2012-13 Football Previews – (WAC) – Utah State
Many will remember Utah State for their loss in game one of the 2011 season. The Aggies absolutely had the defending champion Auburn Tigers beat, but they let them off the hook in the last two minutes. Still, this team deserves lots of credit for putting it back together and finishing with a solid 7-6 record in 2011.
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WAC 2012-2013 College Football Previews: Utah State Aggies
Head Coach: Gary Andersen
2011 Record: 7-6
Utah State Gambling Odds from JustBet to win BCS Championship: (Part of Field) +1,800
Utah State Gambling Odds from 5Dimes to win WAC: +450
It was the first time since 2000 that the team had won more than four games in a season.
Even though last season was a big improvement, the Aggies easily could have won ten games if they had just finished games better. In fact, five of the team’s six losses in 2011 came by a touchdown or less. The talent is there for Utah State to be good again this year, and they’ll need to learn to close out games this season.
Teams all across the country would be jealous of the Aggies depth at quarterback. Chuckie Keeton will likely start for the Aggies, but senior Adam Kennedy should get playing time as well. Keeton was sensational in his freshman season, but when he went down with an injury Kennedy was brilliant in his time as a starter as well. Keeton is more a of dual-threat quarterback, while Kennedy is a pocket passer.
The clear strength of the defense is the secondary. Nevin Lawson and Jumanne Robertson are both great in single coverage at the cornerback spots, and both are very good tacklers in space. Brian Suite appears to be a star in the making at the strong safety spot. This group will be very good.
Tyler Larsen is one of the best centers in the nation, and he leads a very solid Aggies offensive front. This line should do a great job both protecting the quarterback and opening holes for running backs this year.
Utah State lost two great linebackers from last year’s team, and they will be tough to replace. Bobby Wagner and Kyle Gallagher finished first and second on the team in tackles last year. Tavaris McMillan and Jake Doughty will try to fill their shoes this year. The Aggies will miss these two leaders of the defense.
The Aggies have very little depth at the wide receiver position. Matt Austin is a good first option on the outside, but behind him there are lots of question marks. The only other two receivers who had any experience last year caught just 15 and 7 passes respectively. The Aggies will likely have to play some freshman this season at wide receiver.
2012-2013 Utah State Aggies Football Prediction: 8-5
I expect the Aggies to take another step forward this year. If it weren’t for a very difficult non-conference schedule I would predict them to win even more games. Utah State plays Wisconsin, BYU, and Utah early in the season. In the conference, the two huge games will be on the road at San Jose State and at Louisiana Tech. The offense should be very good, but the defense might struggle a bit without their leaders from last year. All in all, this is a program moving in the right direction.
2012 Utah State Schedule
8/30/12 8:00 PM ET SUTAH
9/7/12 8:00 PM ET UTAH
9/15/12 8:00 PM ET @WISC
9/22/12 TBD @COLST
9/29/12 8:00 PM ET UNLV
10/5/12 10:15 PM ET @BYU
10/13/12 4:00 PM ET @SJST
10/20/12 3:00 PM ET NMXST
10/27/12 2:00 PM ET @TXSA
11/3/12 TBD TEXST
11/17/12 TBD @LTECH
11/24/12 3:00 PM ET IDAHO