Aggies Confident As Utah State Looks Forward To Road Test Against Air Force

Sep 11, 2023, 2:00 PM | Updated: 4:58 pm

LOGAN, Utah – A confident Utah State team is preparing for their first Mountain West game on the road against Air Force.

USU (1-1) has a short week to get ready for the Air Force Falcons (2-0) on Friday, September 15. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. (MT).

Head coach Blake Anderson, sophomore safety Simeon Harris, and senior wideout Terrell Vaughn spoke with the media on Monday, September 11.

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

“Really proud of how the guys responded over last week,” Anderson stated. “I thought the guys were mature in the process of preparation. We had good practices and the energy level was phenomenal coming out. That’s one of those (games) where everybody enjoyed it.”

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

Utah State set or approached several program records in their 78-28 trampling of the Bengals.

78 points was the fourth-most in program history and the most since 1919 when they beat Idaho State 136-0. The Aggies 51 first-half points are the second most in school history and their 44 second-quarter points are the most scored in any single quarter. With ten first-half receptions, Vaughn became the first Aggie since 2001 (Kevin Curtis) to record double-digit receptions in back-to-back games.

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.

Defensively, Utah State finished with two pick-sixes for the first time since 2018. Junior corner Jaiden Francois’ 75-yard return tied for the 12th-longest in program history.

Despite the offensive success against ISU, Vaughn stresses staying humble and moving forward.

“You never know what someone’s gonna bring. We are focused on the main goal this year and treating every opponent with respect.”

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

Aggies Defense Preparing For Air Force Triple-Option

Beyond their 2-0 record, Air Force’s system tends to create problems for their opponents every week. Combine that with a short week of preparation and the Aggies will have their work cut out for them on Friday.

“We’ve got to get ready quickly to travel and that is always difficult,” Anderson said. “The style of play that they have in all three phases to how well coached they are. This is a huge game for us.”

To start the Aggies eight-game Mountain West schedule with a victory will require discipline and focus against the Falcon’s triple-option attack.

“It’s extremely difficult,” Anderson cautioned. “You don’t just go into a game week and decide what you’re going to do versus the triple. I know they’ve been preparing for Air Force since last spring. I think Joe and the staff have done a phenomenal job getting ready.”

“These are three totally different offenses,” Harris said of the Aggies opponents early in the season. “We’re doing a lot of film study and preparing our minds. Coach Cauthen has stressed to us that everybody needs to do their job and not try to be the hero.”

Aggie Depth Report

  • DT Hale Motu’apuaka and TE Broc Lane each returned against Idaho State
  • Both players were on limited snap counts. Anderson joked that they had to take both guys’ helmets and pads away to keep them off the field in the second half.
  • Anderson confirmed that sophomore linebacker Max Alford will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury suffered against Iowa
  • In the weekly press conference, Anderson said the kicker William Testa and running back Robert Briggs are a little sore. Their availability against Air Force will be determined later in the week.

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.

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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Aggies Confident As Utah State Looks Forward To Road Test Against Air Force