Gary Andersen, with his energetic pep talk of a press conference, infused what had been a depressed bunch of Aggies with a genuine sense of excitement Thursday afternoon.
No offense to Brent Guy and his no-nonsense approach to the game of football, but Andersen grabbed hold of the meeting with both hands commanded attention and excitement. It was, frankly, something that hasn’t been seen in Logan for years.
Andersen will be Utah State’s 26th football coach and inherits a team oozing with potential but also mired in mediocrity at best. His challenge is to turn the Aggies into a respectable foootball program instead of a perrenial joke in the state and regular, if unwilling, participant in nationwide discussions about who has the worst football team in the country.
While it’s easy to kick the Aggies while they are down, it’s also not too terribly hard to take a look at the past season and make a predicition that with the right system, USU could be in a bowl game.
USU went 3-9 this season. A fluke 58-yard, last-second field goal by Fresno State is all that stands between that and a 4-8 record. The Aggies also held a lead late in the fourth quarter at Louisiana Tech. More toughness in Ruston would have left Utah state at 5-7.
With that in mind, Andersen’s remodeling of the Aggies is anything but a total rebuild. The foundation is in place. The parts are there and all Andersen and his staff will be asked to do is put everything together.
“I am extremely excited to get started. No one will out-work us, no one will out-tough us and no one will out-prepare us,” he said. “I promise you that.”
Welcome words, no doubt, to Aggie fans tired of losing.