Boise • With 12 games done and three solid months of game tape available for opponents to analyze, Gary Andersen said he wants to use this week to install new things in his playbook for Utah State.
And with the Aggies facing Toledo on Saturday in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, Andersen knows he will have to prepare in kind for his opponent.
The two teams have been successful individually in their ability to come up with schemes before games. USU and Toledo have won 19 games combined. And you can bet each team is working to surprise the other come kickoff.
"The more time you have, the more you draw things up on the board, good and bad," Andersen said. "No question, there will be wrinkles. In all three phases of the game, there will be wrinkles that you have to react to. I think as coaches, sometimes you sit back and look and have to make sure you are getting the playmakers the ball as well."
Andersen treats bowl week as a reward for hard work during the season. The goal is to win, for sure.
And with a loss to Ohio last season in the same bowl, the urgency to win is heightened. But having fun is also an element Andersen wants for his players.
"You want to make it fun for the players," Andersen said. "Kids like the chance to block a punt, to make a play on special teams. So we want that for the players as well."
Running back Kerwynn Williams and cornerback Will Davis received honorable mention All-America honors from Sports Illustrated earlier in the week. Davis has five interceptions on the season, while Williams has rushed for more than 1,200 yards. Both are in their first full seasons as starters.
Last season, Utah State won the annual bowling competition against Ohio, but lost the actual bowl game. On Tuesday night, the Aggies lost the competition. Does that mean a reversed outcome of the game?
Brady listed as probable
McKade Brady missed the regular-season finale against Idaho with a broken jaw. He is practicing and on track to play this Saturday as USU's starting safety.