"It's going to be fun," said Alston, who is from Richmond, Calif. "This is going to be their first time seeing me play. San Jose is right by where I'm from, so this will be a good environment for me. This will be somewhere that I'm comfortable playing at. I just want to make them proud."
Alston is USU's nickel cornerback this season. He's not a starter, but he may as well be. He plays as many snaps as the regulars.
His role will be magnified on Saturday, as San Jose State features one of the more explosive offenses in the Western Athletic Conference. With the spread offense that the Spartans favor, Alston's performance looms large, one way or the other.
That makes his return home all the more challenging.
"We've got our work cut out for us this week," Alston said. "They like to run about three or four receivers on every play. We are going to prepare and come out ready to play. We just have to settle down, do our job and do the best we can."
A true rival
The game between the two schools have been close the last two seasons, with Utah State winning 34-33 in comeback fashion last year at Romney Stadium. With both programs having good seasons, and both teams moving on to the Mountain West Conference, the intensity in the series is sure to heighten with each passing year.
"We're expecting the same thing," receiver Matt Austin said. "We're thinking this is going to go down to the wire again. These are two pretty good teams, so it should be an exciting game."
A new starter?
Coach Gary Andersen hinted at a kicking change this week, after Josh Thompson missed a field goal that could've tied the game against BYU. Thompson also missed a kick that could've beaten Wisconsin.
on twitter: @tonyaggieville
Utah State at San Jose State
Saturday, 2 p.m.