Logan • For a team that struggled mightily running the ball in a 46-10 loss to Wake Forest on Saturday, Utah State got further bad news when it comes to its rushing attack for the rest of the schedule.
USU coach Matt Wells said Monday that Tonny Lindsey Jr. will be out for the remainder of the year for an injured shoulder.
Lindsey was listed second on the depth chart in fall camp, behind senior LaJuan Hunt, but the senior was the Aggies’ leading rusher in 2016. He had 763 yards on the ground as a junior as well as 123 yards in receptions.
In the season-opener against Wisconsin, in a fourth-quarter play that resulted in a long interception touchdown return for the Badgers, Lindsey was hurt while attempting to make a block.
“That’s a tough thing for a young man. A young man that worked really hard in the offseason to put himself in good position to have a good senior year,” Wells said. “I hate that for Tonny.”
Wells said Lindsey had surgery on his shoulder last week.
Against the Demon Deacons, Utah State managed just 42 rushing yards on 31 attempts. Wells said that lack of productivity couldn’t attributed to the running backs alone.
“Poor game from the O-line, from the D-line, from the linebackers - the front seven on both sides of the ball,” Wells said. “If you can’t run the ball or can’t stop the run, you’re going to have trouble beating Wyatt Wells (his son’s) 8-U flag football team.”
Utah State at San Jose State
Saturday, 5:30 p.m.
Wells looking for front 7 to step up
Wells said that the Aggies’ defense will continue to rotate players along the defensive line and in the linebacking unit when the team plays at San Jose State this weekend.
Wake Forest accumulated 291 yards rushing on Saturday.
“We didn’t communicate very well. We didn’t run to the football very well, but I don’t have seven free agents that came in this morning,” Wells said at his weekly Monday press conference. “I’m not trying to be funny. We rotate those guys. We rotate outsides [linebackers], insides, D-line. If we had seven that could play every snap, then we would stick with seven that can play every snap.”
The leading tacklers for Utah State against the Deacons were both safeties. Gaje Ferguson had ten stops while Dallin Leavitt was in on nine tackles. Junior linebacker Suli Tamaivena had eight tackles, five solo stops, to lead the players closer to the line of scrimmage.
“That’s who we have, I believe in them,” Wells said. “They’re going to play better, they’re going to run to the football better and we’re going to practice better.”
Love gets some Love for backup QB performance
Senior quarterback Kent Myers went out with an injury in the thirdquarter of the game after getting hit on a punt return. Myers, whoappeared to get hit in the back of the head, said he “got dinged” on theplay.
Wells said that Jordan Love, who came in to quarterback the Aggies the rest of the way, played well.
“I don’t think the moment was too big for him,” the USU coach said. “There were a couple of things he missed, but he has confidence throwing the football. Both of the long passes were spot-on. He stepped up in the pocket and did a nice job. He threw with confidence.”
Wells did not address whether Myers was in a group of players he considers “day-to-day” heading into this week’s contest at San Jose.
“We’ve got some guys banged up,” Wells said. “Some guys returned to the game last week, some guys didn’t because of the way the game was playing out in the fourth quarter,”
Myers finished with nine completions on 23 attempts for 54 yards and an interception. Love, just a freshman, had 171 yards passing on his six connections (out of 13 attempts).