College Football Preview: The 2015 Utah State Aggies
Utah State Aggies Preview
2014 Record: 10-4
Defense and a healthy Chuckie Keeton are the keys to success for the 2015 Utah State Aggies.
Overview: The Aggies have the talent to win the Mountain West if Keeton remains on the field which unfortunately isn’t a guarantee. However the team has succeeded with and without their star which says this team is mentally tough and has plenty of talent aside from quarterback.
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Offense: Do everything quarterback is back and hopefully stays healthy after a pair of knee injuries robbed him of most of the past few years. Keeton can run and throw with anybody although I wonder if his running will be cut back for fear of another injury. The good news is sophomore Kent Myers did well when given an opportunity with 866 passing yards on 66.4% while running for 395 yards and a nine yard average. With Joe Hill gone the role of LaJuan Hunt (110-545) and Rashad Hall (49-203) might be increased while JoJo Natson was electrifying with almost 500 yards rushing and another 500 yards receiving but he couldn’t stay out of trouble and dismissed from the team. Hunter Sharpe returns as the top receiving option (66-939) but look for others to get involved with Keeton at the helm. The O-Line gets back four starters as well so the “O’ has loads of talent.
Defense: A stingy defensive line loses their best pressure guy in BJ Larsen with 13.5 TFL and nine sacks but returns most everybody else with six of the top eight back with all seeing action in at least eleven games. The play of the Aggies linebackers was nothing short of outstanding. They lose Zach Vigil and his 19.5 TFL and nine sacks but Nick Vigil recorded 17 TFL and seven sacks and Torrey Green (8.5 TFL—3 S) are back. Throw in Kyler Fackrell who missed last year but had 13 TFL and five sacks in 2013 and the potential for disruption is enormous. USU loses two of the top three safeties and one of the top two corners but there is no shortage of playmakers as everyone gets their hands on the ball.
Special Teams: Punter Jaron Bentrude is gone and that hurts with almost 80% of his kicks not returned. PK Nick Diaz is also gone and with the dismissal of JoJo Natson the Aggies lose a guy who averaged 11.7 yards on 25 returns with a pair of TD’s.
Outlook: If Utah State remains healthy they will be tough to handle. Whether they do is another thing but if this team remains largely intact they will challenge Boise State for the best in show.