by Daniel Olsen
While the Utah State Aggies struggled in 2020, they have a new coach and new expectations in 2021. It’s time to pull out the crystal ball and see just how the upcoming football season will go for USU. With the kickoff of this game being 60 days away, it’s time to start with the preview of a Mountain West Conference matchup against the UNLV Rebels.
2020-2021 Season in Review
While USU struggled with just one win in 2020, they still had one more victory than the UNLV Rebels. The University of Nevada Las Vegas finished last not only in the West Division, but was the only winless team in the Mountain West Conference last year.
The Rebels have not done particularly well against the Aggies over the years in football. Utah State owns an 18-6 advantage all time and a perfect 4-0 record since they joined the Mountain West in 2013.
The rushing attack should be one of few strengths for this Rebels team. Marcus Arroyo is also looking forward to a full offseason after their struggles in a shortened COVID season last year. Arroyo brings needed experience from a successful stint as the offensive coordinator at the University of Oregon.
The quarterback carousel is the biggest issue. Last year four quarterbacks saw action but nobody has really separated themselves. They are also weak at the offensive line so TJ Woods, the coach for this position group, should be looking to right the ship. Aggie fans should be familiar with Woods as he spent several seasons as a tight end and offensive line coach for the Aggies. He coached in 2019 as well as from 2009-2012 in Logan. He also followed former USU coach Gary Andersen to Wisconsin and Oregon State.
For more on weaknesses of UNLV football, tune into the 41:45 minute mark of this exclusive interview with Rebels insider Tony Cordasco. The full episode talks about UNLV basketball, the outlook of this team and predictions on USU vs UNLV.
This is one game that shouldn’t be close especially if the Aggies want to attain bowl eligibility. They need to set the tone early and especially get the passing game going. As long as they don’t ease up and let UNLV rattle their confidence, they should be fine.
Featured image courtesy USU Athletics
Prediction: USU 45 UNLV 24