Utah State's deep linebacking group was supposed to be one of the team's strengths. But just one game into the season, that depth is being tested.
The Aggies lost projected starter Alex Huerta during camp to a shoulder injury and Kyler Fackrell, the Aggies' outside starting linebacker, is sidelined with a knee injury.
Following the Aggies' 38-7 loss to Tennessee, coach Matt Wells called the loss of Fackrell the team's 'first piece of adversity this year.'
"He's a big part of our team," he said. "Any time a guy goes down like that, it gives another guy an opportunity to step up and rally around it."
So who will step up?
Junior Torrey Green is listed as Fackrell's backup and should expect more playing time after getting in seven games as a sophomore. But Wells also likes how Chase Christiansen, a freshman from Stansbury, developed in camp.
Also don't forget LT Filiaga, the Utah transfer who had a very strong camp. He didn't get much time on the field Saturday against Tennessee as the Aggies went with more DBs to handle Tennessee's passing attack, but he will be a force in the future.
Wells said a few weeks ago the thing he liked about the linebackers was not only the depth, but the versatility the group has which would allow the Aggies to shuffle them around, so look for the coaches to experiment with some different lineups.
Fackrell's absence certainly hurts, you don't lose a guy of his caliber and not feel it, but the linebackers can still be an area of strength for the Aggies.
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