Previewing Idaho State Bengals Versus Utah State Aggies

Sep 7, 2023, 12:19 PM

LOGAN, Utah – USU will be looking for their first win of the season on Saturday at Maverik Stadium against the Bengals of Idaho State.

Utah State opens the home portion of  2023 against the visiting Idaho State Bengals on Saturday, September 9. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. (MT).

RELATED: How To Watch Utah State Aggies Versus Idaho State Bengals

First-time head coach Cody Hawkins leads a Bengal team that came up just short against another Mountain West team last week. ISU opened the season against San Diego State, losing 36-28.

Quarterbacks Jordan Cooke and Hunter Hays combined to complete 31-of-63 passes against the Aztecs, including two touchdowns and three INT’s.  Idaho State’s ground game never got on track as Hays led the team with 18 yards on the ground. Bengal running backs were limited to five carries. Wide receivers Chedon James and Christian Fredrickson each finished with 66 receiving yards and a touchdown.

RELATED: Utah State Looking Forward To Raucous Home Crowd Against Idaho State

This will be the 21st game between the two programs with USU winning 18 of the previous 20. The last matchup, a 51-13 Aggie win, came early in the 2017 season at Maverik Stadium. Senior QB Kent Myers completed 24-of-26 passes for 323 yards and a pair of scores. He added 85 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.

Utah State has won five straight in the series. ISU’s last win came in 2000, a 27-24 victory in Logan.

RELATED: 2023 Utah State Aggies Football Schedule

Aggie Depth Report

  • Senior safety Omari Okeke has been lost for the season after undergoing shoulder surgery.
  • DT Hale Motu’apuaka and TE Broc Lane did not play against Iowa.
  • Blake Anderson states that Lane is ‘day-to-day’ while first-string tight end Josh Sterzer remains ‘a week or two out’.
  • Sophomore linebacker Max Alford did not return after being injured on the first play from scrimmage against Iowa. Anderson said Alford suffered a ‘significant injury’. Alford will undergo additional testing this week.
  • Sophomore Gavin Barthiel and redshirt freshman Bronson Olevao Jr. played the majority of the game in Alford’s stead.

RELATED: Utah State Asking Fans To Stripe The Stadium Against Idaho State

Bengals Worth Watching

Before accepting the head coaching job at ISU, Cody Hawkins spent five seasons at UC Davis. Hawkins was the Aggies offensive coordinator for the past three years.

Under Hawkins’ watch, Idaho State returned 40 players from a team that finished 1-10 in 2022. The Bengals only win last season was a 40-31 defeat of Cal Poly.

The Bengals totaled 343 yards of offense against SDSU with 309 yards coming through the air. Their 28 points scored is the second most against an FBS opponent in program history.


QB Jordan Cooke

A 6’4 true freshman out of Santa Rosa, CA, Cooke got the start against San Diego State in his first collegiate contest. Cooke completed 19-of-42 passes for 177 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions. He was sacked once.

RELATED: Utah State Releases Week Two Depth Chart Versus Idaho State Bengals

WR Chedon James

A sophomore, the 5’8 James led ISU with seven catches for 66 yards and a 39-yard touchdown against San Diego State.

As a freshman, the St. John Bosco High School graduate caught 26 passes for 206 yards and a touchdown. James set a career-high in yardage when he caught four balls for 72 yards at Montana State last October.

WR Christian Fredrickson

A 6’4 junior wideout from Rigby, ID, Fredrickson had 16 games of experience with ISU entering the 2023 season. As a freshman, he caught 20 passes for 243 yards and a touchdown. He appeared in ten games last season, catching nine balls for 120 yards.

Fredrickson averaged 13.2 yards per catch in the Bengals season opener. He finished the afternoon with five catches for 66 yards and a second-quarter touchdown.


Despite surrendering 36 points in their season opener, Idaho State held the Aztecs to 85 passing yards, sacking QB Jalen Mayden twice.

S Calvin Pitcher

The 6’1 junior safety led the Bengals with ten stops against San Diego State.

Pitcher played in 11 games last season, finishing with 62 tackles and a fumble recovery. For his career, he has 88 tackles. Pitcher was named as one of three Bengal captains this season.

RELATED: Week 1: Top Plays From BYU, SUU, Utah, USU, Utah Tech, Weber State

DL Cortland Horton

Horton is a 6’3 junior out of Eagle, ID. After making seven stops as a freshman in 2021, Horton made 38 tackles, 6.5 tackles for a loss, and two sacks last season.

In the Bengals opener, Horton’s five tackles equaled Junior Damuni for the fourth most on the team. He had one tackle for a loss against the Aztecs.

S Mason Young

The 5’11, 185-pound Young played his prep football for the Brighton Bengals before spending last season at Saddleback Junior College. He finished his freshman season with 30 tackles, a sack, and an interception in nine games with Saddleback.

In his first game with ISU, Young was second on the team with nine tackles. He also picked off a pass and forced a fumble in the Bengals loss to SDSU.

Young’s grandfather, David Terry, was a quarterback at BYU while his uncle, Danny Copinga, played football at Utah.

USU Aggies (0-1) vs. Idaho State Bengals (0-1)

Saturday, September 9 – Maverik Stadium, Logan, UT

RADIO: Aggie Sports Network

• Scott Garrard & Kevin White

• KSL Sports Zone

RELATED: Utah State Comes Up Short At Iowa In Season Opener

TV: KJZZ / Mountain West Network

• Dave Fox, Alema Harrington, & Frank Dolce

• Xfinity (Utah): Ch. 3/HD657

• DirecTV (Utah): Ch. 14

• DISH (Utah): Ch. 14

Following The Aggies With KSL Sports Zone

Utah State matches up against the Idaho State Bengals on Saturday, September 9. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. (MT). USU is 18-2 all-time against the Bengals.

Utah State football games are found on KSL Sports Zone with Scott Garrard and former Aggie quarterback Kevin White (1988-89) on the call.

KSL Sports coverage of Utah State University Athletics can be found here. 

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Previewing Idaho State Bengals Versus Utah State Aggies