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Tough task awaits Andersen in Logan


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POSTED: Monday, August 24, 2009

The team Gary Andersen helped guide to an undefeated season a year ago will be the first to greet him as a member of the Division I coaching ranks.

Andersen served as defensive coordinator at Utah the past five years, and he was part of last season's 13-0 run capped by a rout of Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. Now the head coach at Utah State, Andersen opens his tenure by returning to Salt Lake City to face those same Utes and begin a challenging nonconference schedule.

; The Aggies also have road games against Texas A&M and BYU before jumping into the WAC season. Andersen takes over a program that made incremental progress last season. The Aggies' 3-5 WAC record last season was its best since joining the league in 2005.

Strengths

Junior quarterback Diondre Borel is a dangerous dual threat who led the Aggies in both rushing (632 yards) and passing (1,705) last season. The coaches look for Borel to continue to develop patience as a passer while installing a spread offense to take advantage of his athletic ability.

Borel has an experienced group around him, as the Aggies return 10 starters on offense. Linebacker Paul Igboeli was second on the team with 78 tackles last season, including six for losses.

Weaknesses

Andersen entered the season concerned about the Aggies' ability to hold up physically at the line of scrimmage. He expects the defense to keep offenses guessing to cover for a lack of size up front. The Aggies must also find a play-making receiver to give Borel a reliable target.