The Enemy: Utah State Aggies - pt. 2

 

The Enemy: Utah State Aggies – pt. 2

Record: 0-1 (0-0)


Last Game: @ UNLV  L 27-17
Western Athletic Conference


Logan
, UT


Part 2 of 2 – Utah State on Offense

Okay, the Ducks are now 2-0 against the offensive legend that is Jake Locker. So why should we be concerned with Utah State’s offense? I’d enjoy giving you something meaty to chew on, but frankly there just isn’t much. The Aggies return six starters from an offense that in 2007 ranked sixth (of nine teams) in the WAC for rushing (125 YPG), dead last in passing (153 YPG) and eighth in scoring with just under 21 points a game. Did I mention that was in the WAC?

 

The Enemy: Utah State Aggies

Record 0-1 (0-0)


Last Game: @ UNLV  L 27-17
Western Athletic Conference


Logan
, UT

 

Part 2 of 2 – Utah State on Offense

Okay, the Ducks are now 2-0 against the offensive legend that is Jake Locker. So why should we be concerned with Utah State’s offense? I’d enjoy giving you something the meaty to chew on, but frankly there just isn’t much. The Aggies return six starters from an offense that in 2007 ranked sixth (of nine teams) in the WAC for rushing (125 YPG), dead last in passing (153 YPG) and eighth in scoring at just under 21 points a game. Did I mention that was in the WAC?

Utah State played two QBs in last week’s loss to UNLV. We’ll likely see the same. Last week’s starter was Senior Sean Setzer, a 2-time PIL player of the year at Wilson High in Portland. Setzer was replaced early in the third quarter by sophomore Diondre Borel who ran 15 times for 70 yards, passed for 80 yards and threw for a TD. Quarterback by committee…sounds familiar, though significantly less effective for the Aggies. It sounds like the whole program is kind of feeling things out. First year offensive coordinator Darrell Dickey arrived this year from North Texas, replacing last year’s OC who quit his Utah State job five games into USU’s 2007 season.

 


Here’s who you can expect to see on the field Saturday:

LT Spencer Johnson (#52, 6-5, 292 lbs., So., CA) Though only a sophomore, Johnson brings experience and size to the O-line. He started all 12 games for USU in 2007, the only Aggies freshman to do so last season.

LG Ty Rogers (#69, 6-3, 300 lbs., So., CO) Another of the young OL players the Aggies are hoping will bring a brighter future, Rogers didn’t see the same extensive playing time as fellow sophomore Spencer Johnson, but he did play in 10 games in 2007 as a backup.

C Ryan Tonnemacher (#56, 6-3, 292 lbs., Sr., AZ) The talent and leadership of USU’s offensive line, Tonnemacher received some preseason All-WAC accolades and was named to the Rimington Trophy watch list for the second consecutive season. He led the Aggies in pancakes and allowed zero sacks at left guard his sophomore season (no stats listed for ’07).

RG Brennan McFadden (#61, 6-2, 305 lbs., Jr., CA) McFadden was tabbed in preseason as a backup center, but got the start at RG against UNLV. In 2007 he saw action in all 12 games, getting a single start versus Hawaii.

RT Derek Hoke (#77, 6-9, 315 lbs., Sr., UT) Hoke is the largest of USU’s starting line, and enters his second year as the starting right tackle. Hoke turned 25 in June, having walked on at USU before going on an LDS Church Mission. He’s obviously a smart guy…named Academic All-WAC in 2005, 2006 and 2007. Press info suggests he played hoops in high school. You can imagine this guy dominating church league pick-up games for years to come.

TE Doug Barbour (#87, 6-4, 235 lbs., So., CA) This is interesting. All the preseason hype at TE is about senior Rob Myers, the team’s top returning pass catcher and a strong candidate for All-WAC honors. But Barbour started against UNLV and caught four passes for 41 yards. No stats for Myers versus UNLV, and there’s no mention of any injury or team dismissal in any of the press notes going back nearly two weeks. Maybe the Ducks will see Myers. Maybe not.

