Fresno State running back Ronnie Rivers (20) gets pulled down by Hawaii linebacker Solomon Matautia (27) and defensive back Cortez Davis (18)in the second half of a college football game Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, in Honolulu. | Marco Garcia, Associated Press
When the Aggies take the field inside Bulldog Stadium opposite Fresno State Saturday evening, they will kick off a four-game stretch that will make or break the 2019 season
LOGAN — It could be all up from here.
Or somewhere in between.
When the Utah State Aggies (4-4, 3-1) take the field inside Bulldog Stadium opposite Fresno State Saturday evening, they will kick off a four-game stretch that will make or break the 2019 season.
Win out, and get a little help from either Colorado State, New Mexico or Wyoming, and the Aggies will be playing in the Mountain West Conference Championship game on Dec. 7.
Lose all four games and USU football will be staying home come bowl season, having missed out on the chance to play in a season-ending showcase for the second time in the last five years.
Other combinations of wins and losses could be the difference between a bowl game or not, with six wins required for bowl eligibility, but also no guarantee of a berth.
It is fitting that the Aggies begin their season-deciding stretch against a team very much in the same boat.
Similar to Utah State, Fresno State (4-4, 2-2) had a breakout 2018 campaign. The Bulldogs finished the year 12-2 overall, were Mountain West Conference champions and winners in the Las Vegas Bowl, over Arizona State.
The Bulldogs lost a great deal of experience and talent from that team, though, and the result has been an up-and-down 2019 season.
“They replaced a bunch of guys from a year ago and they seem to be battling and fighting their tails off every single week,” Utah State head coach Gary Andersen said. “They’ve had some solid games as they’ve gone through the year and have continued to battle. We’re in very similar spots.”
Coming off the 42-14 blowout loss to BYU, the Aggies are arguably in a worse spot, if only because of the importance the rivalry game holds for Aggie nation.
A loss of that nature is not easy to move on from.
“We are disappointed, obviously, with the BYU game. Everybody that is an Aggie is disappointed,” Andersen said. “It was a tough football game. We have to buckle up, dive in, keep on grinding and keep on fighting.”
The Bulldogs pose a significant obstacle, particularly on offense with a mobile quarterback in Jorge Reyna.
The Aggies have struggled against mobile signal-callers this year, whether it be LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, Air Force’s DJ Hammond and Isaiah Sanders or, most recently, BYU’s Jaren Hall and Baylor Romney.
“Those two mobile quarterbacks gave us problems at times,” Andersen said, in reference to Hall and Romney. “(Reyna) is a mobile guy. He’s very smart, much like the two young men we faced last week. He is a savvy-smart football player …read more
Source:: Deseret News – Sports News