UTAH STATE AGGIES

Utah State Leadership Finding Their Voice At Season’s Midpoint

Oct 14, 2022, 7:12 PM

Utah-State-defensive-back-Hunter-Reynolds...

Utah State safety Hunter Reynolds celebrates after an interception against Weber State at Maverik Stadium on Saturday, September 10.

LOGAN, Utah – The Utah State football team has unexpectedly found themselves filling leadership roles after getting off to a disastrous start in 2022.

Heading into the season, graduate senior quarterback Logan Bonner was expected to fill a large portion of the leadership void after the Aggies lost 25 letterman, including 11 starters from their Mountain West champion 2021 team.

“We had a lot of great leaders last year that we’ve lost. Such as DT (Deven Thompkins), Nick Heninger on the defensive side,” Hale Motu’apuaka said about the Aggies offseason losses. “Losing great leaders like that, it happens every year with programs but it’s our job as the next people up to fill those roles.”

When Bonner struggled and the Aggies got off to a slow start, it caused concerns in Logan.

More concerning however were the unforced errors. Mental mistakes that led to an Aggie team that had committed the fourth most penalties in college football prior to defeating Air Force on October 8. Add to that a worst in college football 15 turnovers USU had committed ahead of last weekend.

Utah State righted those mistakes against the Falcons. The Aggie offense didn’t turn the ball over for just the second time this season (Alabama). Eight penalties is far from perfect but 65 penalty yards is an improvement over the nearly 87 penalty yards per game USU had averaged.

With Bonner now out for the season and Utah State’s back against the wall in regards to their goals of repeating as Mountain West conference champions, the Aggies know they can’t wait for leaders to show themselves.

Different Ways To Lead

Motu’apuaka previously acknowledged a change in his own leadership style this season.

“Personally, I felt like it was okay for me just, like you said, keep your head down and work by example. But I feel like that doesn’t work as much,” the senior defensive tackle commented. “I’ve kind of broken out of my shell a little bit more. Gotten out of my comfort zone and tried to be more of a vocal leader. Helping out the young guys and keeping people accountable as well as telling people to make sure they keep me accountable. It helps my teammates, but it also helps myself.”

On the offensive side of the ball, head coach Blake Anderson can’t speak highly enough about the example graduate senior wide receiver Brian Cobbs has been.

“That dude’s been a leader since day one that he got here. He’s been more and more vocal, but mainly leads by example,” Anderson said of the University of Maryland transfer. “He does everything right. He’s the first in, last out. Never on a list. Always encouraging the guys around him. Willing to help on special teams. He’s the epitome of what we’re looking for.”

Trust In The Quarterback Room

Bonner’s broken foot could have scuttled Utah State’s season if the team didn’t buy into Cooper Legas.

Despite the relative inexperience of Legas, Bonner was one of his first Aggie teammates to throw  support in Cooper’s corner.

Asked about Legas’ play against Air Force, Bonner said, “I certainly wasn’t surprised. He’s a great player and he’s going to be a great play here for for a while. I’m really excited for him.”

After Legas finished 18-for-23 with 215 yards and two touchdowns through the air while adding 76 yards on the ground in his first start at home, Anderson praised the way his quarterbacks have worked together.

“The great thing about our team and the great thing about that room is those guys care about each other and pull for each other,” Anderson said of his quarterbacks. “Logan is on headset, always talking. They communicate really, really well. It’s like having another coach on the field.”

Up Next

Utah State (2-4, 1-1) hopes to keep the good vibes rolling in Fort Collins, Colorado to face the Colorado State Rams (1-4, 1-0). The Rams are coming off of their first win of the season, a 17-14 conference win over Nevada.

Every Utah State football game can be heard on the KSL Sports Zone with Scott Garrard and former Aggie quarterback Kevin White on the call.

 

  • Utah State Aggies Scoreboard

  • Utah State Aggies Team Leaders

  • Utah State Aggies Standings

Utah State Aggies

usu danny sprinkle...

Brian Preece

Bovine Blog: Previewing No. 22 Utah State At Fresno State Bulldogs

Fresh off of a win over SDSU and a week of practice, the Utah State Aggies look to keep the good times rolling against Fresno State.

21 hours ago

great osobor usu...

Brian Preece

BYU & Utah State Headed In Opposite Directions As Aggies Vault Into Top 25

A win over then-No.19 San Diego State propelled Utah State back into the AP Top 25 after a brief hiatus while BYU falls to No. 26.

22 hours ago

utah state aggies...

Brian Preece

Bovine Blog: Utah State Basketball Sweeps Mountain West Weekly Awards

A win over then-No. 19 San Diego State earned Utah State a clean sweep of the Mountain West weekly awards.

23 hours ago

Jordan-Love-Green-Bay-Packers-NFL...

Kyle Ireland

Top Plays From Jordan Love During First Season As Packers’ QB1

Former USU standout Jordan Love seized his opportunity to be an NFL starting quarterback and became a rising star for the Packers in 2023.

2 days ago

Mark-Pope-BYU-Danny-Sprinkle-Utah-State...

Kyle Ireland

BYU’s Mark Pope, USU’s Danny Sprinkle Land On Coach Of Year Watch List

BYU's Mark Pope and Utah State's Danny Sprinkle landed on the late season watch list for the 2024 Naismith College Coach of the Year award.

4 days ago

EA-Sports-video-game-company...

Kyle Ireland

EA Sports Says College Football 25 Will Feature All 134 FBS Teams

EA Sports announced that its revived college football video game will feature every Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) program in 2024.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

ksl-sports-newsletter...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.

...

KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

Follow @kslsports...

The Road Home Mediathon 2023

The KSL Sports Zone and KSLSports.com are proud to support the all-day Mediathon 2023 at the Road Home, an annual tradition to raise money and other essential items for the Road Home, a Homeless Shelter.

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.

Jordan-Clarkson-Utah-Jazz...

KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Utah State Leadership Finding Their Voice At Season’s Midpoint