Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Southern California running back Justin Davis, left, scores after breaking away form Boston College defensive back Sean Sylvia during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Los Angeles, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013. USC won 35-7. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Utah State football: Aggies seeking monumental win at USC
College football » Aggies look for historic first victory vs. Trojans.
First Published Sep 16 2013 04:37 pm • Last Updated Sep 17 2013 06:29 pm

Logan • Walking into the Los Angeles Coliseum on Saturday will be like stepping through the flickering TV screen Joey DeMartino has watched for years.

Growing up playing football in San Diego, DeMartino believed there was no bigger or better college program than USC. He loved watching San Diego native Reggie Bush dart up and down the field for the Trojans, and everyone who played football wanted to play in L.A. if they could be one of those lucky few who made it.

At a glance

Utah State by the numbers

The Aggies are ranked nationally in a handful of statistical categories entering Week 4

Offense

» No. 4 in third-down efficiency (65.2 percent)

» No. 4 in first downs (29.0 per game)

» No. 8 in scoring (49.3 ppg)

» No. 13 in total offense (550.3 ypg)

Defense

» No. 13 in total defense (286.0 ypg)

»  No. 13 in passing defense (148.0 ypg)

» No. 36 in scoring defense (18.7 ppg)

Utah State at USC

Saturday, 1:30 p.m.

TV » Ch. 4

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

This week, Utah State’s senior running back seeks to shatter his childhood dream school by proving his team is better.

"I used to think there was no team on the same level as USC," he said Monday. "But now, coming to Utah State and watching our program change completely around in the last four years, I like this opportunity to play them and get a W versus them."

The Aggies (2-1) are headed into one of the biggest opportunities in their history. winning at USC (2-1) would mark a level of success the program has never achieved. Coach Matt Wells said if his team can pull off the once-unthinkable, calling it a "program milestone" would sell it short.

Utah State was long the punching bag for programs such as USC, as the series history shows. In four victories over the Aggies, the Trojans have outscored them 213-29, with an average winning margin of 46 points.

Contrast that with this week, when USC opens up as a mere six-point favorite on Saturday afternoon. With the Aggies boasting the No. 8 scoring offense in the nation (49.3 points per game) and the Trojans’ own offense being scrutinized early this season, Utah State fans and players alike are starting to think this could be the year.

Respectful? Yes. Intimidated? No.

"You’re going into a place that’s got the tradition of SC and all the teams they’ve had," Wells said. "It’d be great. It’s going to be on a national stage."

The top concern for Utah State should be USC’s defense. The Trojans are a top-10 unit in many relevant categories, including run yardage (43.5 ypg), total defense (212.3 ypg), interceptions (6 total), and scoring defense (10 ppg). Lineman George Uko is one of the team’s top pass rushers, while safety Dion Bailey has a pair of interceptions already.


story continues below
story continues below

The Aggies defense will also have a priority on stopping the run: USC back Tre Madden has three 100-yard games to start the season. Receiver Marqise Lee is widely regarded as one of the best in the nation.

Coming off a 70-6 win over Weber State last weekend, the Aggies have had some time to tune up execution issues and clean up penalties that plagued them in the first two games. But the true test will be Saturday, in front of a national TV audience.

The Aggies say they are up for it.

"I feel Utah State is a team that plays some of its best ball in the biggest games," junior safety Brian Suite said. "It’s something we expect to do because we feel we can play and we can beat any team in the country."



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.