Arkansas St. @

Utah St.

Fri, Sep 16
CBS Sports Network
6:00 PM Pacific
Rotation: 110
Odds: Utah St. -9, Total: 55

Game Analysis

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UTAH STATE (-9)  36   Arkansas State  22

Utah State’s offense was stymied by a more talented USC defense in last week’s 7-45 loss but the Aggies should move the ball well in this game while their solid defense limits a struggling Arkansas State attack. Utah State’s defense actually played pretty well last week in holding USC to just 5.2 yards per play and I still rate the Aggies’ defense as 0.4 yppl better than average. That’s more than good enough to limit an Arkansas State offense that has struggled so far this season under a new offensive coordinator and without stars RB Michael Gordon and QB Fred Knighten. The read option that Knighten and Gordon ran so well in recent years is no longer in the playbook, as new quarterback Chad Voytik is a pocket passer with limited running skills. Voytik is a decent passer, as he was above average as a starter at Pitt in 2014, but he’s been just mediocre in two games this season with a less talented receiving corps (he’s averaged 5.7 yards per pass play against teams that would combine to allow 5.8 yppp to an average QB). The Red Wolves’ rushing attack has been even worse, averaging just 4.0 yards per rushing play. Overall, Arkansas State has averaged only 4.7 yards per play and 12 points in two games against teams that would allow 5.0 yppl to an average team. I still think Arkansas State is better offensively than they’ve shown so far but my ratings project just 5.0 yppl for the Red Wolves tonight against a good Utah State defense.

The Arkansas State defense has been terrible defending the run for years and that tradition is continuing so far this season (656 rushing yards allowed in two games at 6.4 yards per rushing play). A bad run defense is not a good characteristic to possess when facing a Utah State offense that would prefer to run the ball. The Aggies couldn’t do that last week against USC’s stout defensive front, but they ran for 432 yards at 10.3 yards per run in their opener against Weber State and I project a healthy 6.5 yards per rushing play for the Aggies in this game. Utah State quarterback Kent Myers is a bit below average from a yards per pass play perspective but he takes care of the football (only 7 interceptions thrown on 372 career passes) and he should post pretty good numbers against an Arkansas State pass defense that’s allowed 11.2 yards per pass play and 74% completions so far this season despite not facing elite quarterbacks (Toledo’s Logan Woodside and Auburn’s Sean White are good, but not great).

My ratings favor Utah State by 12 points if starting RB Devante Mays does not play (he’s questionable after limping off the field against USC), so there is line value in a worst case scenario, and the Aggies apply to an 103-50-2 ATS statistical match up indicator.

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • Arkansas St.
  • Utah St.


  • Run Plays 31.0 48.0
  • Run Yards 84.3 241.5
  • YPRP 3.3 5.2


  • Pass Comp 17.8 17.3
  • Pass Att 31.5 28.8
  • Comp % 56.3% 60.0%
  • Pass Yards 273.8 255.3
  • Sacks 3.5 1.3
  • Sack Yards 19.5 9.3
  • Sack % 10.0% 4.2%
  • Pass Plays 35.0 30.0
  • Net Pass Yards 254.3 246.0
  • YPPP 7.3 8.2


  • Total Plays 66.0 78.0
  • Total Yards 358.0 496.8
  • YPPL 5.4 6.4


  • Int 1.0 0.3
  • Int % 3.2% 0.9%
  • Fumbles 0.8 0.5
  • Turnovers 1.8 0.8
  • Points 16.8 36.0
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