Offensive Success Starts Up Front As Utah State Prepares For Air Force

Sep 11, 2023, 11:17 AM | Updated: 11:19 am

Utah State head coach Blake Anderson...

IOWA CITY, IOWA- SEPTEMBER 2: Head coach Blake Anderson of the Utah State Aggies walks the sidelines during the first half of the match-up against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Kinnick Stadium on September 2, 2023 in Iowa City, Iowa.

LOGAN, Utah – Utah State had a great all-around performance on Saturday, but they’ll need to turn the page quickly in preparation for their Mountain West opener.

USU has a short week to get ready for a road game against the Air Force Falcons on Friday, September 15. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. (MT).

Aggie head coach Blake Anderson joined KSL Sports Zone’s DJ & PK on Monday, September 11 to discuss the win and his team’s preparations to face Air Force.

RELATED: Huge First Half Gives Utah State First Victory of 2023 Season

“Last year, we did a terrible job of getting ready for Weber (State),” Anderson opined. “It showed and we got our tails kicked in.”

Facing another Big Sky team in Idaho State, the Aggies nearly broke the scoreboard. A program-record 44-point second quarter turned into a 78-28 win. 78 points scored was the most for a USU team since 1919.

“Our guy’s ability to go in against a team that, on paper, you’re better than and be mature enough to leave no doubt… I thought that was a huge step in the right direction.”

USU finished with 380 rushing yards, the 19th-most in school history. Starter Robert Briggs finished with 101 yards and a touchdown on just nine carries. Behind him, Davon Booth (83 yds, 2 TDs) and Rahsul Faison (96 yds, TD) added 179 yards and three scores behind a dominant offensive line.

“It starts up front. We needed to control the line of scrimmage and the offensive and defensive lines took the challenge… You’ve gotta give the big guys credit.”

RELATED: Utah State Scores 20 Points In 71 Seconds Against Idaho State

Aggies Preparing To Face Another Unique Offense

“To get ready for Air Force in a short week is a huge challenge for Joe (Cauthen) and the defense,” Anderson cautioned.

Iowa presented a ground-based attack where the passing game was almost an afterthought for much of the game. Idaho State handed the ball off to running backs just five times in their opener while throwing the ball 62 times. Now Utah State has to adjust for an Air Force team that is famously difficult to prepare for because of their unique, triple-option offense.

Practicing against the option and executing in a game can be completely different because so few players are familiar with the scheme.

“The speed and execution they’re able to put together,” Anderson wondered. “Can we match that? Our guys will have to catch up to that speed and go from scout team to what it looks like in a very short period. You don’t want to give these guys free possessions and free points.”

RELATED: Utah State Scores Program Record 44 Second Quarter Points

Following The Aggies With KSL Sports Zone

Utah State opens its Mountain West schedule against the Air Force Falcons on Friday, September 15. Kickoff for this game is scheduled for 6 p.m. (MT). USU defeated Air Force 34-27 last year at Maverik Stadium. the Falcons hold a 6-5 advantage in the all-time series.

USU 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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Offensive Success Starts Up Front As Utah State Prepares For Air Force