LOGAN, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Fall football camp began this week for the Utah State Aggies, and the team has some extra motivation after the end of last season.
“I see a chip on their shoulder a little bit,” said head coach Matt Wells. “It’s easy to see. Hopefully everybody in our program, including me, has a why – why you do it- and that chip motivates you.”
The Aggies ended the 2017 regular season with a last minute loss against Air Force and lost to New Mexico State in overtime of the Arizona Bowl. That left a bitter taste in the mouths of the players.
“You’ve got the whole summer to work, but especially coming off of a loss, coming off of two losses right there at the end of the season, we know we’ve got to come out here and work,” sophomore quarterback Jordan Love said. “Being able to finish games isn’t something we were able to do last year.”
Utah State is also returning 18 starters from last season, and Wells said that helps put the team ahead of schedule.
“It allows you to start faster, probably be a lot more organized. They should know what we’re doing, but those returning guys need to take a step forward in their individual development,” Wells said. “Just because you have returning starters doesn’t equal wins.”
Senior linebacker Chase Christiansen knows what a big positive it is to have so many returning starters. “It’s a big difference when you have people coming back who already know what to expect and so they know how to prepare better,” he said.
“Everyone is that much further ahead in their playbooks. We know a lot that’s going on already,” senior safety Gaje Ferguson said of the returning players. “We can do more in our scheme. It’s better for the young guys coming in. We have more guys teaching them, so they’re catching up at a faster rate. You have so many people that have been in those positions, starting ready, and then a lot of guys that are competing for them so it’s just making everyone better.”
The Aggies open the 2018 season on August 31 on the road against Michigan State.