Utah State has a bye week this week before facing Kansas State in Romney Stadium Oct. 17. "It's a good time for a break," says coach Charlie Weatherbie, now 1-4, "but you'd like to finish up with a win, 'cause you hate to be off that long after a loss." The Aggies, of course, lost 30-9 at Brigham Young Friday.
The extra days off mean some agonizing for redshirt freshman running back Abu Wilson.Wilson made the USU-BYU game's most entertaining play when he was stopped trying to turn a corner in the backfield and threw a backward pass directly to an official, who was so surprised he tried to catch it at his knees, then realized he shouldn't and dropped it. BYU fell on the ball, but Wilson was ruled down before he threw and the play didn't count except on the laugh-o-meter.
"I was thinking it was Calvillo, and I was hoping he could make something happen," said an embarrassed Wilson.
"I was carrying my bootleg out," said Calvillo. "I turned around and saw Abu throwing it to the referee, and I wondered what was going on. I guess he was trying to make something happen, but that wasn't the right thing to do."
"When I saw it was the referee," said Wilson, "it was too late. The ball was slipping out of my hand. I tried to knock it off the referee, and maybe it'll bounce back to me, but it didn't work that way."
When he realized it wasn't Calvillo, Wilson thought, "Oh, my goodness, coach (Jim) Zorn's going to take me out of the game. But, I'm young. I make those mistakes - that was totally uncalled for, what I did," said Wilson, who was not taken out and was, in fact, the only Aggie running back to carry the ball.
Calvillo, too, made a mistake, getting caught in the end zone for a safety. He says it didn't register with him that he was in the end zone. "A quarterback should know where he is all the time," he said.
"He needed to get rid of the football," said Weatherbie. "You have to remember he is basically a freshman, even though he is a junior-college transfer. He's got a lot to learn. He's got a lot of ability, and he's got a lot of savvy for a young kid," Weatherbie said.
Weatherbie was impressed by Calvillo in practices when he was just the backup QB and not getting many plays because he listened, asked questions and tried to learn. Weatherbie notes that Calvillo has said he'd like to coach some day.
Like Calvillo and Wilson, the young Aggies just need time. On defense, "I think we're coming around," said tackle Joe Jacobs (five solos, two hurries). "We're real disappointed," Jacobs added, noting that if it hadn't been for the BYU touchdowns on a reverse and a deep pass, "We would have held them to 16 points."
"Our defense played their tails off all evening," said Weatherbie. "They did give up two or three (a reverse, two screens) big plays, which we can't do, but I know that quarterback of theirs is sore because we got to him."
Jacobs sees progress defensively, and Calvillo saw it on offense despite the whipping. "Most definitely," Calvillo said. "We did a lot of good things. We made mistakes, but every game, we're improving so much."