Preview 2017: Is Utah State Going Back To Good Old Days?
After a blip of a bad season, can Utah State get back to when it was crushing and killing on defense on the way to bowl games?
It’s all relative for a program that had absolutely no success until relatively recently.
For Utah State, the good old days were just a few years ago, and considering head coach Matt Wells is still around after a rough 3-9 season, chalk up 2016 as a bad blip that can be easily be fixed.
And that might happen in a hurry.
Utah State turned into a decent WAC and Mountain West power under Gary Andersen, and then under Wells early on, but despite the success from 2011 to 2015 – with four straight bowl appearances – this is still a program that has a fine line between being a player and being a disaster.
Last year’s team didn’t do enough of the little things right, failing too often on third downs, not getting into the backfield, making too many bad turnovers at the wrong times, not owning the special teams battles – it all added up. And that turned out to be the difference in the tight games.
The 2016 Aggies went 0-4 in games decided by seven points or fewer. Of course, all teams that came up with poor seasons have moments that could’ve gone the other way, but those negatives could flip in a big hurry this year with just a little more pop and explosion on both sides. With 15 starters back and a key coaching change, expect more.
The hiring of David Yost for an attack that sputtered and struggled way too often isn’t a guaranteed cure-all, but it might not be that far off.
Known for cranking up the Missouri offenses, and doing a decent job for Oregon last year, he’s now the offensive coordinator working with a veteran quarterback in Kent Myers, along with a few good veteran receivers to help out.
Be more efficient on offense, give the defense more breaks, hope the D does its part with more big stops and more plays behind the line, and start winning games again. It might be just that simple.
And then the good old days might be back – even if that was 2014.