LaJuan Hunt has been around long enough to remember the last time Utah State was a big home underdog, like last week against BYU, but pulled an upset instead.
And he’s been reminded of it as well as the Aggies try to follow up the win over the Cougars this week against Colorado State.
In 2015 Utah State beat a nationally ranked Boise State team 52-26 in Logan. The very next week, it all went south as the Aggies were beaten soundly 48-14 at San Diego State.
“I felt like we got too big-headed and overzealous about the win,” said Hunt, a senior running back for USU. “It’s not easy winning Division I games at all, and we felt like just because we beat Boise State, we were just going to roll out our helmets and win, which is not the case.
“Being on that team, I know how the energy was after the game and the weeks of practice afterward,” he added. “I know what we have to do so we don’t get lackadaisical and lose sight of the next game, which is Colorado State.”
The Rams, like the Aggies, started Mountain West Conference play by beating a West Division opponent on the road. Last week, Colorado State thumped Hawai’i 51-21.
Utah State opened its MWC slate two weeks ago with 61-10 thrashing of San Jose State. Last week, the Aggies started a three-game home stretch by beating Brigham Young 40-24.
In CSU, Utah State is against a team whose two losses are a 14-point defeat to Colorado and an 18-point setback at No. 1 Alabama.
“They’re loaded on offense,” Aggies coach Matt Wells said.
“They have four tailbacks that are all good. They’re dirty, nasty and strong up on the front line, and I mean every one of those as a compliment to the O-linemen,” he added. “They have three legit wideouts and a couple of good tight ends and fullbacks.”
Wells has more than average familiarity with Colorado State quarterback Nick Stevens, because Utah State recruited him out of high school.
Stevens was very efficient last week, connecting on 18 of his 22 throws for 351 yards and four touchdowns.
“The game looks like it’s in slow motion right now to Nick. He put on a clinic at Hawai’i,” Wells said. “He has a lot of weapons around him, which makes any quarterback confident. “He has a run game — I think he’s been sacked twice all year,” Wells continued. “I mean, are you kidding me? That’s one of the tops in the country, and last I looked, they played Alabama.”
Turnovers were the Aggies’ best friend against BYU last week as Jalen Davis made three interceptions, fellow defensive back Dallin Leavitt picked another and Utah State scooped up three fumbles.
“We’re going to have to show the same stuff we did last week against BYU, with effort to the ball — everyone is going to have to get to the ball.” Aggies linebacker Derek Larsen said. “The front seven is really going to have to establish a stop-run defense and hopefully, make them one-dimensional. But, they also pass the ball very well. Overall, it’s going to be a big test for our defense.”