After posting one of their best seasons in program history, the Utah State Aggies enter the 2013 campaign with 18 returning starters but also with a new coach entering a new conference. Here are three fall camp storylines:
1. New head coach: Matt Wells goes from offensive coordinator to replacing the popular Gary Andersen who left for Wisconsin. The positive is that Wells is clearly familiar with the program and the personnel. The concern is adjusting to the pressures on and off the field as being the head coach and living up to filling the shoes of Andersen. In addition how will the players respond to new coordinators and coaches such as Kevin McGiven (OC/QB coach), Luke Wells (Co-OC/TE coach), Todd Orlando (DC) and Mark Weber (Assistant head coach/OL coach). All indications point that the transition is going smoothly. A win over Utah in the opener would do wonders to convince the fan base all will be well.
2. Finding playmakers: As long as quarterback Chuckie Keeton stays healthy big plays shouldn’t be a problem. But definitely some receivers need to emerge after losing top producers Matt Austin and Chuck Jacobs along with tight end Kellen Barlett. In addition can Joe Hill continue the run of Aggie 1,000 yard rushers following in the footsteps of Robert Turbin and Kerwynn Williams. With all five offensive linemen remaining intact from a year ago chances of that happening are good.
3. The secondary: Anytime you lose a cornerback that was taken in the third round of the NFL draft replacing that player is difficult. In addition to Willie Davis departing, the Aggies also must fill the shoes of free safety McKade Brady. Having corner Nevin Lawson back will definitely help matters.