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Wake Forest vs. Utah State: Q&A w/MWC Connection

What did SB Nation's Ben Phillips have to say about this year's Utah State team?

Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

BSD: Chuckie Keeton is back, but has completed just 47% of his passes and thrown two interceptions. Did you expect him to struggle this much early on in the season?

A: Not at all. As I'm sure you've heard by now, there was a campaign to set him up as a Heisman candidate, and he was listed as a pre-season Heisman possible. After the success he had last year in the first half of the season, I don't think anyone expected him to have this hard of a time coming back. It can't all be blamed on him, though; the receivers have dropped multiple passes, the running backs (especially Joe Hill) have struggled to pull any heat off of him, and the offensive line has struggled to protect him. He seemed to be coming into his own more towards the end of the Idaho State game last week, and I expect to see him continue to improve dramatically as the season progresses.

Utah State's defense was supposed to be a strength of this year's team, but allowed 37 points to Tennessee and 20 to Idaho State. Is this concerning to Utah State fans?

A: Somewhat. We had anticipated a better showing, but all things considered, the defense has still done a reasonable job. Against Tennessee, they were on the field far more often than they should have been due to the offense's ineptitude, and were able to contain Tennessee for the most part. Against a surprisingly talented Idaho State team, they did enough to check off a 20 point win. I'd have been more comfortable with 30+, but for the moment, I'll just be grateful for the W.

BSD: What do you think the ceiling is for this year's Utah State team?

A: I still think a MWC championship is on the table if the offense can figure it's stuff out quickly. I've seen overall improvement from the team, and if that improvement continues, there's a ton of potential in Logan this year.

BSD: Fill in the blank. Utah State will win this game if______.

A:  ...if they eliminate stupid errors. A fumble per game is inexcusable, particularly on kickoff returns. Three interceptions from Keeton in two games is unheard of. Get rid of these, and I don't foresee a huge obstacle in this game.

BSD: Finally a quick prediction for this one.

A: To be honest, given what I've seen of Wake's offense so far, I'm not too worried about this one. I don't expect more than 14 points from WF, and I don't expect less than 30 from the Aggies (even if a few of those come from the defense). I'll say USU wins the home game 31-13.

Many thanks to Ben for taking the time to answer our questions.