Logan • One thing Utah State freshman quarterback Jordan Love likes to do around Logan with his friends when not going to the movies or playing video games is to hit the bowling alley.
The 6-foot-3 Love usually is among the taller people at the lanes on a given night, but he said it’s no trouble releasing the ball.
“I’ve got long arms,” he said.
Not much has been a stretch for the Bakersfield, Calif., native this season.
Love began the year behind senior Kent Myers and was given a series per game, — usually at the beginning of the second quarter — to get some meaningful playing time.
It was in a 28-23 home loss to Wyoming in mid-October when that possession turned into a lengthy turn at signalcaller — the second quarter and into the third in that game.
Love was handed the ball at the beginning of the next game, and he’s been the starter since.
“Some of the stuff he’s done has been great at times, and then he’s had a little bit of stuff that’s not been so good,” Utah State coach Matt Wells said. “He’s 3-1. That’s the most important stat as a starting quarterback.”
Utah State at Air Force
When • Saturday, 8:15 p.m.
TV • ESPN2
Wells has emphasized throughout the season that the decision on who to start at quarterback rests on whatever is best for the team.
Love said he’s fine with that philosophy, even if it’s him who is on the hot seat.
“It’s not like I’m looking over my shoulder,” Love said. “The coach is going to do whatever is best for the team. When Kent does good and they want to keep him in, and that’s what’s best for the team, I’m fine with that.”
Love has shown the ability to crank the ball deep as well as zipping short passes with force to open targets.
Love also is a quick runner when the opportunity arises.
His six rushes added up to 47 yards, including a 15-yard touchdown in the third, in the Aggies’ 38-0 win over Hawaii last weekend.
Love hit Ron’quavion Tarver for a 10-yard touchdown to give him six touchdown passes this season, and he has moved over the 1,000-yard mark (1,093) in passing yardage.
“The thing I’ve really come to appreciate about Jordan over the last month that I didn’t know, but I didn’t know it because he hadn’t really done it, is just his preparation level has been a little more mature and further down the line than I thought it would be or anticipated it would be,” Wells said. “He really prepares and studies.”
Love redshirted for the Aggies last season.
“I actually liked getting that year to adjust, see how it’s like being in college,” he said. “Getting to practice and being on the sideline for games, that helped to see what it’s like.”
As Wells pointed out, everything still is new for Love.
“For young quarterbacks like this is, it’s always the first. It’s your first start, your first road game, maybe your first time coming off a bye week like it was this past week,” said Wells, whose team finishes the regular season at Air Force on Saturday. “How does he handle the bye week? We talked to him before about that. Now, he’s going to get his first national TV spot in a primetime game in a game we need to win on the road. He’s going to have to play really well.”
Jordan Love, QB (Liberty High, Bakersfield, Calif.) • 87 of 161 for 1,093 yards passing
Jordan Nathan, WR (Monrovia High, Monrovia, Calif.) • 24 receptions, 309 yards
Savon Scarver, WR (Centennial High, Las Vegas) • 9 receptions, 181 yards
Tre Miller, RB (Dixie High, St. George) • 28 carries, 119 yards
Baron Gajkowski, S (Lone Peak High, Alpine) • 47 tackles, 1 interception, 1 sack
Ja’Marcus Ingram, CB (South Oak Cliff High, Dallas) • 35 tackles