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Utah State Aggies Preview 2022: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the Utah State season with what you need to know and keys to the season.

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Utah State Aggies Preview
Head Coach: Blake Anderson, 11-3, 2nd year at Utah State
9th year overall, 62-40, 2021 Preview
2021 Record: Overall: 11-3, Conference: 6-2
Keys To The Season
Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Utah State Top 10 Players | Utah State Schedule

Utah State Aggies Preview 2022

It was one of the best stories of 2021.

Blake Anderson was terrific at Arkansas State. He won two Sun Belt championships, got another division title, got to six bowl games and won 51 games in his seven seasons.

In 2019 he tragically lost his wife to cancer, pressed on through, came back for the 2020 season, and after his first losing campaign, left to take over the Utah State job.

The Aggies had a down 2020, but they didn’t need a total overhaul. Anderson came in to a change of scenery, brought some key parts with him, and … boom. He came up with his best season as a head coach.

Coming off an 11 win season with a Mountain West title and a bowl win over Oregon State from the Pac-12, Anderson has been able to bring the program back, his offensive style should keep working, and he’s got a team good enough to shoot for another championship.

Utah State Aggies Preview 2022: Offense

Well that worked just fine.

The Utah State offense got an infusion of energy, talent, and ideas with the new coaching staff getting everything going with the passing game, and the team averaged 446 yards and 33 points per game.

The ground game was okay, the passing attack was amazing, and everything clicked going from averaging 276 yards per game in 2020 to 449 last year.

Veteran quarterback Logan Bonner came over with the coaches from Arkansas State, stepped in, and threw 36 touchdown passes with 12 picks as he pushed the ball down the field without a problem and kept everything moving. On the way is Wyoming transfer Levi Williams – he threw 13 touchdown passes and ran for 13 scores in three seasons.

The combination of Deven Thompkins, Brandon Bowling, and Derek Wright are gone after combining for 206 of the 303 catches and 31 of the 41 touchdown grabs. Bringing in Brian Cobbs from Maryland helps, and Justin McGriff is a good veteran target.

The offensive line needs to be stronger in pass protection, but just about everyone is back – this group did a good enough job – around all-star left tackle Alfred Edwards and right guard Quazzel White. The running game has to be better, though.

The offense doesn’t have to crank up 200 yards per game – it averaged 142 per outing – but it has to be a whole lot better than 3.6 yards per carry. Calvin Tyler led the way with 911 yards and seven scores, and John Gentry adds a quick option, but they combined to average around four yards a pop.

Utah State Aggies Preview 2022: Defense

The defense wasn’t a rock, but it was far improved over the 2020 version. It led the Mountain West in tackles for loss, but gave up close to 400 yards per game. There was a lot of bending but not a ton of breaking.

There were a few strange performances when everything melted down – Wyoming and Air Force went off – but the D allowed 24 points or fewer in seven of the last nine games.

Top playmaker in the backfield Nick Heninger is gone, but Byron Vaughns is a disruptive force on one end, Hale Motu’apuaka is a 6-1, 280-pound anchor on the nose, and there’s help from the transfer portal with Daniel Grzesiak from Nevada for the outside and 280-pound JUCO transfer Tavian Coleman for the interior.

The secondary needs to come up with more big plays. It wasn’t totally awful, but the corners didn’t generate picks or a whole lot of broken up passes. Hunter Reynolds is the leading returning tackler making 83 stops at one safety spot, and Michael Anyanwu is a veteran at one corner.

The transfer portal took corner Cam Lampkin (Washington State) and safety Monte McGary (Kansas), but Miami transfer Gurvan Hall will be a key part at one safety job.

Also coming in is Anthony Switzer from Arkansas State for one outside linebacker job, and Washington’s MJ Tafisi will take over on the inside.

Keys To The Season
Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Utah State Top 10 Players | Utah State Schedule

Utah State Aggies: Keys To The Season, Top Game, Top Transfer, Fun Stats NEXT

Utah State Aggies: Keys To The Season, Top Game, Top Transfer, Fun Stats

Utah State Aggies: Key To The 2022 Offense

Chill out on the turnovers. 

