Gameday Guide: Hawai’i at Utah State

Utah State (5-5, 3-3) will host the University of Hawai’i (3-7, 1-4) Saturday at 1 p.m. on Merlin Olsen Field.

<h3><strong>WHAT IS ON THE LINE?</strong></h3>

For Utah State, it’s all about bowl eligibility.

The Aggies are just one win shy of qualifying for a postseason game. USU had gone to five-straight bowl games before missing out last year.

Senior wide receiver Braelon Roberts said Saturday presents a special opportunity to clinch bowl eligibility in his last home game as an Aggie.

“This is our last chance,” he said. “I know guys will play hard and they’ll put their hearts on the field for it and it’s just a special opportunity to be able to become bowl eligible at home.”

Head coach Matt Wells said his team has some “real motivation” for the last two weeks.

“Our guys know their backs are against the wall,” he said. “We’ve performed well when we’ve had that challenge so far this year. We’re going to have to go out and do it this week.”

<h3><strong>HOW TO WATCH &amp; LISTEN</strong></h3>

The “KVNU Gameday” pregame show with Al Lewis and Craig Hislop will begin at 11 a.m. Tune in at 610 AM and 102.1 FM, listen online at kvnutalk.com or on the KVNU mobile app. Radio coverage on KVNU will continue with “Aggie Call” once the game concludes.

<h3><strong>THE RAINBOW WARRIORS</strong></h3>

Hawai’i has only won three games this season with the lone conference win coming against San Jose State. The team’s offense is averaging 422.8 yards per game – which ranks at No. 3 in the Mountain West – but is scoring less per game than all but three teams.

“They’ve moved the ball quite a bit,” Wells said. “They’ve done it by running the ball and throwing the ball. They’ve put up good numbers on both of those. I can’t tell you why their points per game is not higher.”

The Rainbow Warriors’ Diocemy Saint Juste is one of the top running backs in the conference. Saint Juste has averaged 134.9 yards per game and 5.6 yards per carry.

“He runs close to the ground,” Wells said. “He has a low center of gravity. He runs like a big back.”

Defensively Hawai’i allows 33.9 points per game. The defense has been more vulnerable through the air than on the ground, allowing 265.3 passing yards per game, a mark that is second-to-last in conference.

<h3><strong>THIS WEEK’S MOUNTAIN WEST STANDINGS AND SCHEDULE</strong></h3><h4>Friday, Nov. 17</h4>

UNLV at New Mexico 7:30 p.m. MT

<h4>Saturday, Nov. 18</h4>

Fresno State at Wyoming 12 p.m. MT

Hawai’i at Utah State 1 p.m. MT

San Jose State at Colorado State 1:30 p.m. MT

Air Force at Boise State 8:15 p.m. MT

Nevada at San Diego State 7:30 p.m. PT

<table border=”0″><caption><strong>Mountain Division</strong> </caption><tbody><tr><td>Boise State</td><td>6-0</td><td>8-2 </td></tr><tr><td>Wyoming </td><td>5-1 </td><td>7-3 </td></tr><tr><td>Colorado State </td><td>4-3 </td><td>6-5 </td></tr><tr><td>Utah State </td><td>3-3 </td><td>5-5 </td></tr><tr><td>Air Force </td><td>3-3 </td><td>4-6 </td></tr><tr><td>New Mexico </td><td>1-5 </td><td>3-7 </td></tr></tbody></table><table border=”0″><caption><strong>West Division</strong> </caption><tbody><tr><td>Fresno State</td><td>5-1</td><td>7-3 </td></tr><tr><td>San Diego State </td><td>4-2</td><td>8-2 </td></tr><tr><td>UNLV </td><td>3-3</td><td>4-6 </td></tr><tr><td>Nevada </td><td>2-4 </td><td>2-8 </td></tr><tr><td>Hawai’i </td><td>1-6 </td><td>3-7 </td></tr><tr><td>San Jose State </td><td>0-6 </td><td>1-10 </td></tr></tbody></table>

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