Time: 11 PM ET
Spread: UTA -2.5
Betting odds courtesy of Bookmaker
Utah State is 3-5 on the season with a 2-1 conference record and will be 2.5 point favorites over host team Hawaii in late night action. The Aggies have been relatively successful in terms of point differential, with a plus-5.3 point mark.
The Aggies have a fairly balanced, if mediocre attack, ranking 64th in the nation in passing yardage (239.6 per game) but just 95th in rushing yardage (138.4 per game). Last week, Utah State took care of matters against a very poor UNLV team winning by two TDs to win its second conference game. Since the win over No. 18 BYU, only Colorado State has bested the Aggies by a score of 16-13 on Oct 18.
The Aggies are without its top two quarterbacks Darrell Garretson and Chuckie Keeton, who are both potentially out for the season. Garretson underwent wrist surgery with no return timetable, while Keeton is down with a bum knee. Craig Harrison will get the start, and he’s solid third stringer, or at least he was against UNLV. How he handles a better team like Hawaii remains to be seen. Against UNLV last week, he threw just 51 percent for completion but still finished with 249 yards while throwing three TDs and no INTs.
The Aggies will need Harrison to play well, given the underwhelming production of its backfield. Joe Hill has carried 72 times but averages just 3.9 yards per carry with three TDs. The Aggies employ four other running backs, all with middling success. JoJo Natson dual functions as a WR and RB and has 168 rushing yards and No. 2 on the team with 397 receiving yards. Leading WR Hunter Sharp has 714 yards and five TDs.
Hawaii has basically been average defensively and horrible offensively. The Warriors score just 20.6 per game, ranking in the bottom quarter of NCAA teams in passing and rushing yards. The two Hawaii victories came against a depleted Wyoming team on Oct. 12 and Northern Iowa in week 3.
The last two weeks have seen the Warriors fall 20-10 to San Diego State and 26-18 to Nevada. This week, though, could improve Hawaii to a .500 conference record, due to the lack of quality opponents thus far. Colorado State and San Jose state will not be easy, but then the Warriors face the woeful Runnin’ Rebels at home on Nov. 15.