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Utah State Flying Under-the-Radar and Deserving of Accolades

A vast majority of teams would have collapsed like a house of cards after losing their star quarterback early in the 2013 campaign.  However, despite losing Chuckie Keeton to a season-ending injury in October, the Aggies have shown incredible resilience by winning their last three games to become bowl eligible.  Utah State takes the field with a decent offense that is averaging 35.9 points per game at 4.8 yards per rush play, 7.3 yards per pass attempt (63.9% completion rate) and 467 total yards (5.8 yards per play).  Overall, Utah State is 0.2 yards per play better than average offensively this season, which is certainly good enough against an atrocious Colorado State defense.

Colorado State is allowing 31.5 points per game at 8.3 yards per pass attempt and 6.3 yards per play to teams that combine to average 7.3 yards per pass play and 5.4 yards per play against mediocre defensive squads.  Consider the fact that Colorado State’s secondary  is 1.0 yards per pass play worse than average this season, together with the fact that opposing quarterbacks are completing 64.1% of their pass attempts.

Utah State Offense vs. Colorado State Defense:

  • +1.1 yards per play advantage overall from line of scrimmage

Utah State’s offense has looked outstanding over the last three weeks with quarterback Darell Garretson behind center, who is averaging 6.7 yards per play against teams that combine to allow just 6.3 yards per play.  The Aggies’ offensive resurgence with Garretson under center is best illustrated by the fact that they are averaging 40.0 points per game over the last three games at 8.6 yards per pass attempt and 489 total yards (12.2 yards per point).

Meanwhile, Colorado State is 0.6 yards per play better than average offensively (6.6 yards per play against teams that combine to allow 6.0 yards per play), but the Aggies are 0.6 yards per play better than average defensively (5.2 yards per play to teams that combine to average 5.8 yards per play.  Even more impressive is the fact that the Aggies are limiting opponents to a mere 14.7 points per game over the last three weeks at 4.8 yards per play.  In short, Utah State possesses a huge advantage offensively in this game, while the teams match up evenly when the Rams have the ball.

The likelihood of a blowout is very high in light of the fact that Colorado State is 29-78 ATS in games in which they allow 28 or more points, whereas the Aggies are 13-2 ATS when scoring 28 or more points.  Let’s also note that Utah State is 17-5 ATS over the last two seasons, including 12-3 ATS as favorites and 11-3 ATS following a win.  With Utah State standing at 8-2 ATS following a regular-season bye, lay the points with the Aggies and invest with confidence.

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