WR Jeremy Mitchell (#83, 6-5 251 lbs., Jr., CA) Mitchell was noted as a starting WR in the UNLV game official stats, but is listed as a TE by USU. Whatever the case, he didn’t catch a ball in last week’s game. With USU lining up mostly in a single-back formation, expect to see Mitchell in for blocking duties.

WR Stanley Morrison (#11, 5-8, 156 lbs., Fr., TX) Morrison made a mark in his first collegiate game with 3 catches for 47 yards against UNLV. He was named to Athlon Sports preseason “Rising Star” list this fall.

WR Otis Nelson (#14, 6-4, 214 lbs., Sr., UT) Nelson started eight games in 2007 and saw action in 11, with 20 catches for 189 yards and a touchdown. He’s the veteran of the Utah State receiving corp and considered the top talent. Nelson caught four passes versus UNLV for 32 yards.

RB Robert Turbin (#6, 5-10, 210 lbs., Fr. CA) Turbin is a freshman, after receiving a medical redshirt for 2007. He had 3 carries for 17 yards against Oklahoma in his only ’07 action before injuring a foot. Turbin had 13 carries for 34 yards and a touchdown last week at UNLV. He also caught 3 passes for 39 yards.

QB Sean Setzer (#10, 6-2, 227 lbs., Sr., OR) I’m going with Setzer as the starter only because he got the start against UNLV. USU’s coach praised both of his QBs following the UNLV loss, but it looks – at least on paper – like the younger Borel is more of a dual threat with 70 yards rushing and 80 yards passing in less than a half. Of the two QBs, only Borel had a TD pass against the Rebels, albeit late in the fourth quarter. Expect to see both guys. In which order…will it really matter?

K/P Peter Caldwell (#8, 6-4, 240 lbs., So., UT) Can't forget the punter. He'll probably see a lot of action Saturday. Caldwell will do both the kicking and the punting in 2008 and he appears to be pretty good at both. He was named to 

The Sporting News Freshman All-America list as an honorable mention kicker last season. In 2007 he was 13 of 21 with a long of 47 yards. He was perfect on 25 PAT attempts. Versus UNLV he made his lone field goal try from 42 yards out. He also punted five times averaging 46.4 yards, with a long of 56.

Dismantling Utah State’s offense:

Expect to see spread looks with a single back, and when Borel is in at QB an even more Oregon-style play book with less sophistication. Borel carried the ball 15 times in less than two quarters in the opener at UNLV, prompting his coach to claim he ran the ball better than USU ran out of the RB position. But look, the guy’s no Jake Locker. After getting Chung’d or Nick'd a couple times he may decide he no longer wants to run the ball past the line of scrimmage. BTW – who gets the credit for “Chung’d”? I can’t quite place where I heard that first, but I love it.

This will be the second consecutive week Oregon will face a freshman at RB. It didn’t work out too well for Washington. Common sense would suggest UW’s line is of higher quality than Utah State’s, though that may not yet be a proven fact. The USU line has some size and some experience, but probably not near enough skill to effectively handle Oregon’s front seven. It’s just a guess, but the Aggies O-line probably doesn’t feature five guys with great footwork. Oregon’s speed should be overwhelming. There won’t likely be much running room inside the tackles or outside, regardless of who carries the ball for Utah State.

Maybe the Aggies throw 60 times? We’ve seen WAC teams come in and throw the ball around some in Autzen. Not this team. Not against this group of Oregon DBs. UO’s All-American corners will handle the coverage duties, leaving the safeties to clean up. Aliotti can bring the heat early and often, just to ensure the game starts off in the right direction. Punt - punt - INT - punt - INT - fumble. That works for me.

It ought to get ugly early, which means two things. 1) Oregon backups get valuable playing time heading into some big games, and 2) Some of my tailgating buddies won’t make it back into the stadium following the halftime cooler run. I’ll never quite understand that. Who takes a nap during the second half of a Duck game?

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