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USU football: Still much to play for

Published October 26, 2010 10:24 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2010, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Ok, let's face facts: Utah State isn't going to a bowl game this season.

And as much as Gary Andersen loathes to admit it, the season-ending injuries to his best players have decimated his team. Not in my memory of covering a football team have I seen so many season-enders to so many key players. And the results, while not desireable to Aggie football fans, have been predictable. If this were two years down the line, USU may have been able to compensate.

Not now, however.

There simply isn't enough quality depth in Andersen's program to survive the loss of Robert Turbin, Matt Austin and Stanley Morrison. Not to mention Michael Smith. That's four of Utah State's top five offensive talents, with the fifth being Diondre Borel, who is all of a sudden stripped of his weapons.

Borel's come under fire lately, but consider this: With three of those four last season, (Austin was redshirting), he threw 17 touchdown passes and just four interceptions. He hasn't come near those numbers this time around.

And even with a 2-5 record, there is still much to play for. Utah State isn't going to be bowl eligible. Games against Nevada and Boise State, both on the road, are all but un-winnable and USU needs four wins out of five remaining games.

But, there are three pretty winnable games left, with New Mexico State, San Jose State and Idaho remaining. If that can happen, USU would finish the season 5-7, one game better than the 4-8 it finished a season ago.

Now, if that were to play out, you factor in the BYU win, and the recruitment of Chuckie Keeton and some of the fish Andersen's reeled in, that would make for a pretty successful season, considering the circumstance.

Tony Jones




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