Tired of all the conference expansion/contraction/implosion talk? So are the Aggies.
It’s game week at Utah State as the football team shifts gears and begins some intense focus on playing at No. 7 Oklahoma on Saturday.
USU coach Gary Andersen and the team wrapped up fall camp last week and can’t wait to take the field against the Sooners.
“It was great the last couple of days to shift gears, and walk the kids through a game week, which we were able to do with the last two-a-day and last couple practices on Friday and this morning,” Andersen said. “They are starting to get their legs back a little bit, which is a priority. We have to be fresh and able to run, and come back ready to roll on Monday. Overall the camp was extremely physical from day one, and all the way through. Every single day we were harping on physicalness, and it was a physical camp. We came out of it pretty healthy.”
The only injury of note is that of senior linebacker Matt Ah You. Bothered by a bad shoulder throughout camp, Ah You is not likely out for the season — and his career — after consultation with team doctors. That hurts USU’s depth at the position, but the Aggie do have plenty of younger players waiting in the wings.
Andersen said he was pleased with USU’s drive during the three weeks of practices.
“The kids had a nice attitude, but they did get worn down and that was definitely by design. It is also something as a staff we think we needed,” USU’s second-year coach said. “I think the kids became better football players. Now the challenge is flipping gears from all the physicality to learning how to be a team that stays up, that becomes a good front tackling defense which I would say we are very average at today, and that is a very scary proposition to walk into when you’re are playing a team that is athletic as Oklahoma.”
The Sooners, obviously, present all sorts of challenges to USU. But a successful camp has left Andersen confident.
“Offensively, we need to learn how to prepare against the scouts, and the kids also need to learn how to shift gears because there definitely needs to be a change of momentum, there needs to be a change of speed that we play with when we do have the opportunity to go ones on ones, and twos on twos for the rest of the season,” Andersen said. “Overall I believe camp was productive. We have a long way to go as a football team, but I think we got done what we set out to do during camp.”