USU Football: Aggies Face San Jose State In Pivotal Matchup


With four straight wins over UNLV, Colorado State, Hawaii, and New Mexico State, the Aggies now sit at 7-2 on the year and have clinched a postseason berth. The Aggies now face San Jose State in its return to conference play, needing a win to stay on top of the Mountain Division.

USU Rewind

Three straight wins over Washington State, North Dakota, and Air Force meant the Aggies started the season 3-0 for the first time since 1978. The win over Washington State was also the first road win over a Power 5 conference program in 50 years (Kansas State in 1971).

Since then, losses to Boise State and BYU and four wins in a row over UNLV, Colorado State, Hawai’i, and New Mexico State put the Aggies at 7-2. Even better, Utah State has improved to 4-1 in Mountain West play, sitting atop the Mountain Division and controlling its own destiny to play for a conference championship.

What Does San Jose State Look Like?

The San Jose State Spartans are currently 5-5 overall this season, and 3-3 in Mountain West play (4th in the West Division).

SJSU has had a bit of a Jekyll-and-Hyde season. They picked up a win to open their season, followed by a loss, win, loss, and another win. Then, back-to-back losses were followed up with consecutive victories before a loss last week.

The Spartans still have a lot to play for, needing one more win to clinch a bowl invite in back-to-back seasons for the first time since the 1986-87 seasons.

What The Aggies Need To Do To Win

Figure Out Spartans Defense

After a slow start against New Mexico State, Utah State was able to turn things around in the second half to light up one of the nation’s worst defensive teams. 

They can’t afford to do that this week.

The Spartans are one of the better defensive teams the Aggies have had to face this season. San Jose State ranks 46th in total defense (354.4 yards per game) and 48th in scoring defense, allowing just 23 points per game.

Simply put, the Aggies can’t fall behind this week against a better defensive unit.

Defense Has To Perform

After allowing just 347 yards of offense – including just 49 rushing – in the win over New Mexico State, Utah State needs the defense to step up against the Spartans.

USU wreaked havoc in the backfield last week, racking up seven sacks, 14 tackles for loss, and five pass deflections.

They need to have a big game on the road against a San Jose State team who is fighting for bowl eligibility.


The Aggies have fallen behind in seven of its nine games this season, so I’m going out on a limb to say they’ll do it again against the Spartans.

This time though, if Utah State falls behind in a game that they need to win to stay in control of the Mountain Division, I don’t see them coming out on top on the road.

San Jose State 30, Utah State 24

Utah State and San Jose State kick off at 8:30 p.m. MT on Saturday night. The game can be seen on FS1.