Peavler: Fall breakdown of Utah State's 2014 football schedule (13 items)

By , Deseret News

Aug. 13, 2014

Fall camp is already underway and college football is mere days away for Utah State. After a solid 2013 season with a 9-5 finish and a bowl win over Northern Illinois, Aggies fans are right to be optimistic about 2014. While Utah State has some tough road games against Tennessee, BYU and Boise State, the Aggies could push for a 10-win season in 2014. Here's a look at Utah State's 2014 schedule.

1 of 13. at Tennessee, Sunday, Aug. 31

TV: 5:00 p.m. MT, SEC Network

2013 record: 5-7, 2-6 SEC

Fall breakdown: Stealing a win in SEC country is never an easy task. However, the Volunteers have fallen on tough times and are currently a mere shadow of what they used to be during Phillip Fulmer's heyday. At least head coach Butch Jones appears to have the program going back in the right direction. Tennessee's biggest question mark is in the trenches, as it has to replace practically the entire offensive and defensive lines. Still, a place like Tennessee has plenty of talent. A.J. Johnson is a first team All-SEC linebacker who made 106 tackles last season with 8.5 of them for loss. QB Justin Worley also has shown flashes of potential. This will be a difficult but winnable game against an SEC team on the road for the Aggies.

2 of 13. vs. Idaho State, Saturday, Sept. 6

TV: 6:00 p.m. MT, MWN

2013 record: 3-9, 1-7 Big Sky Conference

Fall breakdown: Easy win at home vs. an FCS opponent. This team lost 32-7 to Weber State last season, a team that finished 2-10. Expect to see most of Utah State's second and third string in the second half of this game.

3 of 13. vs. Wake Forest, Saturday, Sept. 13

TV: 5:00 p.m. MT, CBS Sports Network

2013 record: 4-8, 2-6 ACC

Fall outlook: New head coach Dave Clawson has quite a mess to clean up at Wake Forest. Clawson's an expert at rebuilding programs, but he's going to need more than just one offseason to fix what ails the Demon Deacons. Wake Forest is still searching for a starting quarterback, and true freshman John Wolford was just named the Demon Deacons' starting QB. Wake Forest has a decent secondary with senior CBs Merrill "Bud" Noel and Kevin Johnson both coming back. However, this team has only 10 total returning starters. Utah State should be able to handle the Demon Deacons in Logan without too much of a problem.

4 of 13. at Arkansas State, Saturday, Sept. 20


2013 record: 8-5, 5-2 Sun Belt Conference

Fall outlook: Arkansas State has become a revolving door for head coaches these days. Blake Anderson is the Red Wolves' seventh head coach over the past five years, including interim head coaches. However, Arkansas State has done reasonably well despite the coaching carousel spinning out of control with a eight-win season last year. The strength of this team is in its secondary, as every member of last year's two-deep chart returns. The Red Wolves need to break in a new starting quarterback, likely last year's backup Fredi Knighten. Arkansas State has some nice returning players at RB and WR in Michael Gordon and J.D. McKissic. This team will be something of an unknown with new coaching staff, but there's enough talent here for them to be dangerous to Utah State, particularly on the road.

5 of 13. at Brigham Young, Friday, Oct. 3

TV: 8:15 MT, ESPN

2013 record: 8-5, FBS Independent

Fall outlook: The Cougars embarrassed Utah State 31-14 in Logan last year, and the Aggies lost QB Chuckie Keeton to a season-ending knee injury in the process. While this rivalry has become a bit closer in the past few seasons, Utah State hasn't won a game in Provo since 1978. BYU returns one of the most dangerous QB/RB duos in the country in Taysom Hill and Jamaal Williams, both of whom combined for 2,577 yards rushing and 17 touchdowns last season. The Cougars also have a dangerous group of wide receivers led by Mitch Mathews and UTEP transfer Jordan Leslie. However, the Cougars lost key players such as LB Kyle Van Noy, WR Cody Hoffman, LB Uani 'Unga and S Daniel Sorensen. This should be an interesting battle at LaVell Edwards Stadium this season.

1. Rock Of The Marne
Phoenix, AZ,
Aug. 13, 2014

Good Luck to the Aggies (my Aggies - went there for Grad School). Hopefully the long drought of wins in Provo ends this Fall. Matt Wells did a great job last year; no reason not to expect the same this year. Go Big Blue.