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It’s RIVALRY Saturday in college football and we have a HUGE 7-GAME CARD including some of the biggest games on the board.

In the meantime, enjoy Saturday’s complimentary Money Play –

1 STAR SELECTION (3.5% of Bankroll)

IDAHO +2.5 over Utah State

A couple of clubs trying to end their 2003 seasons on winning notes collide at the Kibbie Dome on Saturday, as the Utah State Aggies take on the Idaho Vandals in a Sun Belt Conference tilt. The Aggies enter the game with a dismal 3-8 overall mark and a 3-3 league record following a 23-14 loss to Troy State last weekend. It was the second straight loss for the Aggies, who hit the road where they have lost all six contests thus far. As for Idaho, it snapped a four-game slide last weekend with an impressive 58-20 road victory over UL-Monroe. The win improved the Vandals to just 2-9 overall, 2-4 in league action. The squad now returns home where it will be hungry to get its first Kibbie Dome win of the season.

It was simply a bad offensive showing by Utah State as it managed no second-half points and just two touchdowns in a nine-point setback to Troy State last week. QB Travis Cox was having a decent game before leaving with an injury, as he completed 14-of-20 passes for 140 yards. He was replaced by Bryan Black, who did not have the same kind of success. Black threw for just 56 yards and three interceptions on a dismal 7-of-17 effort. On the year, the Aggies are averaging just 23 ppg, a direct result of the mediocre 343 total ypg they are producing. Fiefia has had a solid year and leads the team with 903 rushing yards and seven scores. Cox has seen most of the action under center this season and has thrown 17 touchdowns against just seven interceptions. He is expected to give it a go against the Vandals, but he could easily go down once again. The Aggie defense allowed a whopping 223 yards on the ground to Troy State last week, and on the year, the Aggies are surrendering 27 ppg and 357 total ypg. The team has continually struggled against the run, allowing 170 ypg. It has performed better versus the pass, permitting only 187.5 ypg with 14 interceptions.

It was clearly the best offensive game of the year for Idaho, as the squad gained 507 yards, including an impressive 285 yards on the ground in a 30-point victory over UL-Monroe. Brian Lindgren had a solid game under center, completing 12-of-18 passes for 223 yards and three scores. Through 11 games, Idaho is averaging just 21 ppg, 124 rushing ypg while airing out for a respectable 257 ypg. Lindgren has done a nice job since being inserted as the starter, as he has completed 60 percent of his passes for better than 1,800 yards and 15 scores against eight picks. Defensively, the Vandals shut down UL-Monroe, blanking them in the first half, while allowing just 325 total yards. They also held the Indians to just 3-of-17 on third-down conversion attempts, while recording four sacks and three turnovers. Opponents have found it easier to move the ball against Idaho with the run, but, like Utah State have been better against the pass.

Utah State has surprised some in its first year as a SBC member, while Idaho didn't live up to expectations. The Vandals have found some much-needed offense over the last few weeks and should be able to continue that trend against the Aggies this weekend. Utah State needs to move the ball through the air or their offense will stall. With a banged up Cox at QB and a decent Vandal secondary, the Aggies success should be limited. If Cox does go down again, the Aggies will be in much deeper trouble as their 2nd-stringer, Matt Crivello is already out for the season with an injury. Utah State is simply awful on the road, going 0-6 this season and has won just one road game in the last two years. Three times in the last 3 seasons they have been made a favorite on the road and have lost each game SU. Idaho's Lindgren should be the QB that shines in this game to get his team that much-wanted home win.

PROJECTED FINAL SCORE: IDAHO 34 UTAH STATE 28

[This message was edited by The General on November 22, 2003 at 09:13 AM.]

[This message was edited by The General on November 22, 2003 at 09:14 AM.]
 

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