LOGAN — Utah State is in its second week of prep for its conference opener against San Diego State Saturday.
The Aztecs are arguably one of the top three toughest teams in the Mountain West Conference, which means there's a lot riding on Utah State's first conference game.
In the overall record between the two teams, Utah State has only one win since 1947. On the upside for head coach Gary Andersen and his players, the two teams haven’t met since 2016, which was almost entirely a different roster for both the Aggies and Aztecs.
Although he was on the roster at their last meeting and even got on the field, senior quarterback Ryan Agnew for San Diego State didn’t record any stats in that game in 2016. Aggie quarterback Jordan Love was in a redshirt year that season.
Gerold Bright, a senior running back at Utah State, said there’s enough differences between this year’s team and the 2016 team for him to be confident going into the first conference matchup.
“We've changed. We've gotten better," Bright said. "Our goals are still the same. We're looking forward to getting this win. The first win in conference play."
In short, enough has changed about Utah State's team since their last meeting with the Aztecs that the outcome won’t be tied to the same people it was last time; however, Andersen said there is plenty about this 2019 Aztecs squad to keep tabs on.
"Same thing you always see out of San Diego State in the run game: big, powerful offensive line, a bunch of good tight ends, and a good scheme,” Andersen said at Monday’s press conference. “That’s the biggest thing … they’re good at football schemes.”
With only two passing touchdowns this season, Agnew and the San Diego State offense have already proven to have a strong run game. Remembering his freshman year against the Aztecs, defensive tackle Christopher ‘Unga said he feels more prepared for this go-around with their run game.
“Being as experienced as I am, we have the physicality at the D-line to go and throw blows with them," 'Unga said. "We have a good shot at that.”
The game between the two different squads will start at 8:30 p.m. MDT on CBS Sports Network, where Utah State is looking for its first win over the Aztecs in over 50 years.