Utah State quarterback Logan Bonner has faced Alabama before. Here’s his advice to his Aggie teammates

Blake Anderson and Logan Bonner know what it’s like to play on the road at Alabama, and are imparting those lessons to the Aggies.

Utah State head coach Blake Anderson, left, taps quarterback Logan Bonner (1) on the head after he threw a touchdown pass against San Jose State. Anderson said the Aggies' Mountain West championship helped his team's recruiting efforts this year.

Blake Anderson remembers it like it was yesterday.

His Arkansas State team was in Tuscaloosa playing the Alabama Crimson Tide. It was Sept. 8, 2018, and Logan Bonner was his backup quarterback.

Everything went wrong for Anderson’s team in the early going. They botched a corner blitz and left an Alabama player so wide open that the quarterback could’ve thrown the ball end-over-end and completed a touchdown. The defensive line misaligned on a play so badly that an opposing running back just ran in a straight line through it.

“We did just really stupid things early,” Anderson said.

Before Arkansas State could blink, it trailed 21-0. The game ended in a 57-7 blowout. Four years later, Anderson and Bonner are on the Utah State Aggies, preparing for another matchup against the No. 1 Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa.

How to watch Utah State at Alabama

TV: SEC Network

Xfinity (Utah): Ch. 285

• DirecTV: Ch. 611

• DISH: Ch. 404

Broadcast team: Tom Hart, Jordan Rodgers, Cole Cubelic

RADIO: Aggie Sports Network (1280 AM/97.5 FM in Salt Lake) with Scott Garrard and Kevin White

• National: Sirius XM 381 / SXM App 971

• Online: kslsports.com/kslsportszone

“We’re expecting to see the same thing this year,” Bonner said. “A really good team, some of the best players on the planet and just really a good opportunity to compete with the best.”

The Aggies won their season opener against Connecticut, but had to turn around from a rough start to do it. They face an entirely different challenge against Alabama, which is heavily favored to win by at least 40 points.

But there are lessons Anderson and Bonner took away from that 2018 game that they’re trying to impart at Utah State.

“The best thing to take away from that game was that we were mentally and emotionally overwhelmed in the first quarter and we did things super uncharacteristic of who we were,” Anderson said.

“You must go in and play your game. You can’t play theirs,” he continued. “You have to go in and play your ball, play the best ball you can, line up right, tackle, defend, throw and catch, put bodies on people, and let the game itself take over at that point.”

Anderson said having a Bonner on the team could prove to be instrumental in USU’s preparation.

“I think it doesn’t hurt that Logan Bonner was right there in the mix in that group,” Anderson said. “He’s been there. He’s done it. Some of these guys hopefully will listen and he’ll be able to share from his experience and hopefully that’ll help us.”

Bonner played the second half against Alabama. He completed 6 of 14 passes for 53 yards. For Bonner, his message to his teammates is simply to remember their own talents and let the chips fall where they may.

“Just go out there and don’t be surprised if you make a play,” Bonner said. “We’re on scholarship, too, we can make plays, too. Just be confident and know your job and do your best and see what happens.”

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