UTAH STATE FOOTBALL SEASON PREVIEW UTAH STATE AGGIES TEAM FACTS:
The Utah State Aggies were one of the biggest surprises to come out of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) in 2011, finishing with a 7-6 record and heading to their just their third bowl game in 50 years. Head coach Gary Andersen got all he could out of a talented Aggies' roster, and now he looks to build on the team's strong finish and time in the limelight to capture their first WAC title in years. Even when the Aggies played highly-ranked opponents in 2011, they always managed to keep the score tight, so Utah State fans are hoping that the squad recaptures that underdog mentality to take them even farther during 2012.
Quarterback Chuckie Keaton will regain the starting job during 2012, as his 11 passing touchdowns and only two interceptions show that he was more than able to run the offense. The running game was a major factor in the Aggies' success during 2011, so Kerwynn Williams and Robert Marshall will have to step up and fill the void of last year's leading rusher, Robert Turbin. At receiver, Keaton can continue to rely on his leading target from last year, Matt Austin, as well as Chuck Jacobs and tight end D.J. Tialavea. On the offensive line, tackle Oscar Molina-Sanchez and guard Eric Schultz will return, but the younger side of the line will need consistency for the Aggies' offense to take off this season.
The Aggies play a 3-4 defense, a switch that Utah State made before the 2011 season and saw a big improvement from the unit. The defensive line is led by end Al Lapuaho, while Connor Williams will man the other 3-4 end position. Tavaris McMillian will move to the inside linebacker position from the outside, while Bojay Filimoeatu will move to the outside linebacker position to round out the front seven. By far the greatest strength of the Aggies' defense is their secondary, which is lead by corners Nevin Lawson and Jumanne Robertson. With strong safety McKade Brady manning the centerfield spot, the Aggies have all the makings of a Top 50 defense.
Heading into 2012, the biggest games on the Aggies' schedule include a home game against Wisconsin in September and a showdown against Brigham Young in October. Along with their tough WAC opponents, the Aggies have a tough road, but may have the ideal opportunity to capture the conference crown this season.
Logan, Utah Stadium:
Romney Stadium Conference: WAC Conference Rivals: BYU Cougars
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(Battle of the Brothers) Mascot:
Big Blue Notable Alumni:
Chris Cooley, Kevin Curtis, Cornell Green, Eric Hipple, Merlin Olsen See Also
: Utah State Aggies Basketball tickets Utah State Aggies Bowl Game tickets