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Utah State Makes QB Change Ahead Of Facing James Madison Dukes

Sep 18, 2023, 3:25 PM

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LOGAN, Utah – A QB swap highlights the updates after Utah State released its week four depth chart as they prepare to host James Madison for the first time in program history.

Utah State (1-2) returns to Logan to host the James Madison Dukes (3-0) at Maverik Stadium on Saturday, September 23. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. (MT).

RELATED: Can A Quarterback Change Help Fix Utah State’s Slow Starts?

After four ineffective first quarter drives, freshman McCae Hillstead took over at quarterback for the Aggies in an eventual 39-21 loss at Air Force.

Hillstead went on to complete 67 percent (18-of-27) of his passes, throwing the first three touchdowns of his Aggie career. His poise helped stabilize an inconsistent offense.

Terrell Vaughn caught six passes for 61 yards and a touchdown. Micah Davis, Jalen Royals, and Broc Lane caught four passes each with Royals and Davis finding the end zone. Rahsul Faison proved the most explosive running back for the Aggies, gaining 40 yards on seven carries. Sophomore running back Robert Briggs did not play for USU.

RELATED: Blake Anderson Not Interested In Creating Quarterback Controversy

James Madison escaped with a 16-14 win in a defensive slugfest over Troy on Saturday.

The Dukes opened the scoring with a pair of field goals to lead 6-0 before Troy took their only lead of the night when they scored a touchdown with 11:10 left in the first half. James Madison answered with a 52-yard scoring drive of their own later in the period to take the lead for good.

Jordan McCloud was 18-of-26 through the air for 200 yards and a touchdown while being sacked three times by the Trojan defense. Elijah Sarratt led Duke wide receivers with six catches for 62 yards and touchdown. Kaelon Black rushed for 78 yards on 13 carries. JMU had five players record five or more tackles, led by six tackles each from Jamree Kromah and Jalen Green.

RELATED: ‘Eliminating Mistakes’ Focus For Utah State Looking Forward

Aggie Depth Report

  • After not practicing all week, safety/linebacker Anthony Switzer was able to play against Air Force. “I feel like we were lucky to get him out of the game unscathed,” Anderson said on Monday. “He should be completely healthy.”
  • Starting running back Robert Briggs did not play against Air Force, but Anderson expects him and backup running back Davon Booth to be ready to go against James Madison.
  • “Most of it is bumps and bruises. Nobody that should be out unless we have some type of recurring injury or issue in practice this week,” Anderson stated.

RELATED: Falcon Ground Game Carries Air Force To Win Over Utah State

Bold denotes 2022 starter

Utah State Offense

Quarterback

McCae Hillstead

Cooper Legas

Levi Williams

RELATED: Levi Williams Finds Vaughn For First Touchdown Pass As An Aggie

Running Back

Robert Briggs

-OR- Davon Booth

Rahsul Faison

RELATED: Running Back Depth Could Benefit Utah State

Wide Receiver

Jalen Royals

Kahanu Davis

-OR- Micah Davis

Grant Page

RELATED: Utah State Wide Receivers Face Uphill Battle In 2023

Wide Receiver

Otto Tia

-OR- Colby Bowman

-OR- Micah Davis

Arcelles Johnson

Slot Receiver

Terrell Vaughn

Micah Davis

-OR- Kyle Van Leeuwen

Kyrese Rowan

Ryder MacGillivray

Tight End

Josh Sterzer 

Broc Lane

Will Monney

RELATED: Inexperienced Tight End Group For Utah State Football

Left Tackle

Ralph Frias

Calvin Knapp

Left Guard

Wade Meacham

Wyatt Bowles

RELATED: Utah State Offensive Line Ready For In-Game Challenge

Center

Falepule Alo

Aloali’i Maui

Right Guard

Tavo Motu’apuaka

Bryce Radford

Right Tackle

Cole Motes

-OR- Teague Anderson

Shively Asoau Fua

Utah State Defense

Defensive End

Paul Fitzgerald

Cian Stone

Blaine Spires

RELATED: Anderson Doesn’t Sound Optimistic About Max Alford’s Injury

Defensive Tackle

Seni Tuiaki

Poukesi Vakauta

Siaosi Lauhingoa

Clifton Mosely Jr.

Defensive Tackle

Hale Motu’apuaka

Bo Maile

Sir Mells

RELATED: Utah State Defensive Line Needs To Grow Up Fast

Defensive End

Enoka Migao

John Ward

Ioholani Raass

Will Linebacker

Gavin Barthiel

Bronson Olevao Jr.

Josh Williams

Mike Linebacker

MJ Tafisi Jr.

Cole Joyce

Logan Pili

RELATED: Utah State Linebackers Ready To Work In 2023

Sam Linebacker

Anthony Switzer

Jaiden Francois

Cornerback

JD Drew

Avante Dickerson

Xavion Steele

RELATED: Utah State Scores 20 Points In 71 Seconds Against Idaho State

Backside Safety

Ike Larsen

Javar Strong

RELATED: Local Talent, New Faces Expected To Lead Utah State Safeties In 2023

Free Safety

Simeon Harris

Devin Dye

Cornerback

Michael Anyanwu

Gabriel Bryan

Al Ashford III

RELATED: Anyanwu Leads Utah State Cornerbacks Into 2023

Utah State Specialists

Punter

Stephen Kotsanlee

Ryan Marks

Place Kicker

William Testa

Elliot Nimrod

Holder

Stephen Kotsanlee

Ryan Marks

Kickoffs

Elliot Nimrod

Ryan Marks

RELATED: 2023 Utah State Aggies Football Schedule

Long Snapper

Jacob Garcia

Alexander McDougall

Punt Returner

Micah Davis

Cooper Jones

Kick Returner

Terrell Vaughn

Micah Davis

Following The Aggies With KSL Sports Zone

Utah State (1-2) returns to Logan where they will host the James Madison Dukes at Maverik Stadium on Saturday, September 23. This will be the first meeting between James Madison and the Aggies. USU will complete a two-game series with the Dukes when they travel to Harrisonburg, Virginia in 2025. The Dukes ascended to the FBS level for the 2022-23 academic year. This is their second season in the Sun Belt Conference.

USU football games are found on KSL Sports Zone with Scott Garrard and former Aggie quarterback Kevin White (1988-89) on the call.

KSL Sports coverage of Utah State University Athletics can be found here. 

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Utah State Makes QB Change Ahead Of Facing James Madison Dukes