by Daniel Olsen
Last year, Utah State won all their non-conference football games except for a 34-20 home loss to BYU. They beat Washington State, North Dakota and New Mexico State respectively for an impressive 3-1 record outside of Mountain West play.
How will the Aggies fare in their prelude to Mountain West action in 2022? It’s time to take a look at these games in our weekly countdown series and predict how they will go.
Week 0 – USU vs UConn
The Utah State Aggies will kick off at 2 p.m. MT vs the UConn Huskies on FS1. This afternoon showing will be one of 11 games featuring FBS teams on August 27, 2022, a week before the majority of college football teams begin their season.
The Aggies are coming off a Mountain West championship while the only game the UConn Huskies won last year was a one possession win over Yale, their FCS foe from the Ivy League.
UConn will be playing under new head coach Jim Mora and will be looking to start his campaign on a good note. This is not a team the Aggies will overlook as they tended to do last year in close games to inferior teams.
Players to Watch
The quarterback picture has increased in clarity since Steven Krajewski entered the transfer portal and announced his commitment to Georgia State University. Jack Zergiotis, another Huskies quarterback who had significant snaps, also entered the portal and transferred to a nearby FCS team named Merrimack College.
This leaves room for the one other guy that saw significant time at QB last year for UConn: Tyler Phomachanh. He is a local standout from Stratford, Connecticut. He competed just under 50 percent of his passes last year in three appearances. Two of those games were close losses: Wyoming (24-22) and Vanderbilt (30-28). His only really bad loss was to Army where he threw and interception and completed only 42 percent of his passes.
You can also listen to The Hive Sports podcast as we previewed a few other players to watch for in our weekly countdown series. While UConn returns a few players, none of them are names that should particularly scare the Aggies. The UConn Blog is another good one to read up on as far as the opposing team is concerned.
The game may be close for a quarter or two, but the Aggies should pull away and win by double digits. They can point to the narrow win Wyoming had last year to UConn as an example that any team could scare or even beat them if they aren’t playing up to their potential.
Look for Utah State to put the pressure on a team that scored the second fewest points per game in the FBS last season. The Huskies will have their hands full trying to keep up with an Aggie offense that had one of the most productive receiving corps in the nation last year. The spread scheme that Coach Blake Anderson uses should give the Huskies fits if the Aggies continue to execute with new faces in the starting lineup.
Score Prediction: USU 31 UConn 20
Featured image courtesy USU Athletics