Two weeks ago, it might've been said that Utah State would be facing a very talented running back.
That was before Kapri Bibbs ran for more than 600 yards in just his last two games. Now, Utah State will be facing the No. 2 rusher in the nation.
It's been a wild two weeks for Bibbs, who has elevated himself to the elite cadre of running backs in the FBS with his big-yardage performances. Admittedly, Nevada and New Mexico haven't exactly been overachievers against the run (No. 118 and 122 respectively) but 1439 yards in a season is nothing to sneeze at - neither are the sophomore's 25 rushing touchdowns, which are far and away the most in the nation.
Colorado State has six wins, but actually requires one more win to get bowl eligible with a 13-game schedule. In other words, the Rams have a lot to play for this weekend.
Is Bibbs for real? He had only 69 yards in each of his games against Boise State and San Jose State, also not the conference's best run defenses. But in his first year in the program (locals should note he went to Snow College), he's seemed to gain comfort in Colorado State's system. All five of his triple-digit yardage games have come in his last seven games, as have 22 of his 25 touchdowns.
Utah State's run defense is ranked 20th in the nation this week, the hallmark of a unit that ranks 17th in scoring and 20th in total yardage. The Aggies will get a chance to prove they're the top defense in the conference if they can force the speedy Bibbs to put on the brakes.
Even though the Mountain West will certainly be tougher than the WAC, Utah State's newest conference doesn't have a lot of teams who are still undefeated - like the Aggies - only after a few games.
Utah State, Boise State and New Mexico are the only Mountain West teams with zeros in the loss column. It might surprise those who lambaste the team's scheduling to know that the Aggies may have the best non-conference wins so far after getting past USC and UC Santa Barbara.
The Broncos will play several of the Aggies' old WAC opponents in the non-conference schedule, already having beaten UT Arlington. The Lobos have taken down mighty Alabama A&M and Charleston Southern.
San Diego State has gotten to 1-1 after a pretty understandable 69-60 loss to No. 6 Arizona. But UNLV's loss might be trouble: The Rebels were embarrassed by the Gauchos at home.
The Aggies are a long way from the Top 25 rankings, but have firmly established themselves as an early season contender. The Aggies are scoring a robust 79.7 points per game, shooting nearly 50 percent from the floor, including 46 percent from 3-point range. They're outrebounding opponents by double figures and have a 1.8 assist-to-turnover ratio.
KenPom.com, my website of choice for advanced stats, ranks the Aggies at No. 48 in the country, behind only the Lobos and the Broncos in the conference.
— Kyle Goon
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