LOGAN – The 2015 college football season is rolling on. Now in week 10, conference races are heating up. Some teams have taken clear leads while others have lost all hope for a conference title. Some are a game behind and are desperately hoping the standing’s leader slips up at least once before the season ends. Other teams, like Utah State, just need to win.
The Aggies are in control. With three games left on the conference schedule, the possibility of playing in the Mountain West championship is very real. If the team wins out, it is there, but a loss to Air Force (5-3, 4-1), Nevada (5-4, 3-2) or today at New Mexico (4-4, 2-2) would all but ruin chances.
Head coach Matt Wells and his team will try to take it one step at a time when they face the Lobos in Albuquerque today at 1:30 p.m. New Mexico is on a two-game losing streak to the Aggies and have plenty of motivation to end it. With just four games left on the schedule, it needs two win two of them to become bowl eligible, and because of a bye week it has had extra time to prepare.
“This is a team that has gotten better,” Wells said of the Lobos. “Watching them on tape over the course of the last two years, it’s very apparent.”
New Mexico’s rushing offense ranks second in the Mountain West at 248.2 yards per game. Utah State has generally had a solid run defense, but San Diego State and Wyoming made it look much more vulnerable over the last two weeks. Linebacker Nick Vigil wasn’t pleased with it, linebacker Torrey Green admitted too many missed tackles took place, but Wells said it is being fixed.
“It doesn’t meet our standards,” he said. “Our players know it and our coaches know it. It’s being addressed and it’s being healed, so we’ll be better in that area this week.”
According to Wells, there are three guys on the New Mexico offense that will frequently run the ball. Running backs Teriyon Gipson and Jhurell Pressley, and quarterback Jordan Lamar.
“It’s not the triple-option, but there are elements of it,” he said. “You have to account for all three of them. That’s why I’m saying our defense has to be spot on. We have to be on point this week.”
The New Mexico defense has given up 422.1 yards game and allows an average of 28 points per game. Wells described it as a defense that has “long, rangy safeties” and uses both man and zone pressures. Junior tight end Wyatt Houston said he expects a defense that will give its best shot.
“They’ve got a good defensive line and some physical linebackers, and they’re athletic,” he said. “It’s going to be a good opponent.”
It will most likely be quarterback Kent Myers under center for the Aggies again. The sophomore quarterback is now 9-2 as USU’s starter. Another win today would make USU bowl eligible for the fifth-straight year.
Wells said wide receiver Brandon Swindall, who scored a touchdown in last week’s game, is getting closer to 100 percent. Other than Swindall, Wells didn’t give specifics on any injuries, but said none are season-ending.