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Way Too Early 2010 OU Football Preview: The Utah State Aggies

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The Utah State Aggies finished the 2009 season with a 4-8 overall record and 3-5 in the Western Athletic Conference. That was good enough for a three-way tie with Hawaii and Louisiana Tech for 5th place in the conference. They were sixth in the WAC in scoring offense (29.1 ppg) and seventh in scoring defense (34 ppg). With the Aggies scheduled to play the Sooners in the season opener there's no reason to fear a repeat of the BYU debacle from last season for two reasons. 1) The words, "Texas Stadium" aren't associated with this game. 2) Utah State isn't BYU.

So, who are the Utah State Aggies? Let's take a look.

Offense

Key Losses Position Yards
Diondre Borel QB 2,885

 

Diondre Borel led the Aggies to the 4th best passing attack in the WAC last season with 240 yards per game through the air and 17 touchdowns to 4 interceptions. He also added another dimension to Utah State's offensive attack with his feet by rushing for 458 yards and 6 touchdowns, leaving some awfully big shoes to fill. Junior Steve Vincent and Sophomore T.J. Canales are the most likely choices to battle for the new signal caller but don't discount incoming freshmen Trevor Brown and Alex Hart.

Key Returners Position Year
Robert Turbin RB SR
Stanley Morrison WR SR
Spencer Johnson LT SR
Funaki Asisi LG JR
Brennan McFadden C JR
Philip Gapeu RG JR
Tariq Polley RT SR

 

Whoever the new quarterback is, he'll have the advantage of the return of Stanley Morrison and Robert Turbin. Morrison was the Aggies leader in receiving yards last season with 616 yards and three touchdowns while Turbin was the main cog in the offensive wheel. He placed second on the team in receiving yards with 418 and rushed for 1,296 yards with a combined 18 touchdowns.

The Aggies return all of their starters along the offensive line. Last year this unit was comprised of three juniors and two sophomores. This crew paved the way for a team rushing average of 4.7 yards per carry but also allowed 31 quarterback sacks.

Defense

Key Losses Position Tackles
James Brindley S 78
Rajiric Coleman CB 74

 

Against the rush the Aggies were middle of the pack in the WAC, giving up 5.3 yards per carry and 205.5 yards per game. Against the pass they were near the bottom of the conference, allowing 17.8 yards per completion and 249.6 yards per game.

Key Returners Position Tackles
Bobby Wagner DE 114
Junior Keiaho LB 36
Levi Koskan DE 19

 

Defensive end Bobby Wagner led the team with 114 total tackles and 7 tackles for loss. Linebacker Junior Keiaho and defensive end Levi Koskan led the team in quarterback sacks with three each. All three players will return in 2010 but gone are safety James Brindley and cornerback Rajric Coleman who were second and third on the team in total tackles.