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2007 Utah State Preview

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted May 9, 2007


Preview 2007 Utah State Aggies Preview


Utah State Aggies

Preview 200
7

By Pete Fiutak

- 2007 Utah State Offense Preview | 2007 Utah State Defense Preview
-
2007 Utah State Depth Chart | 2006 CFN Utah State Preview 

They don’t call it rebuilding for nothing. 

The Aggies went into a major youth movement in Brent Guy’s second year at the helm with disastrous results, going 1-11, with the lone win coming over an unfocused Fresno State team that didn’t take the game seriously. It wasn’t that Utah State lost games; it’s that they weren’t even close.

By any way you want to measure it, this was one of the nation’s worst teams, finishing near the bottom nationally in just about every major statistical category.  They were hurt most by a horrific offense that was shut out four times, and scored more than 14 points in only three games. Nine times, the Aggies got blasted by at least 20 points. So why is there a little bit of excitement around Logan?

Head coach: Brent Guy
3rd year: 4-19
Returning Lettermen:
Off. 15, Def. 22, ST 1
Lettermen Lost: 11
Ten Best Aggie Players
1. DE Ben Calderwood, Jr.
2. WR/PR Kevin Robinson, Sr.
3. FS Antonio Taylor, Sr.
4. OG Pace Jorgensen, Sr.
5. LB Jake Hutton, Jr.
6. LB Paul Igboeli, Soph.
7. C Ryan Tonnemacher, Jr.
8. SS Caleb Taylor, Jr.
9. OT Derek Hoke, Jr.
10. OG Shawn Murphy, Sr. 

2007 Schedule
CFN Prediction: 0-12

Aug. 30

UNLV

Sept. 8

at Wyoming

Sept. 15

at Oklahoma

Sept. 22

San Jose State

Sept. 29

at Utah

Oct. 6

at Hawaii

Oct. 20

Nevada

Oct. 27

Louisiana Tech

Nov. 3

at Fresno State

Nov. 10

Boise State

Nov. 17

at New Mexico St

Nov. 24

at Idaho

2006 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
1-11
2006 Record: 1-11

Preview 2006 predicted wins

9/2 at Wyoming L 38-7
9/9 at Arkansas L 20-0
9/16 Utah L 48-0
9/23 at BYU L 38-0
9/30 Idaho L 41-21
10/7 Fresno State W 13-12
10/14 at San Jose St L 21-14
10/21 at La Tech L 48-35
11/4 Hawaii L 63-10
11/11 at Nevada L 42-0
11/18 at Boise State L 49-10
11/25 New Mexico St L 42-20

Experience, and lots of it. The Aggies return nine starters on offense, 11 on defense, get a huge upgrade at placekicker with recruit Peter Caldwell coming in, and with a slew of decent backups ready to step in. While Utah State might not have the top-shelf talent of other WAC teams, there’s enough veteran players to hope for things to immediately be better with competition for just about every job.

Now, all that experience must mean more production. The Aggies aren’t going to be San Jose State of last year, with a big turnaround on the way to a bowl game, but they shouldn’t be quite the doormat they’ve been over the last few seasons.

What to watch for on offense: More from the running game. Even with the loss of two starters, the line should be one of the team’s strengths. It’s good in pass protection and was solid, but not special, when it came to opening holes for the ground game, but the team fell behind so fast, there was rarely time to establish the run. As long as QB Leon Jackson makes more plays to open up the offense and keeps opposing linebackers on their heels, the ground game will be productive.

What to watch for on defense: More creativity when it comes to generating pressure. The mediocre secondary was picked clean because of the total lack of a pass rush and all the time spent dealing worrying about that run, and that has to change. More blitzing, more sell-outs to get to the quarterback and more production from the ends is a must, but the corners also have to make plays when they get the opportunity.

The team will be far better if … it can find one thing it does really, really well. Over the last few seasons, opposing teams knew the game was over if they just executed their game plan. There’s no identity, since the program is still in search of finding something that works, and at some point, there has to be something to give opposing coaches to plan for.
 
The Schedule: There’s not a sure win in the bunch if the team isn’t drastically better than last year. The non-conference schedule is hardly a breeze, playing UNLV at home, at Wyoming, at Oklahoma and at Utah, while in WAC play, three of the final four games are on the road. The home date in that finishing kick? Boise State. The Aggies have to go on the road to face Hawaii and Fresno State.

Best Offensive Player: Senior WR Kevin Robinson. Considering the Aggies had next to no passing game, Robinson’s 36 catches for 582 yards and five touchdowns were relatively impressive. At 6-0 and 192 pounds, he has decent size and game-breaking speed, if he can get the ball on the move. He’s also an elite kick and punt returner, even if the stats didn’t show it last year.

Best Defensive Player: Junior DE Ben Calderwood. One of the few productive Aggie defenders last season, the second-team All-WAC choice became a good tackler and an active playmaker in the backfield. Now he has to use his quickness and experience to be even more of a threat to get to the quarterback.

Key player to a successful season: Senior QB Leon Jackson. Back for what seems like his 13th year, Jackson is the likely main man to run the offense again, with Riley Nelson off on a LDS Church Mission. He’s a good athlete and has been around long enough to know what he’s doing. Now he has to generate points. However, the job isn’t quite his with JUCO transfer Sean Setzer battling for the gig.

The season will be a success if ... the Aggies win three games, or at least put up far more of a fight. Experience should make the team more competitive, but it remains to be seen if there’s enough talent to win games against teams like Louisiana Tech and Idaho. It’s likely Utah State will be the underdog in all 12 games.

Key game: Aug. 30 vs. UNLV. The Rebels are looking to rebound after a disastrous season, and will hope for a blowout win to kick things off. With four road games in the next five dates, the Aggies had better pull off the upset or they’ll likely be 0-6 going into the off week.

2006 Fun Stats: 
- Utah State opponents’ scoring by quarter: 1st 117, 2nd 108, 3rd 128, 4th 109
- Utah State scoring by quarter: 1st 31, 2nd 43, 3rd 22, 4th 34
- Rushing touchdowns: Opponents 22; Utah State 6



 

Related Stories
2007 Utah State Preview - Offense
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  May 8, 2007
2007 Utah State Preview - Defense
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  May 8, 2007
2007 Utah State Preview - Depth Chart
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  May 8, 2007








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