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USU football: Team looks to end season strong

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With the 2008 football season limping to a merciful close for Utah State, the Aggies have two more games in which to either salvage a semblance of a successful season or drive another stake into the hearts of their fans.

With only two wins this year — and only five over the past three seasons — Utah State is desperately searching for a similar surge in good fortunes as was experienced a year ago when the Aggies won two in a row.

The Aggies travel to Louisiana Tech for a 12:30 kickoff today.

"It will be a challenge for our guys to go down and execute and play much better than we did (last) week," USU coach Brent Guy said, referring to USU's 49-14 loss at Boise State. "We cannot have turnovers and we cannot have penalties."

But while USU has been more competitive in several games this year, they still have just the two wins to show for it.

Doubling that total to four wins may not sound like a major accomplishment at most schools, but the Aggies are willing — at this point — to take small steps forward.

"I think that is a huge morale booster because some of the guys that have been here since Coach Guy has been here haven't had the best record," USU receiver Nnamdi Gwachem said. "If we do get out on top we will know we left this program in better shape and have helped build a better program."

To do that, USU must find a way to beat the Bulldogs.

Making matters more difficult for the Aggies is the fact they have yet to win on the road this year. In fact, USU has yet to be competitive on the road and has been outscored 216-79 in five previous road games.

The Bulldogs, on the other hand, have yet to lose at Joe Aillet Stadium this season. With four wins in as many games, La. Tech has proven difficult to contend with in Ruston.

"They have a defensive front that is pretty good. They have given up some yards in the passing game, but their defensive front is very solid against the run," Guy said. "They have changed a little bit. Last year they were bend but don't break, this year they show some more man and more pressure."

The Bulldogs, with three games left, are on the verge of making themselves bowl eligible and will certainly give the Aggies their best shot in hopes of securing a postseason game.

"They will be ready for us. They have five wins," Guy said. "They want to be bowl eligible so they will be ready for us."

Utah State will return to Logan and, after a week off, will close out the season by hosting New Mexico State on Nov. 29.

Aggies on the air

Utah State (2-8, 2-4 WAC)

at Louisiana Tech (5-4, 3-2)

Today: 12:30 p.m.

TV: none

Radio: 1230 AM, 610 AM

E-mail: jeborn@desnews.com