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What Air Force coach Troy Calhoun said about the Utah State Aggies

The Aggies might be 1-4 this season, but Air Force has a healthy respect for USU.

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Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun in the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022, at Air Force Academy, Colo.

David Zalubowski, AP

The start to the 2022 college football season has not gone how Utah State hoped it would.

The Aggies are 1-4 overall and have lost four games in a row, the most recent against rival BYU, and stand above only New Mexico in the Mountain Division of the Mountain West Conference.

And yet, heading into a season-defining contest at home against division foe Air Force on Saturday, the Aggies have the Falcons’ attention.

Long time Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun has a healthy dose of respect for the Aggies, rough start notwithstanding.

“They do many many things incredibly well,” Calhoun said Tuesday, in his weekly press conference. “There is a reason they won (the conference championship last year). They were the best team in our league. And really clearly, hands down, the best team.

“Especially the way they played in the second half of the season. In their last seven games, there were five where they just overwhelmed the opponent, including in the (conference) championship game.”

This year’s Utah State team is not the 2021 version, but Calhoun believes the Aggies are not lacking for talent, even after losing key contributors to the NFL.

“They have brought in additional players at a bunch of spots and these are big time players,” Calhoun said. “You look (at the roster) and it is Miami, Miami, Texas, Washington, etc. Really talented players. They are so capable talent wise.”

Troy Calhoun on Utah State quarterback Cooper Legas

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Utah State Aggies quarterback Cooper Legas (5) runs for a touchdown against BYU in Provo on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Calhoun had nothing but praise for the Aggies’ new signal caller. Air Force was aware of Legas when he starred at Orem High School and came away impressed then.

“He moves really really well,” Calhoun said. “Obviously (Logan) Bonner is a heck of a player and you look at the season he had last year and overall how good they were last year and he was the driver.

“And now they bring in a guy (Legas) that also moves really well. We liked the kid a lot when we looked at him in high school. We did. He was a really really talented player in high school.”