Quarterback – Fresno State is putting up 30.5 points per game, while Utah State is getting 20 ppg. Fresno State ’s 196 passing yards per game is better than Utah State ’s 145. Touchdown Tommy has a QB rating of 125, and has completed 127 of his 215 attempts for a percentage of 59.1. He is averaging 188.9 yards per game, and has 7 TDs and 4 picks. Leon Jackson, QB1 for the Aggies, has a QB rating of 120.5, and has completed 65.2% of his passes for 120 yards per game. He has 4 touchdowns and interceptions.
Advantage - Fresno State’s Tommy B. Every category has Brandstater ahead and he looks to have good situational kung-fu.
Running Backs- Fresno State’s Ryan Mathews is 4th in the WAC in yards per game with 80.6; Lonyae Miller is 8th in the conference with 57.4 ypg. As a unit, Fresno State is 3rd in the WAC with 1520 total rushing yards, 190 per game. Derrvin Speight is Utah State ’s leading rusher, and has 40.9 yard per game on 80 carries. Their rushing unit has 118 yards per game, averaging 3 yards per carry.
Advantage - Fresno State. Ranked 26th in the country in rushing yards per game, ahead of USC, Texas , and Florida , Fresno State is good at pounding the ball on the ground. Utah State is 21st from last in yards per game.
Receivers - Fresno State and Utah State both rank near the bottom of the WAC in receiving yards, Fresno State with 202.1 ypg and Utah state dead last with 145.1. Utah State ’s leading receiver, Kevin Robinson, has 54.4 yards per game, one ahead of Bear Pascoe. Beside Pascoe the Bulldogs have Seyi Ajirotutu, Marlon Moore, and Sharrod Davis, each of whom has more than 35 ypg; Robinson is Utah State ’s only receiver with over 35.
Advantage - Fresno State. With a variety of options for TB, Fresno State should be able to move the ball well on the ground and in the air. While neither team is in the top 25 in receiving stats, Fresno State is well ahead of Utah State in this category as well.
Defense - Fresno State is allowing 25.9 ppg, and 400 yards per game. Utah State is giving up 35 points a game and a conference-leading 456 yards a game. The Bulldogs are allowing 190.25 ypg in the air and 209.8 on the ground; for the aggies, its 285 in the air and 198 on the ground. They have 9 picks to Fresno State ’s 1.
Advantage - Fresno State. The interceptions are worrisome and they do have an advantage in terms of rushing defense; however, the overall statistics are largely in Fresno State ’s favor.
Coaching- Utah State ’s coach is Brent Guy, and he is 4-27 both in his career and at Utah State . One of those four wins was against Fresno State . Otherwise, you got to give the advantage to Pat Hill, who cannot help but to be mindful of the taint of last year’s loss. Hill is taking a lot of heat from some Bulldog fans, but I am not one of them.
Advantage- Fresno State. Revenge is a dish best served cold. It is very cold in… Bulldog Stadium?
“Taste of the Town”- this is a new segment where I examine the ‘intangibles’ of the two teams and their communities. Mostly I wish I were eating food in different college towns across the country like that ESPN guy, so I’ll in include a section where I look at food and chicks in each place. We all know Fresno has some good looking girls and great food. Does Utah State ? No. Plus, does Logan have anything great to offer? I’m thinking no. (this segment promises to get more interesting with other opponents)
Advantage- Fresno. Logan is probably about as exciting as, I don’t know, something really boring. And probably has a lot of uggies. Tell me if I’m wrong.
Conclusion - Fresno State should not lose this game. But, they should not have lost last year either. This game has revenge all over the place, and Fresno will come out angry and make a statement on both sides of the ball. No disrespect to Utah State, but they wouldn't go .500 in the Big Sky (okay, maybe a little disrespect to Utah State). We did lose to them last year, but that was a pit of sorrow from which we will someday recover. This year is a different story- 52-6
So far I am 3-1 su, 1-3 ats.