Utah State playing for win 10 Saturday night, maybe more

LOGAN – Saturday night’s football game at Boise State could have a lot on the line for the Aggies. They could be playing for a chance to host the conference championship game, but that can only happen if Air Force upsets Colorado State Friday afternoon. Head coach Matt Wells said that no matter what happens in that game, the Aggies will come ready to play in theirs.

“Whatever shakes out on Friday night is how it shakes out,” Wells said. “So our guys will be prepared for this game, no matter what happens on Friday, because at the end of the day it’s is a big game for our program.

“We’ve got a chance to win 10 and maybe a bowl and to tie the best record ever in school history. We’ve got a lot to play for, I promise you, no matter what the outcome is on Friday. But guess what? We put ourselves in this position and we have to live with it.”

Both teams are coming into the game on big winning streaks. The last time either team lost was when the Aggies lost to Colorado State on October 18. Boise State last lost September 27 at Air Force.

The game features a high-scoring Boise State offense against a tough Aggie defense that allows only 18.3 points per game. The Bronco offense has averaged 40 points per game and is led by quarterback Grant Hendrick who has passed for more than 3,000 yards so far this season. Bronco running back Jay Ajayi has rushed for 1,390 yards and found the end zone 19 times.

“You’ve got the No. 1 scoring defense and the No. 1 scoring offense in the Mountain West, so something’s got to give,” Wells said. “We’ll see. They’ve got the best back in the league and we’ve got the best linebacker in the league.”

Boise State could be a tough environment for Aggie quarterback Kent Myers. It is for most opposing quarterbacks that step onto the blue turf. USU’s freshman QB is undefeated as a starter and has completed 58 of 79 passes, has thrown for five touchdowns and ran for three more, but Myers is going into a place where the hometown Broncos rarely lose. Not only are the Broncos undefeated at home during the last two seasons, they have posted a 90-4 home record since 2000.

“Now (Myers) gets to walk into Boise,” Wells said. “That’s a tough environment to play on the road in. They’ve been very successful there at home. Each week gets a little bigger for him and each week I think he takes a step forward.”

The Aggies may be without their most experienced offensive lineman. Senior Kevin Whimpey left the game against San Jose State early. Coach Wells called the decision precautionary and said he will probably be a game-time decision Saturday night.

“If he’s not able to play, we’ll have to overcome it,” he said. “There may have to be some shuffling going on or another man step up.”

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