USU Football Holds 2007 Media Day Friday
Aug. 10, 2007
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LOGAN, Utah - Utah State football held its annual media day Friday afternoon at Romney Stadium with head coach Brent Guy and other selected coaches and players addressing a gathering of statewide media.
The Aggies met with the media for a little over an hour during the event that included a team photo, followed by position photos and head shots. Coach Guy opened the press conference, preceding third-year defensive coordinator Mark Johnson and new offensive coordinator Darrell Dickey conducting interviews with media members. Seventeen players then conducted one-on-one interviews with the media.
STRENGTH IN EXPERIENCE
Hot topics of questions and answers were USU's new offense under Dickey and all 11 starters returning on defense under Johnson.
"We have guys in position to start that have played in a lot of games," said Guy, who is entering his third year at the helm of the Aggies. "For example, we have guys that have played Hawai'i both here at home and made that road trip. They have been through a WAC schedule both home and away. Those freshmen that played are now juniors and have played in those stadiums. They should know what is coming and what to expect.
In addition to all 11 defensive starters returning, USU has seven offense starters and one special teams starter back, among the 36 returning letterwinners.
"In any team sport or even business, you can not substitute experience, especially game experience for us," Guy said. "That is what I have seen the biggest difference in, our tempo at practice. We have so many more guys from the first team to the second team that know how to communicate and what to do. In the past it was a huge drop off from the first to the second group. ... Now we mainly have veteran players. We only have about four spots now that are filled by either a redshirt freshman or a sophomore. The rest, if we started today, would be juniors and seniors with the exception of the kicker."
Another popular conversation was changing USU's experience of having losing seasons.
"The first thing you do is win a game and nobody asks that question again," Guy said. "That is the first thing I told them is they have to win a game and make them quit asking us about last year. We need to get rid of it.
"We started in the spring by changing everything we did. We looked at every single aspect of what we do. We revamped our offseason program, instead of lifting three days a week, we lifted five days a week. We restructured our drills in the spring. ... We changed it more for football.
"When I interviewed the team, our confidence was very low, which would be obvious to anyone with what we went through last year. We said we have got to affect confidence right now. How do you do that? Well, we can make them look bigger and stronger, should make them think they are a better football player when they look in the mirror. ... From a football standpoint, we spent more time talking with them about their technique and walking them through stuff. ... It was totally different than I have done in 20 years. We restructured camp. We have everybody in the dorm. We have never done that. We are tying to do something different."
NORTH END ZONE COMPLEX
Other points of interest were the new North End Zone Complex, with construction noises interrupting interviews. Member of the media also had photo opportunities of the new Complex and a tour from USU Athletic Director Randy Spetman.
The three-story North End Zone Complex will serve to meet the academic and athletic needs of all 16 Utah State University intercollegiate sports. The state-of-the-art facility will house an extensively improved Dale Mildenberger Sports Medicine Complex, new locker rooms, a Hall of Fame and a hospitality plaza on the first floor. The second floor will house coaches' offices and conference rooms, while classrooms, computer labs and tutoring rooms will reside on the third floor. A large videoboard is mounted on the roof of the Complex.
Media representatives from several local news outlets from both print and electronic mediums included the Logan Herald-Journal, Utah State Statesman, Salt Lake Tribune, Deseret Morning-News, Ogden Standard-Examiner and KVNU radio gathered on the turf of Romney Stadium to catch up with the navy and white clad Aggies.
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT PRACTICE
USU completed its fourth practice of fall camp earlier Friday, taking the field in shoulder pads for the second day.
"The majority of the questions you are going to ask will be cleared up on those live days, although we are always evaluating the guys on daily basis on alignment, assignment and decision making," Guy said. "Those live snaps are weighed pretty heavily though.
"Nothing has happened as far as depth changes, but some of that will start happening tomorrow."
The Aggies practice on Saturday at 10 a.m. before donning full pads for Sunday's practice at 4 p.m. Monday marks USU's first two-a-day, as the Aggies practice at 8:40 a.m. and 4 p.m.
GAME ON WAYNE
The Aggies are counting down to the August 30th home-opener of the 2007 season.
Utah State opens the 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 then have three home dates in a four game span, opening with Nevada on Oct. 20, followed by 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.
USU, which was picked eighth entering its third season in the WAC, was 1-11 overall and 1-7 in WAC play last year, finishing tied for eighth after being picked seventh in both of last season's preseason media and coaches' polls.
The first scrimmage is slated for Thursday, Aug. 16 as part of Aggie Football Family Fun Night, sponsored by Macey's Foods with free admission. The scrimmage starts at 4:30 p.m., while games and activities for fans get underway on the South Concourse of Romney Stadium at 5 p.m. Following the scrimmage, from 6-7 p.m. fans can get their favorite Aggies' autographs and play catch with an Aggie on the field. Fans can also pick up their season tickets or purchase tickets at the Romney Stadium Box Office.
Contact the USU Athletics Ticket Office at (435)797-0305 or at 1-888-U-STATE-1 (1-888-878-2831) for ticket information.