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Utah State reacts to preseason WAC polls

Utah State reacts to preseason WAC polls



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SALT LAKE CITY -- The Western Athletic Conference football meetings are going on this week in Salt Lake City.

Wednesday the Utah State Aggies were picked to finish seventh out of nine teams in both the coaches and media WAC preseason polls.

Thursday coaches and players had a chance to react to the polls.

First year head coach Gary Andersen said if he were outside looking in that's where he would put the Aggies; toward the bottom of the pack.

"You win, the respect will come," Andersen said matter-of-factly.

For the players, they know they are not getting any respect anywhere.

Senior Defensive back James Brindley said it doesn't matter where you are picked before the season, "it's where you finish is what counts."

Junior quarterback Diondre Borel, entering his second season as the Aggies starter, is taking it upon himself to lead Utah State to a winning season.

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"Some players have chips on their shoulders being picked seventh, but I just have to lead this team to win and I believe we can win," Borel said.

Under Andersen, Borel says players are more focused than they have been the last couple of years.

"We've had a great spring and summer and I believe we can win."

Last year the Aggies finished seventh in the WAC (3-5 WAC, 3-9 overall). They beat Idaho, Hawaii and New Mexico State, all at home. They went winless on the road in 2008. The Aggies open up in five weeks against the University of Utah at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

The visit will be a homecoming for Andersen who was the Utes defensive coordinator before taking the Utah State job.

The Aggies were soundly beaten last year by Utah, 58-10 in Logan. Their 11th straight lost to the Utes. The last time Utah State beat Utah was in 1997 in Salt Lake City under coach John L. Smith.

E-mail: rzundel@ksl.com

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Rod Zundel

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