Boise • Much like it was against Louisiana Tech a few months ago, Utah State expects to be stretched to the limit defensively by Toledo on Saturday.
When the Aggies enter their matchup against the Rockets in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, they will see an explosive offense.
Toledo has scored 50 points or more twice, and at least 30 points five times. The Rockets are 30th in the country in total offense, and Dan Fluellen is statistically one of the nation's best running backs.
"We know what we're up against," cornerback Will Davis said. "We have to be sound fundamentally, and we have to get stops defensively when we have third downs. It's not going to be easy."
In quarterback Terrance Owens, Toledo has a guy similar to USU signal-caller Chuckie Keeton, a dual-threat quarterback who can hurt a defense with his arm and his feet. The backfield duo of Owens and Fluellen accounts for most of the Rocket offense, much like Keeton and Kerwynn Williams. Bernard Reedy has 82 catches for 1,051 yards and two touchdowns, working the wide receiver position from the slot and from the outside.
"We're especially worried about the quarterback," USU head coach Gary Andersen said. "He's a very dangerous player. He has a lot of ways to hurt you, and those kinds of guys you really have to prepare for."
Honoring their own
Utah State players will wear patches on their helmets in support of basketball player Danny Berger, who collapsed and nearly died in practice last week. The Aggies made the decision to do so at the beginning of practice this week.
"We just felt this is something we should do," Andersen said. "One thing about this school and community is that we take care of and support our own. This was our way of showing support."
Andersen said the win over Louisiana Tech served as his favorite moment on the season, adding that a win over Toledo could trump that.
"I just think when the official finally told us the game was over and that we could celebrate a WAC title, that's tough to beat," Andersen said. "This program has come a long way, and we really reached a great point with that win."