Utah State (3-2) at UNLV (0-5)
- Kickoff: Saturday, 5 p.m. MDT
- Venue: Allegiant Stadium (65,000 capacity)
- TV: CBS Sports Network
- Livestream: CBSSports.com
- Radio: KZNS 1280 AM/97.5 FM
- Series: Utah State leads the all-time series 17-7, with the Aggies winning the last five games. The two programs last met in 2018, when Utah State beat UNLV 59-28 in Logan.
- Weather: Sunny with temperatures in the high 50s at kickoff.
For Utah State: The Aggies are looking to snap a two-game losing streak after winning their first three contests of the 2021 season. Utah State would also keep pace in the Mountain West Conference’s Mountain Division with a win.
For UNLV: The Rebels are winless on the year, including back-to-back-to-back losses against ranked opponents in three straight weeks. Their last two games have been more competitive, though, with UNLV losing by a single score to both then-ranked Fresno State — UNLV led 21-9 early in the third quarter — and unbeaten UTSA.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Both teams have had some time to rest, as they’re both coming off a bye week. That is good news for Utah State, which has won 12 straight following a bye week dating back to the 2011 season.
That time off has been beneficial to get the Aggies healthy. Quarterback Logan Bonner hyperextended his knee two weeks ago against BYU, and running back Calvin Tyler Jr. and defensive tackle Hale Motu’apuaka were also banged up against the Cougars.
Utah State coach Blake Anderson said Bonner, who suffered a thigh injury Week 1 against Washington State and has re-aggravated that injury a couple times, is now as healthy as he’s been since fall camp. “He felt much better going into the weekend. He threw the ball and moved around well in practice,” Anderson told reporters earlier this week.
Anderson was also optimistic about how Tyler and Motu’apuaka have been recovering from their injuries, though he mentioned starting center Falepule Alo could be “out for awhile” with a hand injury.
UNLV has its own injury issues as well, and that includes at quarterback, where two of the team’s top signal-callers — Doug Brumfield and Cameron Friel — are banged up. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported earlier this week both are expected to be ready for the game against Utah State. “At the quarterback position, we’re touch and go, but we think we’ve got enough pieces to facilitate some movement,” UNLV coach Marcus Arroyo told the Review-Journal.
Deven Thompkins, WR, Utah State: Thompkins could be due for another big game against UNLV, which is 123rd nationally against the pass, giving up 299.8 passing yards per game. The Aggies’ passing attack starts with the 5-foot-8 speedy senior, who is fourth in the country in receiving yards per game (127.8). He’s posted 38 receptions for 639 yards and four touchdowns so far in 2021, and that included four games with eight or more catches and three games with 100-plus receiving yards.
“The message to our team going into this is that we’ve just got to keep improving. We have not played our best football yet — we’re happy with 3-2, but not satisfied with that, seeing opportunities where we could have won one or two more games along the way, and things we can fix and improve. That’s exactly what we need to focus our time and energy on.” — Utah State coach Blake Anderson.
“(I’m) trying to stay positive and have faith. We’re right there. We’re just like, two, four plays away from being where we want to be as a team. The execution part is getting better each week. We just have to be dialed in on those critical downs and the situational football components.” — UNLV running back Charles Williams, per Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The Aggies host Colorado State on Oct. 22 in a Friday night matchup. The Rebels stay home to host San Jose State on Thursday, Oct. 21.
UTAH STATE SCHEDULE
Sept. 4 — Utah State 26, Washington State 23
Sept. 10 — Utah State 48, North Dakota 24
Sept. 18 — Utah State 49, Air Force 45
Sept. 25 — Boise State 27, Utah State 3
Oct. 1 — BYU 34, Utah State 20
Oct. 9 — BYE
Oct. 16 — at UNLV (5 p.m., CBS Sports Network)
Oct. 22 — Colorado State (7:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network)
Oct. 30 — Hawaii (1 p.m., Spectrum Sports)
Nov. 6 — at New Mexico State (2 p.m., FloSports)
Nov. 13 — at San Jose State (TBD, Fox Sports)
Nov. 20 — Wyoming (6 p.m., CBS Sports Network)
Nov. 26 — at New Mexico (11 a.m., FS1)
All times MT