2008 Utah State Aggies Football Preview
2007 Utah State Record: (2-10, 2-6 WAC)
2007 Bowl: none
Utah State Head Coach: Brent Guy (6-29 at Utah State, 6-29 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Darrell Dickey
Defensive Coordinator: Mark Johnson
Returning Leaders for Utah State:
Other Key Returnees: DT Alan Bishop, CB Marquise Charles, LB De’von Hall, OT Derek Hoke, LB Paul Igboeli, OT Spencer Johsnon, WR Otis Nelson, S Caleb Taylor, CB Josh Taylor, C Ryan Tonnemacher
Key Losses: TE Jimmy Bohm, QB Leon Jackson III, G Pace Jorgensen, DT Frank Maile, G Shawn Murphy, WR Kevin Robinson, DE Carl Singleton
Well at least the season ended in a good way. Utah State got their only two wins of the year against New Mexico State and Idaho to close out the season. With a little bit of depth building up, and it being year four of the Coach Brent Guy regime, this is as good of a time as any for the Aggies to start winning a few more games.
Utah State's Strengths:
Coach Guy hit the junior college ranks hard to beef up his defensive line. Even with ten starters returning to the defense, the unit was in dire need of some more bodies. Newcomers Casey Davis and Magnum Maugua might not be starting, but they are expected to add some bulk to the line. And the line needs more than just bulk. After garnering just 12 sacks all season, it is hoped that somebody can get to the opposing quarterback. Making matters worse, the departed Carl Singleton had half of those sacks and the pressure will be on players like Ben Calderwood to pick up the slack. The linebackers, led by senior Jake Hutton, have plenty of experience and the secondary has had a year to work together. With increased depth and experience across the board, there is no excuse for the USU defense to at least be better than they were last year.
Utah State's Weaknesses:
Quarterback Leon Jackson III spent his career being relatively ineffective. The passing game has never been there and now somebody else will get the opportunity to spark the offense. Jase McCormick is the veteran who originally signed with the Aggies in 2002 before heading out on his LDS Church Mission. The other option is incoming freshman Robert Fuller. It will be McCormick’s job to lose and he very well could lose it if Fuller is half as good as Utah State fans hope he is. Making things worse for the new quarterback is the fact that playmaker Kevin Robinson is gone. Tight end Rob Myers is a good target, but a couple wide receivers need to step up and prove they can be legitimate threats down the field. If Derrvin Speight can continue to develop as a running back and the line, which returns three starters, can create some holes, it will give the new quarterback an opportunity to develop a passing game.
The Bottom Line for the Aggies:
The defense should be alright, by Utah State standards, but this has to be the year Coach Guy finally gets some results. Six wins in three seasons is not going to cut it and major signs of progress need to happen right now or the Aggies are going to have to start all over again. If the offense cannot move the ball, it will not matter how much the defense improves.
2007 Utah State Aggies Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 124.92 (94th in nation, 6th in conference)
Passing Offense: 153.00 (116, 9)
Total Offense: 277.92 (115, 9)
Scoring Offense: 20.58 (101, 8)
Rushing Defense: 196.17 (98, 9)
Pass Defense: 254.17 (90, 6)
Total Defense: 450.33 (106, 9)
Scoring Defense: 33.83 (101, 7)
Turnover Margin: .17 (39, 2)
Sacks: 1.00 (115, 9)
Sacks Allowed: 2.50 (85, 6)
By Joel Welser
Check out all of the 2008 college football previews online through College Sports Fans.
2008 WAC Football Preview
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