2011 Predictions & Game Story
Week 2 - Weber St at Utah State
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at Utah State 54 … Weber State 17
CFN Analysis: Chuckie Keeton picked up where he left off against Auburn and the running game rolled at will cranking out 440 yards and five scores. Keeton ran for 53 yards and a score, and he was sharp through the air, too, completing 10-of-15 passes for 166 yards and two scores. Robert Turbin looked like his pre-injury self with 180 yards and two scores, averaging ten yards per carry, while the offense hit on big play after big play. The defensive front stuffed Weber State allowing just 46 yards on the ground and coming up with four sacks and eight tackles for loss in a dominant performance, but the start of the season is all about the offense. Colorado State will bring the pressure from the defensive front, and BYU has a strong D, but with the way Keeton and the Aggies are playing, they're winnable games.
(AP) LOGAN, Utah -- Chuckie Keeton passed for 166 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 53 yards and another score as Utah State topped rival Weber State 54-17 Saturday night.
The game was tied 17-17 at halftime, but Utah State (1-1) scored 23 unanswered points in the third quarter. Weber State (0-2) had a minus-3 yards rushing in the third quarter, gaining 15 yards total offense.
Keeton then opened the fourth quarter with a 29-yard pass to Chuck Jacobs on USU's first possession to extend the lead to 47-17. Matt Austin also caught at 49-yard pass from Keeton in the third quarter.
Weber State was led by Mike Hoke, who threw for 138 yards on 20-for-33 passing. Receiver Eric Shufford caught a team-high four passes for 42 yards.
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Weber State (0-1) at Utah State (0-1) Sept. 10, 7:00, ESPN3
Here's the Deal… With Boise State now in the Mountain West, the race for the conference championship is wide open. Utah State has been down for several years but this year there's a chance to make a real move upward. Head coach Gary Andersen, previously a defensive coordinator at Utah, has had a rocky first two years with the Aggies, going 4-8, but if last week was any indication, that's going to change in a hurry.
The Aggies took defending National Champion Auburn down to the wire and nearly pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the last several years, up 38-28 with just over two minutes left in the game before the collapse. Although the Aggies didn't win, QB Chuckie Keeton walked away with great experience in his first start and looked like a keeper, and that could've been a big confidence-boosting moment.
Utah State and Weber State are only a 45-minute drive from each other, but haven't played in ten years. Weber State head coach Ron McBride is no stranger to the Aggies, coaching at the University of Utah for 13 years and posted a 11-2 record against in the meeting. WSU opened its 2011 season with a close loss on the road just like Utah State, being on top of Wyoming 32-28 before giving up a touchdown with less than a minute left in the game.
Why Utah State Might Win: Utah State has a plenty of special playmakers on offense and special teams led by RB Robert Turbin, who missed all of 2010 with a knee injury after rushing for nearly 1,300 yards and 23 touchdowns the year before. Turbin racked up 70 yards and two touchdowns against Auburn last week and looks to be as good, if not better than before his injury. Alongside Turbin is Kerwynn Williams, a smaller and shiftier playmaker as both a runner and a receiver. Williams also returns kickoffs, leading the WAC last year averaging 27.2 yards per kickoff return. Weber State is going to need to have a stellar game defensively, and if it can't handle Wyoming's mediocre offense, it's not going to have any luck against the Aggies. Another 400+ yard offensive performance is there for the taking.
Why Weber State Might Win:
Weber State isn't shabby on offense, either. In their loss last week to Wyoming, the Wildcats had 540 yards offensively and almost pulled it off. Just like Keeton, Wildcat QB Mike Hoke also made his first collegiate start last week and was great, coming up with 314 yards in the air and two scores with freshman receiver Xavian Johnson finishing with seven catches for 118 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Josh Booker shared carries last year with two other backs and averaged 50 yards per game, and rushed for 117 yards and a touchdown against the Cowboys. Everything will have to be working to keep up in a shootout.
What To Watch Out For:
Look no further than the defenses on both teams. Utah State and Weber State have both proven two things thus far. First, they rack up yards and score points; second they surrender a lot of yards and points. Last year the Aggies gave up 33.8 points a game and the Wildcats gave up 31.1. Utah State ranked 100 or worst in the country in three of the four major statistical categories. The team that forces the first three-and-out will control the game defensively and win.
What Will Happen:
Utah State has a lot to earn by coming out and dominating Weber State. It has the nation's attention now and look as confident as they have in years. Keeton will come out and put on another outstanding performance and prove he's not just a one-hit wonder. Weber State is still going to score but Utah State will do a better job managing the game and getting stops on defense when they need to.
CFN Prediction: Utah State 34 … Weber State 17
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