Chuckie Keeton (16) looks to lead Utah State to back-to-back bowl games for the first time since the '60's. Photo Credit: John Reed-US PRESSWIRE

Know the Opponent: Utah State Aggies

We return to the Beehive State for the next team on our list with the Utah State Aggies who went bowling for the first time since 1997 last season. The Aggies went 7-6 and 5-2 in the WAC under head coach Gary Andersen. They’ll host the Utah Utes on Friday, September 7 at Romney Stadium at 5 pm on ESPN2.

Sophomore Chuckie Keeton figures to be the starter for the Aggies this season after a solid freshman season. In his first year in Logan he threw for 1,200 yards with 11 passing touchdowns to just two interceptions. Utah State has depth with senior Adam Kennedy who threw for 972 yards also throwing 11 TD passes with four INT’s.

Senior Kerwynn Williams will have big shoes to fill replacing a 1500 yard back and another who ran for 870. Williams had 542 yards scoring three times, Keeton will be able to help also having ran for 293 yards and reached the endzone four times.

The offense gets another big senior returner back with Matt Austin returning to help he had 465 yards with six touchdowns. Third leading receiver and fellow senior Chuck Jacobs had 218 yards with two scores.

On defense senior defensive back Brady McKade was third in tackles with 86 tackles, 41 solo and 45 assists. Joining him in the defensive backfield is junior corner Nevin Lawson who had 73 tackles (56 solo, 17 assisted) with an interception.

Coach Andersen’s team will have a difficult non-conference schedule before going into WAC play. They open the year with home games against in-state opponents Southern Utah and Utah then travel to Wisconsin, Colorado State before coming home for UNLV followed up by a trip to BYU. I think they’ll get enough wins in conference to make it to back-to-back bowl games.

2012 Utah State Aggies Schedule –

@Southern Utah 8/30
Utah 9/7
@Wisconsin 9/15
@Colorado State 9/22
UNLV 9/29
@BYU 10/5
@San Jose State 10/13
New Mexico State 10/20
@UTSA 10/27
Texas State 11/3
@Louisiana Tech 11/17
Idaho 11/24

Check out the entire archive of “Know the Opponents,” a series of all Pac-12 non-conference opponent previews, here.

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Tags: Chuckie Keeton ESPN2 Gary Andersen Matt Austin Pac-12 Pac-12 Conference Pac-12 Conference Football Pacific 12 Pacific 12 Conference Pacific 12 Football Romney Stadium Utah Utah State Utah State Aggies Utah State Aggies Football Utah Utes Utah Utes Football WAC WAC Football Western Athletic Conference

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