Utah State Football Focused On Getting Healthy During Bye Week

Oct 24, 2022, 2:42 PM | Updated: 2:43 pm
Blake Anderson - Utah State Aggies...
Head coach Blake Anderson of the Utah State Aggies looks on during the first half of his team's game against the New Mexico Lobos at University Stadium on November 26, 2021 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. (Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images)

LOGAN, Utah – The bye week couldn’t have come at a better time for a Utah State football team dealing with injuries at a number of positions.

USU (3-5, 2-2) fell 28-14 to the Wyoming Cowboys on Saturday, October 22.

“We’re beat up pretty good. We gotta get healthy to make a run,” head coach Blake Anderson said on his weekly appearance with DJ & PK Monday morning.

Down to their fourth-string quarterback in Bishop Davenport and without defensive starters Byron Vaughns & Ajani Carter to start the game, the Aggie locker room more closely resembled a mash unit by the time the final whistle sounded.

Four freshman (linebackers Max Alford & Sione Moa, defensive tackle Bo Maile, safety Ike Larsen) and a sophomore (Tavian Coleman) received significant defensive snaps in the loss.

Anderson specifically identified the difficult task put on the shoulders of Davenport and Alford.

“Quarterback and middle linebacker are two of the most important spots. That’s who’s gonna make decisions offensively.  That’s also who is getting everybody lined up and squared away on defense. Both did a good job for true freshmen. Just, in a game that’s going to come down to one possession, there’s some problems that come with that.”

Though Anderson seemed confident his players will grow from the experience.

“There’s a big drop off in those areas when you have to plug in a guy that hasn’t played and doesn’t have the experience. Neither were near as good as they’re going to be down the road.”

Certainly many of the young players had their moments against Wyoming, and the hope is that guys can parlay this experience into improvement and future playing time.

But in the here and now, with the Aggies clinging to dwindling bowl aspirations, they aren’t going anywhere without first getting a few starters right during the bye week.

Quarterbacks Cooper Legas (concussion protocol) and Levi Williams (right ankle) could return following the bye week. Either would offer much needed experience at center.

Vaughns and Legas each entered concussion protocol during the win against Colorado State with leading-tackler MJ Tafisi joining them when he went down in the first half against Wyoming.

With nearly two weeks until Utah State plays again, Anderson couldn’t say for certain, but he does hope to get several guys back when they host New Mexico on November 5.

“We could get five or six back that weren’t able to play this week. I’m not sure we’ll get everybody back, but as long as we don’t have any setbacks we’ll get some guys back that play significant snaps and would be really helpful for us.”

Up Next

Utah State will enjoy their second bye week of the season next week before hosting the New Mexico Lobos at Maverik Stadium in Logan, UT on Saturday, November 5. Kickoff for this game is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. (MST).

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.

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