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Logan • Controlling Bryant Moniz, and his ability to lead Hawaii's offense, may be a key for Utah State pulling off what promises to be a difficult matchup Saturday for the Aggies.
In conjunction, actually playing offense and playing it well could be imperative for USU.
With Hawaii possessing one of the Western Athletic Conference's most explosive offenses, ball control figures to be a key. USU not only needs to score points, but actually use up some time doing so with a running game that's been up and down this season.
"We have to maximize our possessions," USU coach Gary Andersen said. "Hawaii has a lot of weapons. They have a great quarterback, they have a very big offensive line, and they have big, physical receivers. It's going to be a challenge for us, but I believe the kids will be ready for that challenge."
Perhaps the best way to neutralize an opposing offense is keeping it off the field. That's where the Aggies' running game comes in. Andersen said the more his team chews up the clock and the more it finds success on the ground, the more it limits the chances for Hawaii to run up the score.
"The running game is going to be extremely important for us," tight end Kellen Bartlett said. "It will be tough, because they contain the runner and play technically sound. It makes it tough to beat a team like that, but if we can play technically sound, then we shouldn't have a problem running the ball. We need to get 200 yards rushing against them. It's needed for our offense to be successful."
Walker makes a visit
One local star returning home will be Lewis Walker, who played at Judge Memorial and led the Bulldogs to the Class 3A title game three years ago against Logan. Walker, recruited by Utah in high school, plays safety for Hawaii and is a redshirt sophomore. He plays mostly in nickel packages and on special teams. He's also known as one of the hardest hitters on the team, despite his stature at 5-foot-11, 175 pounds. His cousin Keenyn Walker will play baseball at Utah next season.
A full return to health
Chris Randle, Rajric Coleman and Spencer Johnson are all expected to be at 100 percent Saturday after weeks of nursing ankle injuries. Coleman and Randle each got hurt against Fresno State and missed a week before returning against BYU. Johnson, a senior left tackle, sprained his ankle against San Diego State and has played sparingly since.
"The bye week has been good for those guys," Andersen said. "Obviously, we're not getting a lot of guys back, but it's good to get some guys healthy."
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