It's only October, but the Saturday night matchup between Boise State and Utah State could go a long way toward deciding the Mountain West Mountain Division title. The Aggies currently have the upper hand in the division, leading the Broncos by a game. Boise can get right back in the race with a win at Romney Stadium, but a loss may sink its hopes for good.
Utah State will be playing without starting quarterback Chuckie Keeton, who is out for the remainder of the year with a torn ACL and MCL in his left knee. Keeton has been the star of the offense for the Aggies, and without him for most of last Friday's game against BYU, they couldn't muster much offense in a 31-14 loss. Can Utah State win with Keeton on the bench?
Rankings and records: Boise State (3-2, 1-1 MWC) has won 13 of the 17 all-time meetings against Utah State (3-3, 2-0), including the last 10. Neither team is ranked.
Vegas: The Broncos is a 7-point favorite, according to Odds Shark. The over-under is set at 51.
Weather: Saturday's forecast calls for a high of 60 and a low of 34, and a 4 percent chance of precipitation.
Three names to know
Craig Harrison entered 2013 as an unassuming backup quarterback. But with Keeton out, it's now up to Harrison to lead Utah State's offense. In limited action this year, he's completed 23-of-46 passes for 263 yards and two touchdowns. Travis Reynolds has been Utah State's most consistent receiver, and he'll need to help his quarterback going forward.
Boise State wants to run first, and Jay Ajayi has been the Broncos' primary ball carrier. However, issues with ball security have cut into his playing time. When he holds onto the ball, Ajayi is capable of making big plays. The Broncos need him to do both of those things.
Two things at stake
Utah State leads the Mountain West Mountain Division, but the Aggies are now without Keeton, a dynamic playmaker. A win against Boise would prove they're still a MWC title contender even without Keeton.
The Broncos haven't been experiencing their normal level of success, having already lost two games in 2013. A second conference loss could knock Boise out of the conference title race.
How to witness
TV: CBS Sports Network, 8 p.m. ET