Aggies putting BYU win "in the rear-view mirror"

LOGAN – It was a memorable Friday night for the Utah State football team. BYU came into town, gave up seven turnovers to the Aggie defense and left with a 16-point loss.

The last time USU forced at leastseven turnovers? Friday, Oct. 16, 2015 against Boise State.

USU students celebrated the win over the rival Cougars by rushing onto the field, surrounding the players and singing the Scotsman.

The last time that happened? Friday Oct. 16, 2015 against Boise State.

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But head coach Matt Wells and his players are hoping the similarities end there, and to depart from the 2015 storyline.

The 52-26 win over Boise State in 2015 was followed up by a 48-14 loss to San Diego State – the first of five losses in the team’s last seven games. It was an unexpected derailment of a promising season. Fans saw their team go from a likely berth in the conference championship game to eventually finishing with a bowl loss and a 6-7 record.

The skid didn’t end there. USU won just three games the following year, finishing with its worst record since 2008.

Running back LaJuan Hunt was a sophomore at the time of the Boise State win, and he remembers the team getting “big-headed and over-zealous” in the weeks after.

“We didn’t focus on the next week and the game we had to play,” he said. “It’s not easy winning Division I games at all, and we felt like just because we beat Boise State, we were just going to roll out our helmets and win, which is not the case playing Division I football.”

Head coach Matt Wells is focused on making sure the team is prepared to keep focus moving forward. He said the key to that will be “hitting the reset button.”

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“We have to put (the BYU win) in the rear-view mirror,” he said. “There’s a reason the rear-view mirror and the windshield are not the same size. You need to put the things in the past in the rear-view mirror. If you keep focusing on that thing, you’re about to crash and have a major wreck. You need to look ahead at what will end up being one of the most talented teams we’ll play this year in Colorado State.”

Colorado State is bringing a strong offensive attack to Logan Saturday. The Ram offense is averaging more than 500 yards and 34 points per game. More than 315 of those yards are coming through the air.

With both teams at 1-0 in conference, whichever wins will gain a strong advantage in the Mountain Division race. Wells called it “the biggest game of the season right now.”

“It’s not just because it’s the next game,” he said. “They’re hot. They’re playing well. We’ve had two good games in a row. I think it’s going to be a great showdown and a great matchup. It’ll be physical. It’ll be a bloodbath.”

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