Despite it being just his second career start (and sixth career game), Taysom Hill outplayed Utah State quarterback Chuckie Keeton the last time these two teams played. Keeton was a true sophomore and in his second season starting. Besides getting the win, Hill outperformed Keeton in every stat category, except number of interceptions thrown.
Hill: 24-36, 235 yards, 1 TD, 1 Int, 125.1 Pass Eff.; 19 carries, 80 yards
Keeton: 22-38, 202 yards, 0 TD, 0 Int, 102.6 Pass Eff.; 10 carries, 23 yards
Keeton has been in the spotlight this season. He was impressive in the season opener against Utah. On the year, he has completed 71 percent of his passes (132-186) for 1,362 yards, and 17 TD with 1 interception.
Hill has been phenomenal on the ground this year (66 carries, 565 yards, 6 TD), but below average throwing the ball (54-133, 741 yards, 1 TD, 4 Int). With this game being played in Logan, BYU will probably need Hill to outplay Keeton to win this game.
2. Home field Ag-vantage.
Utah State's Romney Stadium only holds approximately 25,000, but when they pack it full the size doesn't matter. It is loud and gives the Aggies a home field advantage you wouldn't expect from that size of venue.
Looking specifically at this series, Utah State fares much better in Logan than Provo. The last time these two played in Logan (2010), Utah State won for the first time since 1993. Where was that 1993 game played? Logan. BYU has played at Utah State just four other times in the last 20 years. Two of those games were much closer than they should have been: 1999 (42-35) and 2002 (35-34). In that 2002 game, BYU won only after making the largest comeback in school history--27 points.
3. Will BYU be overconfident?
BYU has, historically, had a problem with being overconfident, and it doesn't take much for overconfidence to set in. The Cougars rebounded nicely from the Utah loss with a 37-10 trouncing of Middle Tennessee. The Blue Raiders are not on the same level as Utah State. Victory will not come as easy for BYU. However, BYU seems to come out the next game, regardless of the opponent, thinking the next game will be as easy as the last. It seems the team feels entitled.
As already explained, this has been a very one sided series for over 30 years. Even though BYU has barely won each of the last two games, it can be hard to convince yourself that Utah State is a threat. That, however, is the flawed mentality that will result in overconfidence, and a possible loss.
4. Will BYU avenge the 2010 loss in Logan?
The last time BYU lost to Utah State was much more than just a loss. It was BYU's fourth consecutive loss of the season. It was ugly. At the time, this site questioned whether BYU had hit a new low. The offense was anemic, and the defense was porus. At a minimum, BYU needs to win this game for the sake of dignity.
Avenging that loss three years ago will also reassert that BYU clearly has the upper hand in this rivalry. That would give a lot of people peace of mind. Yes, BYU has won the last two games, but the Cougars haven't convinced many people that order has been restored since the 2010 debacle. Especially since Utah State went on to finish 2012 with an 11-2 record and ranked in the top 20. If these games hadn't been played in Provo, it is hard to think BYU would have won. A win on the road would do that.
5. The return of Cody Hoffman and Jamaal Williams.
The BYU offense was without two of its biggest weapons last week: Cody Hoffman and Jamaal Williams. Hoffman has 171 receiving yards in two games this season, and Williams has nearly 350 rushing yards. While the BYU offense played well last week against Middle Tennessee, they have struggled in two of the other three games. Utah State will give the Cougars their best, so it helps to have the offense at full strength.