LOGAN — As is typical surrounding football programs across the country this time of year, optimism and expectations are high at Utah State.
With new coach Gary Andersen delivering a much-needed boost of enthusiasm to the Aggies and their fans, USU opens fall camp at 9 a.m. today at Romney Stadium.
"We're excited to get it going," Andersen said. "We've had a great summer with conditioning and workouts, so we're ready to get on the field and get to work."
The Aggies are hoping to see some quick changes in the win column but will have to be patient, Andersen said.
While he believes he will make the team a better one, seeing more wins — especially considering an early schedule that includes games at Utah, BYU and Texas A&M — might take a while. USU finished the 2008 season with a 3-9 record and coach Brent Guy, with only nine total wins in four seasons, was fired.
Andersen, the former defensive coordinator with the BCS-busting Utes, was hired to change not only the direction of the program, but the culture surrounding it.
"The crowd at the spring game was phenomenal," Andersen said. "We hope to have that kind of excitement at all of our home games."
USU returns 19 starters from last year's team which finished 3-5 in the WAC and was just a 58-yard field goal by Fresno State away from having a break-even conference record.
The Aggies open the 2009 season against Utah on Thursday, Sept. 3.