‘The Bar Is High’ For Blake Anderson And Utah State Football
SALT LAKE CITY – Coming off of the first Mountain West Conference championship in program history, Utah State football head coach Blake Anderson knows a standard has been set.
Anderson, joined the DJ & PK show on Friday, May 27 to talk Utah State Aggie football.
Utah State entered 2021 on the heels of a tumultuous end to the 2020 season that saw the Aggies boycott their final game of an already abbreviated schedule after racially and religiously insensitive statements made by university president Noelle Crockett regarding interim head coach Frank Maile.
Enter Blake Anderson.
Anderson took over a reeling program on the heels of a 1-5 season and without a clear direction. He came to the Aggies with a history of program building. In seven season with the Red Wolves, Anderson compiled a 51-37 record, winning two Sun Belt Conference championships.
It was difficult to imagine Anderson engineering a quick turnaround. Most experts predicted the Aggies would endure a rebuilding year or two.
Anderson and the Aggies had other plans as a season opening 26-23 win over Washington State made it clear that Utah State would not be a pushover in 2021.
After cruising to a 9-3 regular season record, the Aggies dismantled favorite San Diego State 46-13 in the Mountain West title game. Utah State then went on to beat Oregon State 24-13 in the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl to finish 11-3.
Pretty good for a ‘rebuilding’ season.
Now, three months to the day from their season opener against the Connecticut Huskies, Anderson and the Aggies know they have a target on their backs. Fortunately for Utah State, a deep quarterback room that begins with Logan Bonner has them set up for success.
Anderson said of Bonner, “He should be the starter and I expect him to play lights out. He really put time and energy into his body. When the knee is ready to go, I think all the other areas of his body are gonna be in great shape for him to have an unbelievable season if we keep him healthy.”
With Bonner in his final season with the Aggies, Anderson also understands the long view at the position. “If you’ve got no quarterback, you’ve got no chance.”
With that in mind, Anderson spoke of the need for leadership and depth in the QB room, “We are always going to make sure that we recruit that position as a huge priority. We will dedicate time and energy to make sure that room is healthy. That we can continue to run the system and style of play that we want. Those guys are leaders. We feel like everybody in the room from, from Logan all the way down to the commitments that we already have, that all those guys fit those criteria and it gives us chance to be successful.”
Along with Bonner, Orem high School alum Cooper Legas returns after a successful showing against Oregon State when Bonner was forced out by injury. Legas completed his first collegiate pass, a 62-yard touchdown to Deven Thompkins; then settled in with an 11-20 day passing for 171 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
Aggie fans might also remember former Wyoming Cowboy QB Levi Williams. Williams came into Maverik Stadium and led the Cowboys to an upset win over the Aggies in 2021 but he’ll now don Aggie blue. Former Davis Dart Garrett Larsen rounds out the quarterback room.
Williams and Larson are each listed as sophomores while Legas is entering his junior season.
After minimal exposure on national TV last season, Utah State recently announced they will play nine nationally televised games in 2022. The Aggies are slated to begin their season at home against UConn before heading to Tuscaloosa, Alabama where they will face the national runner-up Crimson Tide and Heisman Trophy hopeful QB Bryce Young.
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