The 2018 spring college football rankings, taking the first look at the Utah State Aggies.
No. 102: Utah State Aggies
Spring Practice Starts: February 24
Spring Game: April 7
Utah State Spring Status
Head coach Matt Wells was able to turn the program around a wee bit, taking it from an ugly 3-9 2016 season to a bowl appearance – losing to New Mexico State in a thriller of an Arizona Bowl – but there’s still the pressure to do a whole lot more.
After six years and a 34-32 record, this is a big season for Wells and the program, and he’s got the pieces in place for the Aggies to be dangerous.
The team was built to be ready to rock this season, with JUCO transfers playing a huge role on the offensive line that returns all five starters, and with the entire defensive front seven back.
The offense has to be better and more explosive, and the secondary needs work, but the infrastructure is in play to at least get back to a bowl game.
Utah State Biggest Depth Chart Battle
Running back. The production has to come from somewhere, with leading rusher LaJuan Hunt gone after coming up with 828 yards and 11 scores, and with QB Kent Myers – before he was replaced – finishing second on the team with 291 yards. Eltoro Allen got in a little bit of work, and QB Jordan Love can move, but the ground game has to find a star.
Utah State Biggest Issue
The run defense has to be better. The program that used to be among the nation’s best against the run in the Gary Andersen era finished the season 115th in the nation in run defense. The Aggies gave up 200 yards or more seven times and three touchdowns or more four times.
It was a young D line full of underclassmen last season, and now all three starters are back along with all four starting linebackers.
Utah State Biggest Positive
The kicking game. The veteran offensive line is right up there, but the kicking tandem of punter Aaron Dalton and PK Dominik Eberle is among the best in the country. Dalton averaged over 42 yards per punt, and Eberle nailed 18-of-24 field goal tries earning Lou Groza finalist attention.
Really, Why Are The Utah State Aggies Ranked Here?
There’s a whole lot to like. As long as Love turns into a factor at quarterback and the running backs rise up, the offense will be better and stronger behind this great line.
The defense loses star corner Jalen Davis, but almost all of the other key guys are back. But can the experience translate into better overall play? The veterans are there, but the talent level is still just okay.