Utah State Aggies make a change at quarterback

After replacing Cooper Legas early against Air Force last week, freshman McCae Hillstead has assumed the starting QB position in practice this week.

The Utah State Aggies are making a change at quarterback.

Head coach Blake Anderson said that McCae Hillstead has assumed the role of starting quarterback in practice this week, replacing Cooper Legas.

“For now, we’re going to put McCae out there and do everything we can to help him be successful,” Anderson said Monday.

This follows Utah State’s 39-21 loss against Air Force last week, where Hillstead stepped in for Legas early during the second quarter. The true freshman quarterback was 18-of-27 passing for 202 yards and three touchdowns. Hillstead’s 202 passing yards were the most by an Aggie true freshman since 2013.

Legas, who lost a fumble in the first quarter and threw an interception in the second, completed only two passes against Air Force. The senior quarterback was 1-1 on the season before last Friday’s game.

“I felt like Coop was indecisive and fidgety in the pocket,” Anderson said. “He was late getting the ball out on the fumble, the interception was not very confident, poor decision. What I saw from McCae was quick decisions on things he had seen.”

Both quarterbacks played high school football in Utah. Hillstead is a graduate of Skyridge High School in Lehi; Legas is from Orem High.

The Aggies now turn their focus to this week’s matchup against James Madison University, where physicality and maintaining possession are points of emphasis.

“We got pushed around a little bit [against Air Force]. I didn’t feel like we got pushed around against Iowa, and I know we’re capable,” said Anderson. “JMU are a really good football team and are as good as anybody at getting to the quarterback.”

The Aggies will host James Madison in the first meeting between the two programs on Saturday, Sept. 23, at 6 p.m.