No matter who suits up at quarterback for Utah State Saturday night — when the Aggies take on rival Wyoming in Laramie — Cowboys’ head coach Craig Bohl anticipates a challenge.

The Aggies are on the rise in Bohl’s eyes, ahead of ‘Bridger’s Battle.’

“This is a big big ball game,” Bohl said Monday. “A meaningful game. Utah State has flipped the script and really turned into a good football team. The win over Air Force was really impressive and they came through a lot of adversity to beat Colorado State.

“I think that is a testament to Coach (Blake) Anderson and the leadership in their program. They’ve got some really talented players. ... They are trending up. Great deal of respect for their program. I really admire Coach Anderson.”

Who will play quarterback for Utah State against Wyoming?
What to make of Bishop Davenport?
Is Utah State starting to become a good team?

The long time rivals will meet for the 72nd time this weekend and there is a a great deal of uncertainty as to who will play quarterback for Utah State. Cooper Legas and Levi Williams both suffered injuries in the Aggies’ win over Colorado State, while true freshman Bishop Davenport led USU victory.

Bohl expects Wyoming to prepare the same for all three quarterbacks, though the running ability of all three presents a unique challenge.

“We are going to play who is out there,” he said. “They are who they are. Certainly they’ve changed a little bit when (Logan) Bonner went down. More quarterback run. Between those three (Legas, Williams and Davenport) we will probably have a pretty static game plan.”

Craig Bohl on Utah State quarterback Cooper Legas

Legas suffered a concussion against Colorado State and is in concussion protocol, for which Bohl expressed concern.

“We don’t know where he is at, but he is an excellent ball player,” he said. “Want to wish him well. Any time a guy goes down with a concussion it is a concern. ... Concussions are such a major deal. I saw the hit and know Coach Anderson was frustrated about that.”

Bohl praised Legas’ talent, naming him first in a list of Aggies.

“From what I understand, he is a two-time state wrestling champion,” Bohl said. “He’s an ultra competitive guy.”

Craig Bohl on Utah State freshman quarterback Bishop Davenport

Davenport made his collegiate debut against Colorado State, playing the entire second half.

“I thought Bishop Davenport really came in and did some exciting things,” Bohl said. “I know that Coach Anderson was complimentary of his skill set. I know he didn’t have a lot of repetition, but the background of the high school program he is from speaks well to his abilities.”

Craig Bohl on Utah State’s run game

The Aggies rushed for 181 yards in their 44-17 loss to Wyoming in 2022 and Bohl believes Utah State is better than that this year.

“They’ve got an excellent running game. Calvin Tyler Jr. and Robert Briggs can really move the ball on the ground. I think they are improved in that area from last year.”

Craig Bohl on Utah State’s receivers

Bohl singled out a pair of Aggies in the passing game, Maryland transfer Brian Cobbs and Justin McGriff.

“Utah State always seems to have receivers,” Bohl said. “Cobbs is no different. A big play guy that plays with great effort. And then they have a 6-foot-6 guy in McGriff.”

Craig Bohl on Utah State’s defensive front

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The Aggies’ front seven has been the strength of their defense this season and that hasn’t gone unnoticed.

“(Byron) Vaughns plays with high energy is very disruptive,” Bohl said. “Their whole front is.”

Craig Bohl on the rivalry between Utah State and Wyoming

The Aggies and Cowboys rivalry is now famous for the traveling trophy passed between the teams and is in better shape than it has been in years, per Bohl.

“It was shelved for some time and they probably had a foot up on us when I first got here. Two evenly matched teams. It is a big game for our players.”

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