Countdown To Kickoff - Utah State

 

By W.G. Ramirez, Special to TheMW.com.

UTAH STATE

  • Predicted Finish - Second in the Mountain Division
  • Retuning/Lost Lettermen - 41/25
  • Returning/Lost Starters - 14/18
  • Key Returner - Senior QB Chuckie Keeton

The Skinny – The Aggies are the defending Mountain Division champion. Yet, they've been picked to finish second behind Boise State despite returning the preseason Offensive Player of the Year in quarterback Chuckie Keeton. Utah State boast strengths on both sides of the ball, with Keeton running the offense and senior linebacker Zach Vigil anchoring the defense. And while much of the spotlight generally surrounds Keeton, the Aggies have one of the most lethal stop units in the nation. Last season, Utah State ranked 12th nationally overall, allowing 330.9 yards per game. In winning six of its last seven games - including a victory over Northern Illinois in the Poinsettia Bowl - Utah State allowed an average of just 12.7 points per game.

Says coach Matt Wells, on team philosophy - Last year we focused on being 1-0, that became our slogan. We didn't control our own destiny last year. We were behind Boise State 'til the very, very end. But yet, we worried only about ourselves. I learned a long time ago as a young coach, you got two things you can control in this life - your attitude and your effort. If we can do that as a unit, and as a group, and as a team, then we have only one goal in mind and that is to beat that program on that Saturday. Control our own destiny."

For a complete preview, watch Utah State's "Countdown to Kickoff" preview video below: