With multiple opponents on the schedule there is no need to rehash previewing Utah State twice. The big loss for Utah State RB Robert Turbin who tore up his knee in April during off season workouts and will be out for the 2010. There is good news that Turbin will be 2011. WAC media days are going down today and Utah State is picked fourth in the coaches poll and sixth in the media poll.
Head coach Gary Andersen is slowly turning around a Utah State program that has been in the dumps for the past twenty years with only two bowl appearances with the most recent when John L. Smith took the Aggies to the Humanitarian Bowl in 1997. Even though with an improved team Rivals has Utah State as the 103rd team in the nation.
The quarterback play is the bright spot on the team with Diondre Borel who is on the Manning Watch List for the top quarterbacks in the country. Borel is a dual threat quarterback who was third in the WAC in passing and was 14th in the WAC in rushing. Borel did toss for just over 2,800 yards he needs to improve his completion percentage which was at 58. If he is able to improve that percentage to above 60 then the Aggies have an outside shot of making a bowl game.
Trying to replace Robert Turbin by Michael Smith who was the backup last year and ran for 290 yards on only 46 carries. That is a far cry from what Turbin is capable of doing, but with an offensive line that is experienced there is hope that Smith can be a serviceable replacement for a year. The offense rests on Borel and if he can run the offense efficiently with his talents then the Aggies should be able to hang around with most everyone in the WAC this year.
The defense is the problem last year as they were 114th in the nation and that had to be killing Gary Andersen who lead a great defense at Utah, so expect him to get things in line in year two of his defensive system. All eleven defensive starters are upper classmen which hopefully should improve the defense from being pathetic to just ok.
The only problem with that is that there are no superstars on the defense, but rather a bunch just average players. To make it to the next level which is an outside shot of a bowl game some players on defense need to step up so that the offense does not have to do it all