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UTAH STATE AGGIES (2-2) at SAN JOSE STATE SPARTANS (1-2)

Sportsbook.ag Line & Total: Utah State -10 & 61.5
Opening Line & Total: Aggies -8.5 & 54.5


Utah State and quarterback Chuckie Keeton look to bounce back from a very close loss at USC as it visits San Jose State and star QB David Fales on Friday night.

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The Aggies have been terrific ATS in the past two seasons when entering as the favorite, going 9-1 during that span. In their loss to USC last week, Utah State was able to force only one turnover, but in the past two seasons, the Aggies are 9-0 ATS after forcing 1 or less turnovers in their previous game. Like their counterparts, the Spartans have some success when it comes to covering the spread in the past few seasons. In the past three years, San Jose State is 16-3 ATS when playing on less than six days rest. With this game being on a Friday night, this matchup falls right into that category. San Jose State has had its struggles as of late against Utah State though, going 0-4 SU (1-3 ATS) since a 30-7 victory in 2008.

For those fans that have not seen Keeton play the quarterback position for Utah State, you are in for a real treat. On the season, he has thrown for 1,102 yards and 14 touchdowns, while also rushing for another 172 yards on the ground. Keeton is also a very accurate quarterback, completing 71.5 percent of his attempts this season. His favorite target this season has been Travis Van Leeuwen but he has been quiet as of late, only pulling down six catches the past two games after opening the season with 11 in the first two contests. However, at 6-foot-3, he has the size and speed to create mismatches in the secondary. While the Aggies offense gets a lot of the talk, the defense has been very impressive this season. They currently rank 32nd in the country in scoring defense, giving up only 18.3 points per game. Even more impressive, they have allowed just 20 points over the past two weeks. While he stands at just 5-foot-10, senior CB Nevin Lawson is the heart and soul of the defense. In last week's 17-14 loss to USC, Lawson had seven tackles, while being matched up against Marqise Lee for much of the day. While he may not be going up against as talented a receiver as Lee in this game, the Spartans passing game is better than the Trojans because of Fales.

In the Spartans' last game against Minnesota, Fales threw for 439 yards and three touchdowns in the 43-24 defeat. At 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, Fales looks the part of an NFL quarterback. He has a lively arm and can make every throw on the field. His go-to receiver is Chandler Jones, who is coming off a game where he had 197 yards and three touchdowns. Fales does a great job of putting the ball where his receivers can make a play after the catch, and he has guys on the perimeter that can do just that. Where he gets into trouble is when he gets on the move and does not set his feet on the throw. Fales has more pressure to have a big game, as the Spartans defense is not as good as Utah State's. In the loss to the Golden Gophers last week, SJSU was gashed for 353 yards on 67 carries (5.3 YPC). While they passed for only 71, that was due to the fact that they were unstoppable on the ground. Minnesota quarterback Mitch Leidner rushed for 151 yards and four touchdowns, and he isn't on the same level as Keeton when it comes to playmaking. Both of these quarterbacks are outstanding players that will have a shot at the next level, so this game is going to come down to which defense steps up the most.

  
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