College Football News Preview 2020: Utah State Aggies Keys To The Season
Biggest Key To The Utah State Aggies Offense
Score when there’s a chance. There are several pieces to the offense that need working on, but start by 1) controlling the clock better after finishing last in the nation in time of possession, and 2) putting the biscuit in the basket whenever there’s a shot.
There was no excuse to be so miserable in the red zone – Utah State was 119th in the nation and last in the Mountain West, scoring just 73% of the time.
The offense had enough firepower to have options inside the 20, and then-kicker Dominik Eberle nailed 21-of-24 field goals on the year. Even so, the team missed on 13 chances when getting in close, and it proved costly in the 38-35 loss in the opener against Wake Forest.
Biggest Key To The Utah State Aggies Defense
The run defense has GOT to be stronger. The run D that was such a key to the first Utah State run for Gary Andersen hasn’t shown up yet, finishing 110th in the nation allowing over 200 yards per game.
By comparison, last year’s defense allowed 2,265 yards and 29 scores. Andersen’s 2012 squad gave up 1,479 yards and just six touchdowns
Along with the 448 yards allowed to Air Force, the Aggies were making too many plays down the field as they allowed 200 rushing yards or more in five of the last seven games and two touchdown runs or more in nine of the 13 games.
23 of the 29 touchdown runs were given up in the last seven games. However, on the plus side, Andersen’s defenses from 2009 to 2011 were ripped up for lots and lots of scores, and then it pulled out the 2012 season.
Key Utah State Aggies Player To A Successful Season
QB Jason Shelley, Jr.
You know that guy who just got drafted to replace Aaron Rodgers? Yeah … replace him.
Jordan Love wasn’t perfect last season, but he’s a potential franchise NFL quarterback talent who made the offense his throughout the last few seasons. The 5-11, 210-pound Shelley was a good enough get to force Henry Colombi to transfer out. Shelley stepped in down the stretch of the 2018 season on the way to the Pac-12 Championship game, and now he’ll get a shot at quarterback after seeing time in the secondary.
He doesn’t have to be Love, but as long as he’s able to keep the interceptions down – something Love didn’t do – and if he can be efficient, he’ll be doing his job.
Key Game To The Utah State Aggies Season
San Diego State, Oct. 10
It’s going potentially be a rough start to the season with Washington State, at Washington, and at BYU in the first four games.
If the Aggies can’t do better than 1-3, then the Mountain West opener against San Diego State becomes a massive deal with a trip to Boise State up next starting a run of three road games in the next four.
Utah State lost ten straight in the series going back to 1967 before breaking through with last year’s 23-17 win. Now it has to do it again.
– Utah State Schedule Breakdown & Analysis
2019 Utah State Fun Stats
– Utah State 2nd Quarter Scoring: 146 – Utah State 2nd Half Scoring: 143
– Fumbles: Opponents 24 (lost 13) – Utah State 15 (lost 8)
– Time of Possession: Opponents 35:01 – Utah State 24:53