SALT LAKE CITY – After the first Mountain West Conference championship in the program’s history, Utah State football head Blake Anderson knows a standard has been set.
Anderson joined the DJ & PK show on Friday, May 27 to talk about Utah State Aggie’s football.
Utah State entered 2021 after a tumultuous end to the 2020 season that saw the Aggies boycott their final game with an already tightened schedule following racially and religiously insensitive comments from university president Noelle Crockett regarding interim head coach Frank Maile.
Enter Blake Anderson.
Anderson took over a teetering program after a 1-5 season and with no clear direction. He came to the Aggies with experience in program building. In seven seasons with the Red Wolves, Anderson compiled a 51-37 record and won two Sun Belt Conference championships.
It was hard to imagine Anderson planning a quick turnaround. Most pundits predicted the Aggies would survive a year or two of rebuilding.
Anderson and the Aggies had other plans when a 26-23 season-opening win over Washington State made it clear Utah State would be no pushover in 2021.
After a 9-3 record in the regular season, the Aggies defeated favorites San Diego State 46-13 in the title game at Mountain West. Utah State then defeated Oregon State 24-13 in the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl and ended 11-3.
Pretty good for a “remodel” season.
Now, exactly three months to the day since their season opener against the Connecticut Huskies, Anderson and the Aggies know they have purpose in their backs. Luckily for Utah State, a deep quarterback room starting with Logan Bonner set them up for success.
Anderson said of Bonner: “He should be the starter and I expect him to play without a light. He really put time and energy into his body. When the knee is ready to go I think all other areas of his body will be in great shape so if we keep him healthy he will have an incredible season.
With Bonner in his final season with the Aggies, Anderson also understands the long-term view of the position. “If you don’t have a quarterback, you don’t stand a chance.”
With that in mind, Anderson spoke about the need for leadership and depth in the QB room: “We will always make sure we recruit this position with great priority. We devote time and energy to ensure the space is healthy. That we can continue to run the system and style of play that we want. These guys are leaders. We feel like everyone in the room, from Logan to the commitments we already have, meets all of those criteria and it gives us a chance to succeed.”
Along with Bonner, Orem High School graduate Cooper Legas returns after a successful showing against Oregon State when Bonner was out through injury. Legas completed his first college pass, a 62-yard touchdown for Deven Thompkins; then settled in with an 11-20 day passing for 171 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
Aggie fans may also remember former Wyoming Cowboy QB Levi Williams. Williams came to Maverik Stadium and led the Cowboys to an upset victory over the Aggies in 2021, but he will now wear Aggie Blue. Former Davis darts Garrett Larsen rounds out the quarterback room.
Williams and Larson are each listed as sophomores while Legas enters his junior season.
After minimal national television exposure last season, Utah State recently announced they will play nine nationally televised games in 2022. The Aggies are scheduled to start their season at home against UConn before traveling to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where they meet national runners-up Crimson Tide and Heisman Trophy hopeful QB Bryce Young.
All Utah State football games are broadcast on The Zone Sports Network and tickets can be purchased at utahstateaggies.com.