Utah State Picked Eighth In Both Preseason WAC Polls
July 23, 2007
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State was picked eighth in both the 2007 Western Athletic Conference football media and coaches' poll announced Monday at the conference football preview being held in San Jose, Calif.
USU finished ahead of Idaho in both polls, garnering 13 points in the coaches' poll compared to Idaho's 10 points, and the Aggies received 110 points in the media poll while the Vandals had 107.
"With the record that we have had the last two seasons and our performance in our two years in the WAC, this is where we expected to be. This is where we will continue to be until we can work our way out of it and climb up to contend among the upper echelon of the conference, much like San Jose State did last season," said third-year USU head coach Brent Guy, who has a 4-19 ledger at the helm of the Aggies.
Utah State, which is entering its third season in the WAC, was 1-11 overall and 1-7 in WAC play last year, finishing tied for seventh after being picked seventh in both of last season's preseason media and coaches' polls. USU has 19 starters (11 defense, seven offense and one special teams), among 35 lettermen returning.
Hawai'i was picked as the preseason conference favorite in both polls, getting six of the nine first-place votes in the coaches' poll and 32 of the 58 first-place votes in the media poll. The Warriors were 11-3 last year overall and 7-1 in the WAC, with the lone loss coming at Boise State, 41-34, in September. Hawai'i led the nation in scoring offense, passing offense and total offense.
Five-time defending champion Boise State was picked second in both polls, collecting the other three first-place votes in the coaches' poll and the other 26 first-place nods in the media poll. Boise State was the only team in the nation last season to go undefeated, finishing with a perfect 13-0 ledger, including an 8-0 WAC record.
In the coaches' poll, Hawai'i had 62 points, while Boise State had 59, followed by Nevada picked third with 45 points and Fresno State with 40 for fourth, just ahead of San Jose State at fifth with 39 points. New Mexico State was tabbed sixth (31 points), followed by Louisiana Tech (25), Utah State (13) and Idaho (10).
Hawai'i collected 494 points in the media poll, edging out Boise State's 490 points. Fresno State was third with 361 followed by Nevada with 337 for fourth. San Jose State garnered 321 points for fifth, followed by New Mexico State picked sixth (233 points), Louisiana Tech (157), Utah State (110) and Idaho (107).
The media also selected preseason players of the year, with senior quarterback Colt Brennan of Hawai'i voted the Offensive Player of the Year, while San Jose State senior defensive back Dwight Lowery tabbed as the Defensive Player of the Year.
Brennan has set numerous NCAA records over the past two years. Last year he completed 406-of-559 passes for 5,549 yards and 58 touchdowns with just 12 interceptions. Brennan set NCAA single-season records in 2006 with the 58 touchdown passes and an efficiency rating of 186.0.
Lowery was a first-team All-America selection in 2006 (AFCA and FWAA) after tying the school-record for interceptions with nine. He also made 48 tackles and racked up 111 interception return yards in helping the Spartan defense rank third in the WAC.
Utah State opens the 2007 season on Thursday, Aug. 30, hosting UNLV in a 6:05 p.m. kick off at Romney Stadium. After road games at Wyoming on Sept. 8 and Oklahoma on Sept. 15, the Aggies return for Homecoming 2007 on Sept. 22, hosting San Jose State. USU then faces in-state rival Utah on Sept. 29 at Salt Lake City, followed by a game at Hawai'i on Oct. 6. The Aggies open a three home dates in four games span with Nevada on Oct. 20, then Louisiana Tech on Oct. 27. After going to Fresno State on Nov. 3, USU's home finale is on Nov. 10 with Boise State. The regular-season concludes with games on New Mexico State and Idaho on Nov. 17 and 24, respectively.
Contact the USU Athletics Ticket Office at (435)797-0305 or at 1-888-U-STATE-1 (1-888-878-2831) for ticket information.
WAC Coaches' Poll Rank Team (1st Place Votes) Points 1. Hawai`i (6) 62 2. Boise State (3) 59 3. Nevada 45 4. Fresno State 40 5. San Jose State 39 6. New Mexico State 31 7. Louisiana Tech 25 8. UTAH STATE 13 9. Idaho 10