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Aggies look to finish strong

LOGAN — Utah State freshman Josh Taylor couldn't have been put on a bigger stage to make his college football debut than at the University of Alabama last week.

Instead of backing down, Taylor produced.

On one particular play, Taylor was in single coverage and batted down a pass intended for his receiver.

Now, Utah State coach Brent Guy is using Taylor, and that play in particular, to hopefully rally his troops.

"I was so proud of him for what he did. He is kind of the guy, if you look at the film, who sparked us," Guy said. "I think everybody looked around and said, 'hey, if that guy can jump in here in his first time ever playing in a college football game and make a play like that, we all can do better.' "

The Aggies fell 35-3 to No. 4 Alabama, but Guy hopes his team will learn from the positives and negatives of that game in today's contest with Louisiana Tech (4-3, 3-1). The game kicks off at 1 p.m. at Romney Stadium.

"The biggest disappointment for me is making the three and four mistakes like jumping offside on a field goal that was good," Guy said. "Those are the things that bother me a lot. I asked the guys, 'aren't you guys tired of hearing this?' We all have to grow up like Josh Taylor."

Taylor (6 feet, 180 pounds) was originally slated to redshirt this season, but an injury to starting cornerback Marquise Charles in practice last week forced him into action.

"He didn't play scared at all, which was encouraging," Guy said. "The guy jumped in there and played like a champion."

Taylor went from being a redshirt to making four tackles against Alabama. Now he is listed No. 1 on the depth chart at right corner and could start today against the Bulldogs.

"It is time for everyone as a group to synergize and quit doing all this stuff," Guy said. "It's the little things that are not giving us the chance to be in games in the fourth quarter."

The Aggies are 2-1 at home this year, while Louisiana Tech, which sits behind Boise State and Fresno State and is tied with Nevada in the Western Athletic Conference standings, hasn't won on the road this season.

"This is a a big game for us and we need to win this game at home," Guy said. "The kids know that because we have the mother of all road trips following that (at Hawaii). Our battle cry is 'A November to Remember.' "

Today's game is the first of four remaining conference games, and currently the Aggies are seventh in the nine-team league at 1-3.

The Aggies are averaging 25.3 points per game in their three home games, and quarterback Leon Jackson III plays considerably better at home than on the road.

Running back Ryan Bohm is coming off his best rushing game of the year with 94 yards at Alabama.

MAILE OUT: Defensive tackle Frank Maile is out for the season after breaking his foot at Alabama. Maile, 6-1, 262, had played in all seven Aggie games this season and started in two.

TECH SERIES: The Aggies are 2-0 all-time against the Bulldogs, but the two teams haven't met since 1994 when the Aggies held on for a 7-3 victory in Ruston, La. The Bulldogs had a chance to win the game on a fourth-and-goal on the last play of the game, but fumbled.

CENTURY MARK: The Aggies have had just one 100-yard game from a running back in their last 20. Chris Forbes rushed for 131 yards in the final game of the season last year against New Mexico State.

CENTURY MARK II: Last year, the Aggies had five individual 100-yard receiving games between Tony Pennyman and Kevin Robinson, but this year no Aggie receiver has yet to hit the century mark.


Aggies on the air

Louisiana Tech (4-3, 3-1) at Utah State (2-5, 1-3)

Today, 1 p.m.

Romney Stadium

TV: ESPN Regional (Louisiana only)

Radio: 610 AM (Logan), 98.3 FM (SLC)


E-mail: jhinton@desnews.com