LOGAN — Utah State football is on the verge of either something really spectacular or something hugely disappointing for its fans.
After an 11-2 season that surprised most of the college football crowd in the state last year, there’s really no room for a follow-up season to be average — it will either be great or incredibly disappointing.
Last year’s squad looked different in many ways from this year’s team. Three key receivers have since graduated or entered the NFL, the deep defense is returning less than half its position, and — perhaps most notably — the coaching staff has been remodeled after Matt Wells left last season to coach at Texas Tech.
But the new head coach isn’t new to Logan or Utah State at all. Former Aggie head coach Gary Andersen has resurrected his time in Logan and is also looking to return to the results he saw in his last year as the school’s head coach in 2012 — an 11-2 season that many Aggie fans hold dear to their hearts.
His time as a head coach for Oregon State and Wisconsin after leaving Utah State were mediocre, at best, so a restart at Utah State brings a lot of pressure as he looks to reclaim his earlier succes in Cache Valley. There’s no room for him to have another just-mediocre season.
Despite all the change, Aggie fans can take hope in the returners they do have. Tipa Galeai and Jordan Love, to just name two. Galeai will enter his senior season on a high note after leading the conference in sacks and the team in tackles for loss last season.
Junior quarterback Love will return for the Aggies in his second year starting. Last year he was ranked among the Top 10 in the nation in three categories: passing efficiency, passing for touchdowns and points responsible for. He threw a total of 32 touchdowns on the year and the majority of his games he threw over 300 yards. If there is nothing else to watch for on this team, Love is definitely worth the while.
But this season will make or break it for Love and Utah State. Starting in just over two weeks, they will either earn the respect they and their fans have been asking for or they will fade back into the echoes of the Wellsville Mountains of Cache Valley.