Fear not, Aggie fans. Utah State football can only get better.
The squad and coaching staff are solid and young.
Head coach Gary Anderson, already into his third season at USU, brought a wealth of knowledge from his past to help build the program. Anderson was the assistant head coach as well as defensive coordinator at former arch-rival Utah, and has the experience to bring the Aggies back to respectability.
While at Utah, Anderson played a key role in sculpting the Utes into a solid team, culminating in their 2008 31-17 Sugar Bowl domination of perennial SEC powerhouse Alabama.
Freshman quarterback Chuckie Keeton is putting up some impressive numbers. He is already ranked 44th in FBS pass efficiency, and he can only improve.
On a side note, Keeton is returning to Logan after suffering a neck injury in Saturday’s game against Hawaii. That’s good news.
Junior running backs Robert Turbin and Kerwynn Williams are also major contributors. Turbin, while not gaining the spotlight as some are, is currently 14th in the FBS in rushing. Williams ranks 30th in all-purpose yards. This duo gives the Aggies a strong ground game.
Let’s not forget about special teams. Junior punter Tyler Bennett ranks 10th in the FBS in punting.
Many games are won or lost as a result of the kicking game, and the Aggies are lucky to have him. Bennett also happens to be a candidate for the 2011 Ray Guy award.
The early season loss to Auburn was heartbreaking. I am a huge fan of the underdog, and being able to take down the reigning national champion would have given the Aggies a tremendous boost in the confidence level.
It was not meant to be, however. The close losses to Colorado State and BYU were also tough to swallow.
However, on a big positive note, the come-from-behind victory over Hawaii shows what the team is made of. Everyone had to pull it together to finish the game. Everyone had to step up. Everyone played hard until the final seconds. Everyone got the victory.
I have seen both sides. I am an alumnus of USU. I am an Aggie. I have seen the Aggies nationally ranked during my college career. I have also seen them pounded by Oklahoma 72-3.
The bottom line is: Have faith, Aggie faithful.
You are watching a young, well-coached, on-the-rise team that will give you many thrills.
The season is not over. The Aggies can finish with a 7-5 record.