Sept. 29 UNLV 6 p.m.
Oct. 5 at BYU 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)
Oct. 13 at San Jose State 2 p.m. (ESPN Regional)
Oct. 20 New Mexico State 1 p.m. (KMYU)
Oct. 27 at UT-San Antonio noon
Nov. 3 Texas State 1 p.m. (KMYU)
Nov. 17 at Louisiana Tech 5 p.m.
Nov. 24 Idaho 1 p.m. (ESPN Regional)
Last week: Won at Portland State, 49-42
The T-Birds have certainly shown that they can put points on the board since a dismal 34-3 loss to Utah State. They're averaging 41 points per game over their last three games. Expect that trend to continue in the wide-open Big Sky.
Next up: Saturday, Sept. 29 vs. Montana State
Last week: Lost at Arizona State, 37-7
The Utes were flying high after a 24-21 rivalry win over the Cougars, but they came crashing down to earth in Tempe as the Sun Devils lit up the Utah defense. Meanwhile, Jon Hays and the Utah offense only managed 209 total yards. They'll use a bye this week to lick their wounds.
Next up: Thursday, Oct. 4 vs. #13 USC
Last week: Won vs. UTEP, 37-26
After squeaking out a win over the Aggies (thanks to a missed Utah State field goal), the Badgers took care of business at home against UTEP. But starting running back Montee Ball suffered another concussion against the Miners, leaving his future in doubt.
Next up: Saturday, Sept. 29 at #22 Nebraska
Last week: Lost vs. Utah State, 31-19
The Rams tried to make a game of it late against the Aggies, scoring 13 points in the fourth quarter. But the sad truth is that Colorado State just isn't very good. Fortunately for them, most of this year's Mountain West Conference foes aren't great, either.
Next up: Saturday, Sept. 29 at Air Force
Last week: Won vs. Air Force, 38-35
The Rebels finally got their first win of the season after squandering opportunities against the Big Ten's Minnesota and the Pac-12's Washington State. Quarterback Nick Sherry has thrown for 956 yards through four games, so maybe things are looking up.
Next up: Saturday, Sept. 29 at Utah State
Last week: Lost at Boise State, 7-6
The Cougar defense is perhaps better than it's ever been, as they shut down Boise State on the road and didn't allow an offensive score. Unfortunately for BYU, the offense has been terrible, with an ineffective (and possibly injured) Riley Nelson the main culprit.
Next up: Friday, Sept. 28 vs. Hawaii
Last week: Won at San Diego State, 38-34
If not for that heartbreaking loss to Stanford in their season opener, the Spartans could be undefeated right now. They survived a squeaker in San Diego on the strength of their passing attack, which averages 305 yards per game. That's the 20th best in the nation.
Next up: Saturday, Sept. 29 at Navy
Last week: Lost to New Mexico, 27-14
After beating lower-division Sacramento State to start the season, the Aggies have lost three straight, including last week's rivalry game against the Lobos. Their passing numbers look decent, but that's only because they've been trailing in a lot of games. And that trend is likely to continue.
Next up: Saturday, Sept. 29 vs. UTSA
Last week: Won vs. Northwestern Oklahoma State, 56-3
The Roadrunners' closest game was their 33-31 victory over South Alabama to open the season. Since then, former Miami coach Larry Coker's crew has dominated its inferior opponents. But what will happen once WAC play starts? We find out this week.
Next up: Saturday, Sept. 29 at New Mexico State
Last week: Won vs. Stephen F. Austin, 41-37
It's hard to figure out this Texas State team. They upset Houston to start the year, got blasted by Texas Tech, then squeaked out a win over Stephen F. Austin. They host Nevada this week in a tough matchup.
Next up: Saturday, Sept. 29 vs. Nevada
Last week: Won at Illinois, 52-24
The Bulldog offensive juggernaut rolls on. Louisiana Tech dropped 52 points on the Illini in Champaign, and quarterback Colby Cameron has 11 touchdown passes, zero interceptions, and a 69.4 percent completion rate for the season. The preseason WAC favorites are playing up to expectations.
Next up: Saturday, Sept. 29 at Virginia
Last week: Lost vs. Wyoming, 40-37 in OT
The good news is that the Vandals dropped 509 yards of total offense on the Cowboys. The bad news? They still lost the game. Idaho travels to North Carolina this week, but after that, their easier WAC schedule kicks in.
Next up: Saturday, Sept. 29 at North Carolina