James Madison at Utah State Prediction - College Football Picks 9/23/23

Utah State Aggies (1-2) vs James Madison Dukes (3-0)

Game Info: Saturday, September 23, 2023 at 8:00 pm (Merlin Olsen Field at Maverik Stadium)

Betting Odds: Utah State Aggies +4.5 -- Over/Under: 53.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The James Madison Dukes will make the trip to Logan to face the Utah State Aggies in non-conference action this Saturday from Maverik Stadium on the Mountain West Network. This will mark the first time these two programs face off.

James Madison Dukes Preview

James Madison comes in at 3-0 after defeating Troy on the road by two, 16-14. The Dukes held off a late rally from the Trojans to remain undefeated, and they’ll look to pick up a third straight road win this weekend in Utah. The JMU offense is scoring 30.0 ppg, while passing for 201.0 ypg, rushing for 172.7 ypg, and converting 33.3% of their third downs.

JMU Player Notes

Jordan McCloud managed the contest very well, protecting the ball, and passing for 224 yards and a touchdown. The former USF QB’s experience may have been his biggest factor last week, and he’ll look to come up big in another road spot this weekend. McCloud has passed for 368 yards and three touchdowns through two starts.

Kaelon Black bounced back with 110 all-purpose yards in the win over Troy, and he leads JMU in rushing yards with 228 on 37 carries. 

• Senior wideout Reggie Brown surpassed the 55-yard mark for the third game in a row, he leads the Dukes in receptions (10) and receiving yards (194). 

• The JMU defense has allowed 17.3 points per game.


Utah State Aggies Preview

Utah State enters at 1-2 after losing to Air Force on the road, 39-21. The Aggies were punished by the Falcons early, and they’ll look for different results here at home Saturday. The USU offense is scoring 37.7 ppg, while passing for 224.0 ypg, rushing for 183.3 ypg, and converting 34.2% of their third downs.

USU Player Notes

• McCae Hillstead was inserted into the QB1 spot in place of Cooper Legas during last week’s contest, and he passed for 202 yards and three touchdowns. There’s a chance the freshman quarterback gets the nod again this weekend if Legas is ruled out.

• Junior back Rabaul Faison leads the Aggies in rushing yards with 194 yards on 19 touches.

• Senior wideout Terrell Vaughn has made a big impact, as he caught twelve passes in the season opener against Iowa, and he’s scored in all three games. Vaughn is among the nations leaders with 29 receptions, and he leads the team with 227 receiving yards.

The USU defense is allowing 30.3 points per game. 


James Madison vs Utah State Trends

JMU is 2-1 against the spread, with a 1-2 O/U record. 

USU is 2-1 ATS, with a 2-1 over/under record.

Corey’s Free Pick

This sounds like it could be a tough road test for JMU, but they may have the opportunity to face a freshman quarterback, and I believe they’ll capitalize on that. The Dukes have pulled out a pair of close road victories, and with the continuity they’ve built, they should come out and play well here in Logan. Utah State’s early struggles against the ground game are alarming, and that’s where JMU generates most of their offense. It’s a great matchup for the Dukes here, so back them to come through here as road favorites. 

Corey’s Pick JMU to Cover

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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