Know The Foe is back for the battle of the Aggies. The Utah State Aggies are fresh off a dominating victory over San Jose State and welcome New Mexico State to Logan. The crimson Aggies are fresh off a much needed bye week and are on a five game slide. This week we enlist the help of Kraig Williams who covers Utah State athletics for the Deseret News. You can find an archive Kraig's excellent work here and you can also follow him on Twitter at @DesNewsKraig.
Utah State is off to a 5-2 start and is just one game away from being bowl eligible for a second straight year. I think everyone knew the Aggies would be good offensively with Chuckie Keeton and Kerwynn Williams anchoring that side of the ball but the defense has been a surprise to those not familiar with USU. How surprised are you at how good the Aggies' defense is this year?
It's been a surprise to see the defense make this big of a jump in just one year. Most people naturally assumed the defense would take a step back with Bobby Wagner graduating and playing in the NFL, but instead of taking a step back they have just gotten deeper and more athletic across the board. Head coach Gary Andersen made his name as a great defensive coordinator at Utah and adding defensive coordinator Dave Aranda from Hawaii has been a great fit. With Aranda on board the defensive game plans have been really sharp and gotten the most out of the talent on the team.
Who have been the biggest standouts for the USU defense this season?
Freshman Kyler Fackrell has to be the defensive MVP so far. Fackrell has gone back-to-back on WAC defensive player of the week honors and has given USU another playmaker at linebacker. The defensive line, led by Al Lapuaho, have been excellent space eaters which has allowed Fackrell, Zach Vigil, Bojay Filimoeatu and the rest of the linebackers the ability to make a lot of plays. In the secondary Will Davis has been a huge improvement at #2 CB and McKade Brady has been making plays from the safety position all over the field. Continue Reading This Post >>