The running game has to be more effective – averaging over four yards per carry would be nice – and the turnovers didn’t turn out to be that much of a make-or-break deal in most games, but the 23 giveaways were way too many.

The defense helped make up for them with 23 takeaways, but the Aggie O gave up the ball in seven games including all three of the losses.

There were three times when Utah State was -2 in turnover margin. Those were in all three of the losses.

Utah State Aggies: Key To The 2022 Defense

Keep on not breaking.

The defense gave up way too many first downs, and it got hit for way too many yards at strange times. However, the D did a decent job of holding.

Considering how great the Aggie O should be, giving up field goals isn’t that big a deal.

There were plenty of trips allowed inside the red zone, but Utah State only allowed offenses to come up with touchdowns 45% of the time – tenth best in college football.

How good was the red zone defense? It didn’t allow more than one touchdown when teams got inside the 20 over the last seven games.

Utah State Aggies: Key Player To The 2022 Season

DE Byron Vaughns, Jr.
Who’s going to pick up the slack for the loss of Nick Heninger? The former star end made 75 tackles with nine sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss, but he’s done, and the 6-4, 225-pound Vaughns has to be the new go-to guy in the backfield.

He made 43 tackles with four sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss last year, and now he has to do even more heavy lifting.

Utah State Aggies: Key Transfer

WR Brian Cobbs, Sr.
The offense makes the receivers almost as much as the other way around, but it still hurts to lose all the big-time producers who made last year so special.

Enter Cobbs, a 6-2, 205-pound former Maryland Terrapin who made 59 catches for 880 yards and two scores averaging 15 yards per catch in his four years. He’ll be a featured part of the attack right out of the gate.

Utah State Key Game To The 2022 Season

at Colorado State, Oct. 15
This is about to be a much, much better Colorado State team this year with head coach Jay Norvell coming over from Nevada to super-charge the program.

Utah State has won three straight in the series, but this time around it’s a midseason road game in the midst of a run of four away dates in six games.

The back half of the schedule, though, isn’t that bad. Win this, and there’s a good chance to go on a big run before closing out the regular season at Boise State.

Utah State Aggies: 2021 Fun Stats

– 1st Quarter Scoring: Opponents 106 – Utah State 62
– 4th Down Conversions: Utah State 16-of-30 (53%) – Opponents 5-of-20 (25%)
– Penalties: Opponents 113 for 1,046 yards – Utah State 86 for 763 yards

Offense, Defense Breakdown
Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Utah State Top 10 Players | Utah State Schedule

Utah State Aggies Season Prediction, What Will Happen NEXT

Utah State Aggies Season Prediction, What Will Happen

After Utah State took a year off in 2020 – like most of the world did – everything is now back to normal.

There have been dips over the years, and losing seasons, and a few misfires, but there’s nothing to suggest that this should be anything less than a fourth winning campaign in five years with – at the very least – a fifth bowl appearance in six tries.

The receiving corps has to refresh, the defensive front has to keep getting into the backfield, and there has to be a few breaks along the way.

Give the Aggies credit for starting the season with a Pac-12 win over Washington State and ending it with a Pac-12 win over Oregon State in the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl, but it helped that San Diego State got hammered by COVID before the Mountain West Championship, and there were only two regular season wins over FBS teams that finished with winning records.

Whatever. Utah State was 11-3 with a Mountain West Championship and a bowl victory – and it might just be good enough to do something close to that again.

It also helps to miss San Diego State, Fresno State, and Nevada.

Set The Utah State Aggies Regular Season Win Total At … 7.5

Can the Aggies win at least one of the rough road games?

Forget about the trip to Alabama, going to BYU will be rough, and closing at Boise State will be nasty – unless the Broncos have a spot in the Mountain West Championship wrapped up. At Colorado State, at Wyoming, and this year, at Hawaii in mid-November will all be challenging.

But Utah State should be good enough to come up with a few big victories, it has to get by Air Force at home, and there can’t be any misfires.

Or everything keeps on rolling from last year and the Aggies rip through the Mountain West with another huge season.

Offense, Defense Breakdown | Keys To The Season
Utah State Top 10 Players | Utah State Schedule

2022 College Football Schedules: All 131 Teams



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