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2011 Record: (7-6, 5-2 in WAC)

Head Coach: Gary Anderson (15-22 at USU, 10-13 in WAC)

2011 Famous Idaho Bowl: lost to Ohio Nevada 24-23

 

Schedule Glimpse:

2012 Schedule Link

Big Name Opponents: 9/7 vs Utah, 9/15 at Wisconsin, 10/5 at BYU

Must Win: 8/30 vs Southern Utah, 10/27 at UTSA, 11/3 vs Texas State, 11/24 vs Idaho

Revenge: 9/22 at Colorado State, 11/17 at Louisiana Tech

 

Statistical Snapshot:

2011 Statistics Link

Stat to Cheer: led the WAC in 3rd down conversions (48.39%)

Stat to Fear: turnover margin was -0.69 with only 15 takeaways on the year (takeaways ranked 105th in the Nation)



Personnel:

Phil Steele's Returning Starters (Offense: 5; Defense: 7; Specialists: 2)

Key Defensive Returnees: S McCade Brady (85 tackles), LB Bojay Filimoeatu (41 tackles, 3 sacks), CB Nevin Lawson (71 tackles), DE Al Lapuaho (31 tackles)

Key Offensive Returnees: QB Chuckie Keaton (11 TD, 2 INT), C Tyler Larsen, RB Kerwynn Williams (542 yds, 3 TD), OT Oscar Molina-Sanchez

Top Recruits: RB Tavarreon Dickerson (Scout.com's #104 ranked RB), OT Patrick Ward (JUCO)

 

Verdict:

Utah State arrived last year in game number one when they had defending National Champion Auburn on the ropes. Auburn somehow escaped with a victory and then the Aggies went just 2-4 to start the year at 2-5. In those two wins was a silver lining as they beat up on the Wyoming Cowboys by the score of 63-19. Wyoming was one of just two teams that the Aggies beat that had a winning record in 2011 (the other was Nevada). After the 2-5 start, the schedule broke and Utah State ran of five straight victories (four against teams that would finish the year with a losing recrod) by an average of just 3.8 points per game. The Aggies weren't much better than their opponents but they found a way to win at the end of the season and that means a lot.

In 2012, the Aggies will be without their two stud RBs (Robert Turbin and Michael Smith) that combined to rush for 2387 yards and 28 TD and also caught 33 passes for 6 TD. That's a lot of production to replace but the Aggies do return Kerwynn Williams (542 yds rushing, 7 rec, 4 TD) and Phil Steele has him as pre-season All-WAC second team. They also return sophomore QB Chuckie Keaton. He got thrown into the fire early but  On the defensive side of the football they lose their top two tacklers but do return five guys that Phil Steele put on his All-WAC pre-season teams (that's the second most in the conference behind Louisiana Tech and San Jose State).

After going 4-8 in Gary Anderson's first two seasons, the Aggies went 7-6 last season. The biggest reason was that they flipped their conference wins from 3 and 2 the first two years to five last year. I would look for Utah State to have similar success this year.

2012 Prediction: 7-5

 

Previous 2012 Previews:

C-USA: Memphis, Southern Miss

MAC: Akron, Bowling Green, EMU, Miami (OH), Ohio, Toledo, WMU

MWC: New Mexico, Wyoming

Sun Belt: FAU, MTSU, North Texas, ULM, WKU

WAC: Idaho, New Mexico St, San Jose St


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