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 2: USU vs Weber State
While the time and TV option are to be determined, fans should mark September 10, 2022 on their calendars. This may be one of the only easier wins on the schedule and even then, Weber State has not been a pushover of an FCS team as of late.
After several years of dominance in the Big Sky, the Wildcats failed to make the FCS Playoffs for the first time since 2015. The Wildcats have an overall record of 1-14 against the Aggies with the lone win coming in 1978.
The last time these teams met was in 2016. While the Aggies won that contest 45-6, it would be one of only three victories they would have that season as they suffered many close losses that year.
The two schools are separated by about 50 miles and occasionally play each other in an in-state rivalry matchup. The contest is a little more heated in basketball where they play every year. However, with the recent success Weber State has had, it will be interesting to see if they can come in and pull off an upset over the Aggies. They have had some close games against other Mountain West schools such as San Diego State and Nevada. While their defense is elite, the offense is where they need to take the next step.
Players to Watch For
The quarterback battle will be an interesting one to say the least. While freshman Bronson Barron had the majority of the reps in the spring and fall seasons, Kylan Weisser also saw significant time. It will be interesting to see who will be starting in the first road game for the Wildcats.
Weber State also had five players take home first team all-conference honors for the 2021 season: Noah Atagi (OL), Jared Schiess (DT), Conner Mortensen (OLB), Eddie Heckard (DB), and Rashid Shaheed (WR).
Heckard and Atagi are the only returning players of those five. They have been voted by media and fans as the #58 and #60 best players in the state respectively in The Zone Sports Top 60 in 60. If they put in the work in the trenches then that should help their team on both ends at the FCS level.
Expect Weber State to pressure USU more than they have in the past. Depending on how the first two games go, the Aggies may be desperate to win this game to maintain a winning record in the non-conference slate. Since the loss in 1978, the Aggies have won seven straight games over the Weber State Wildcats by double-digits. The streak should continue, but don’t expect the Aggies to win by more than 20 points.
Final Score Prediction: USU 34 Weber 17
Featured image courtesy Weber State Athletics