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What to make of Bishop Davenport?

Injuries forced the Aggies to turn to their fourth-string quarterback against Colorado State.

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Colorado State’s Troy Golden tackles Utah State quarterback Bishop Davenport during an NCAA college football game in Fort Collins, Colo., on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022.

Jon Austria, The Coloradoan via AP

Blake Anderson vividly remembers watching Bishop Davenport play quarterback for Spring High School in the 2021 UIL Texas football state championships, against one of the best prep teams in Texas.

It was the regional round and Spring was pitted against Duncanville, a team that would go on to finish as 6A Division 1 state runners-up.

Duncanville handled Spring 42-7 that night, but that isn’t what Anderson remembers.

He remembers Davenport and how the now Utah State freshman looked while competing against one of the best teams he’d ever played against in high school.

“The thing I came away with from that game was the same thing I came away from tonight — the moment is not bigger than him,” Anderson recalled Saturday night, following Utah State’s 17-13 victory over Colorado State.

Davenport was pressed into emergency action against the Rams following injuries to Aggie quarterbacks Cooper Legas and Levi Williams.

He hadn’t had any reps in practice this year, outside of normal drill work, and had only joined the Utah State program late in the summer.

There was zero expectation that he was going to see any game time this season and as of Thursday of last week, Davenport was just another developmental prospect.

And yet, Davenport played the entire second half against Colorado State, led the Aggies on a scoring drive — he scored the game-winning touchdown himself — and made enough plays down the stretch to help Utah State leave Fort Collins victorious.

“Bishop did a phenomenal job to help us get in the end zone and finish up well,” Anderson said.

Davenport wasn’t ready for the challenge. Not really.

“Mentally, I was probably 90% (ready),” he said. “Physically, I wasn’t ready.”

But while his final stats weren’t anything impressive — Davenport completed 3 of 9 passes for 41 yards and rushed for 29 yards and a touchdown — he left Anderson optimistic about his future.

“He is very calm,” Anderson said. “It was not perfect. He’ll probably tell you he had some butterflies rolling, but the moment wasn’t bigger than him. He connected dots when we needed him to.

“There are going to be some plays that he is going to look at and need to fix, but for a guy that had not had any reps with us offensively, other than drill work on a daily basis, he was very calm and collected. He allowed us the chance to win the game. That is all you can ask of a No. 4, and that is what he is. It says a lot about our quarterback room moving forward.”

Listed at 6-foot-2, 180 pounds, Davenport is the future at quarterback for the Aggies.

Legas is a junior and Williams a sophomore, while this year will likely end up a redshirt season for Davenport.

A prolific playmaker in high school — he threw for 7,433 yards and 77 touchdowns and also rushed for 1,667 yards 16 touchdowns — Davenport is the first Aggie quarterback since Kent Myers in 2014 to rush for a touchdown as a true freshman.

He displayed athleticism in the run game, a strong arm and the ability to make intermediate throws. Brief though his appearance was, Davenport showcased what made him one of the prized signees in Utah State’s 2022 recruiting class.

Davenport was understandably excited after the win, yet remained humble and credited his teammates with helping him to stay calm in an unprecedented situation.

“It is an exciting feeling,” he said. “You’re excited, but you have to focus on what you have to do so you can get the (win)... They kept me motivated and comfortable. Told jokes. Told me to do me. I stayed focused, honestly. Stayed calm so I wasn’t overwhelmed by the situation.”

There is a possibility that Davenport will start and/or play against Wyoming, depending on the status of Legas and Williams.

Legas is in concussion protocol, while Williams is day-to-day with an injured right ankle that he struggled to put weight on.

In a perfect world, Davenport would not see any more playing time for Utah State this season, except for maybe in garbage time against an overwhelmed opponent.

This season has been anything but perfect for Utah State, though.

After the way he played against the Rams, there is reason to believe the Aggies would be okay with Davenport at quarterback. Maybe even better than okay once he gets some practice reps under his belt.

“To go out and do what he did says a lot about his poise,” Anderson said. “And what he is capable of going forward.”