LOGAN – Utah State will take on Colorado State Saturday in a game that could be crucial in determining who gets to represent the Mountain Division in the conference championship. The Aggies are currently the only team in the Mountain West without a conference loss. The Rams are 5-1 with their only loss coming at Boise State 24-37.
“We’re about to play a team that is arguably one of the best teams in the Mountain West, I would say so far in the early part of the season,” head coach Matt Wells said. “They’re 5-1 with just the loss to Boise (State). They had a big win on the road against Boston College, a big win against Colorado. I think a really good win on the road at Reno.”
Last season’s matchup was a defensive struggle with USU coming out on top 13-0. Quarterback Darell Garretson said the offense struggled to get much going and had to rely on the run game.
“I think that’s one thing we can relate to and go back to and say, ‘Hey, let’s make sure this doesn’t happen again. Let’s get off the ball,’” he said. “Because they’re a tough team and that’s going to be very, very difficult.”
Wells said he has no reason to think this game will be anything but a close battle.
“This will be a heavyweight fight,” he said. “It will go 12 rounds. It will go all the way to the end and it will be a slugfest. They’ll get their plays in and I’m sure we’ll get our plays in and it will be a battle. It was a battle last year.”
The Rams are led by senior quarterback Garrett Grayson who has thrown for 16 touchdowns and over 1,800 yards this season. Wells is familiar with Grayson. He was involved in recruiting him during his time at Louisville. He said Grayson can throw on the run, is extremely accurate and has a tough mentality.
“Behind every successful team that is winning games is a very successful and efficient quarterback and Garrett is no different,” Wells said. “I have a lot of respect for what he’s done and his development.”
Grayson has some fast targets to throw to. One of those guys is receiver Rashard Higgins, who has 776 receiving yards and has found the endzone 10 times this year.
“That kid is explosive,” Wells said. “He’s really, really good. He’s an elite receiver. He reminds me of some of the Tennessee guys that we’ve seen. Very similar athletically.”
Senior safety Frankie Sutera is one of the guys that will try and put a stop to the CSU passing attack. Sutera has record an interception in each of the last five games. As a team, the Aggies have forced 19 turnovers in the last five games. Sutera credited the turnovers to the defense playing quick and said the team is going to have to keep it up.
“When you play hard and fast, good things are going to happen,” he said. “The ball’s going to come to you.”
After beating BYU on ESPN in Provo two weeks ago and beating Air Force on ESPNU last week, the Aggies have a chance to make a statement by winning again on national television. The game will be shown on CBS Sports Network at 5 p.m.