Looking for big plays

It’s no secret Utah State lost a big chunk of its offense when running back Robert Turbin suffered an ACL injury during offseason conditioning drills.

Finding ways to overcome that loss was a big priority during spring ball and will continue as such when the Aggies open up fall camp on August 9.

USU coach Gary Andersen said the Aggies will miss Turbin’s explosiveness.

“We need to find that guy that can make that special play on offense,” Andersen said Monday during the WAC preseason meetings.

Michael Smith, the projected starter at running back, has shown that ability out of the backfield, but may not be as physical as Turbin. So USU is looking to its passing game to help shoulder the burden and increase its productivity — especially in the big plays.

Speed and ball security have become priorities. That means Aggie fans should look for Matt Austin to have a big year.

“He caught 22 touchdown passes in junior college and was expected to contribute last year,” Lindy’s College Football Preview wrote. “He missed the season with a broken foot, but could have a monster year as the Aggies rebuild the receiving corps.”

That is especially true with senior Stanley Morrison out for the season with his own broken foot.

Austin, a speedy 6-foot-2, 200 pounder with glue-like hands, should factor into the offense early and provide some of the spark the Aggies will need to be competitive in the WAC.

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