Utah State football: KJZZ to broadcast games, a starter out for the year, and two key weapons get closer to playing

USU notes: The Aggies host Idaho State on Saturday at Maverik Stadium.

(Charlie Neibergall | AP) Utah State wide receiver Micah Davis (4) is tackled by Iowa linebacker Jay Higgins (34) during the first half Saturday in Iowa City.

KJZZ is adding more local sports to its schedule.

The network, which will broadcast Utah Jazz games over the air this season, will also be home to four upcoming Utah State football games:

• Idaho State at USU, Sept. 9 at 6 p.m.

• James Madison at USU, Sept. 23 at 6 p.m.

• Colorado State at USU, Oct. 7 at 6 p.m.

• Nevada at USU, Nov. 11 at 6 p.m.

The broadcast team will feature KUTV sports anchor Dave Fox, former BYU running back Alema Harrington and former Utah quarterback Frank Dolce.

KJZZ broadcasts over the air on channel 14. The network can also be found on Comcast channel 657, DirecTV channel 14 and Dish channel 14.

Starting linebacker injured

Utah State linebacker Max Alford will miss the rest of the year after injuring his knee on the first play of the season.

The sophomore from Park City was primed to be a key contributor for a revamped Aggies defense but suffered a “significant injury” in Saturday’s loss at Iowa, USU head coach Blake Anderson said earlier this week. The Aggies’ coach then told The Zone radio station on Wednesday that Alford would require season-ending surgery.

Alford played in all 13 games last season, capping off his year with a career-high nine tackles in the First Responder Bowl.

Despite the loss of Alford, Anderson left Iowa City pleased with his team’s injury report.

“Considering who we played and how physical the game was, we’re relatively healthy,” he said. “… We didn’t lose anybody else. Bumps and bruises. A physical game. Guys will feel it for a few days. But we’re very fortunate to have had only one guy go down with something that is significant.”

Tight ends getting healthy?

Utah State tight end Broc Lane (87) is congratulated by teammates for his touchdown against Hawaii during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

The Aggies are hopeful that tight ends Broc Lane and Josh Sterzer will be back on the field soon.

“Both are progressing faster than expected, but we wanted to be smart,” Anderson said.

Still, the Aggies’ felt their absence last weekend. Without a tight end on the field, USU struggled to get its rushing attack going until late in the game.

“It impacted our play calling dramatically,” Anderson said. “I didn’t feel comfortable putting two freshmen tight ends on the field against Iowa. With the physical matchups that were in their favor, that’s just a lot. You could tell even in pre-practice that both our young guys … were extremely nervous.”

Anderson called Lane “day-to-day” ahead of this weekend’s home opener against Idaho State. Sterzer is still “another week or two out.”

An unpleasant reminder

(Eli Lucero/The Herald Journal via AP) Weber State quarterback Bronson Barron (10) scrambles out of the pocket as Utah State defensive end Daniel Grzesiak (9) defends in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022, in Logan, Utah.

Idaho State hung with San Diego State last weekend in a 36-28 loss.

“They’re dangerous. They’re definitely not what their record indicated a year ago,” Anderson said of the Bengals. “They were not intimidated by the environment at San Diego State.”

And the Aggies know all too well that a matchup with an FCS opponent is not a guaranteed win. Just last year, Weber State handed USU a 35-7 defeat in Logan.

“I’ve 100 percent talked about it,” said veteran lineman Wade Meacham. “Definitely with the guys in my room. Definitely going to be making sure everyone else on the team is aware of the fight we have coming up this weekend. Idaho State is a good team. They gave San Diego State a lot of trouble. They’re nobody to be overlooked. … we have to take them seriously and we have to come ready to work.

“Last year, a lot of the team came in thinking it was going to be an easy game against Weber and it was anything but that.”