MinerRush: What has been the most impressive part of the Utah State body of work this season?
Conner Comeau: I think this could be split into two parts. First, you have the way Utah State has been impressive on defense this season. In a league like the Mountain West, having a great defense can help tremendously, since you have the likes of Boise State and Colorado State being such big offensive minded teams. I think the second part is just how well they've been able to handle adversity this year. First, it was Kyler Fackrell that went down at the beginning of the year. Then to pile on, the Aggies lose three of their starting quarterbacks for the year. Being able to have a chance to play for a division title with your 4th string quarterback says a lot about the chemistry of the team and how hard they work.
MinerRush: Is the strength of the defense within the front seven? And are there any weak spots?
Conner Comeau: I think you have to give a lot of credit to that front seven of the Aggies. They are one of the biggest reasons why Utah State was able to contend for a division title. They did a tremendous job stopping the run, ranking in the top 20 in the country in run defense. However, I think one of their weaknesses is stopping power backs, and it showed in the Boise State game. The performance of Jay Ajayi showed the run defense still needs to be solidified before it can completely be a championship defense.
MinerRush: What scheme do the Aggies use on offense, and seems to be the bread and butter?
Conner Comeau: I think the Aggies are trying to use more of a balanced offense to accommodate the injuries to their quarterback. With them being down to their 4th string QB, they're trying to be careful to not let Myers get hurt, so the team is trying to get a more effective ground game going to help balance things out. With that being said, they do rely on their passing game and I think a lot of credit has to go to wide receiver Hunter Sharp. Even though he has not been a big a presence in the last few games, he has been a playmaker for the Aggie offense. His ability to matchup one-on-one in with defenders in deep coverage is a big reason why his stats are what they are. Look for him to have a solid outing on Saturday.
MinerRush: How many Utah State fans do you estimate making the trip to Albuquerque?
Conner Comeau: It may not be as high as the number when the Aggies were in the Potato Bowl, but still expect a fair number to attend. If I had to put a number on it, I'd say around 4,000 to 5,000 Aggie fans.
Conner Comeau: As you said, the Miners are good enough to play with the Aggies, but I think USU pulls away in the end. Final Score: 34-20 Aggies.
Huge thanks to Conner for answering our questions, check out his New Mexico Bowl coverage over at www.mwcconnection.com