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Aggies feeling confident, mentally prepared six days out from opener

Published August 23, 2013 5:36 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Logan • There's no need to question his team's readiness, Utah State football coach Matt Wells said Friday.

"Mentally, we're good," he said. "We ended camp two days ago. It's Tuesday in Aggie football world."

After Friday's practice, Wells said he had "a million concerns" heading into Thursday's game at Rice-Eccles Stadium against Utah, but he is confident that the Aggies are prepared for the task. Even ahead of his first game as a head coach, he feels like he's done most of what he can do.

"I think just making sure you've covered every situation that you can put the kids in so they can be successful if it comes up," he said. "I think that's our job as coaches: To prepare them enough mentally that they can react and using their god-given ability to play to the best of their ability."

Wells did spend some time dissecting some of his concerns. He has great respect for the Utah secondary, which includes a few athletes he recruited at various stops in his coaching career. He called safety Eric Rowe one of the top defensive backs Utah State will face this season.

He also has a healthy respect for the hostility of Rice-Eccles Stadium. Furthermore, Utah is planning a "stripe the stadium" promotion that will create great swaths of white and red in the crowd for the season-opener.

"It's a great environment, one of the best I've ever coached in - and played in," he said. "Not been very successful. It is a hostile environment. They're loud, and we're preparing for it."

With the hustle to make final adjustments and preparation, Wells said he hasn't been able to reflect much on his career, and his quick rise through the program in his last two seasons. Things have been moving too fast, he said.

Thinking back on it, though, there was a moment that stuck out.

"I know two years ago I was stressing out about playing an 18-year-old against the defending national champions," he said. "I don't remember last year, but I remember two years ago pretty good."

— Kyle Goonkgoon@sltrib.comTwitter: @kylegoon




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