5 things to know about UND football's Week 2 opponent Utah State

UND takes a 1-0 record to Logan, Utah, to play the Aggies of the Mountain West Conference at 8 p.m. Friday night.

Utah State Aggies running back John Gentry (2) breaks the tackle of Washington State Cougars defensive lineman Dallas Hobbs (98) in the second half of a Sept. 4 game at Gesa Field at Martin Stadium. James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

1. Utah State has a quarterback competition

Utah State doesn't plan to rotate quarterbacks throughout the season, but the starting quarterback label remains undecided as the Aggies enter Week 2.

The competition is between Arkansas State transfer Logan Bonner and returning starter Andrew Peasley.

In Utah State's Week 1 win over Washington State in Pullman, Bonner completed 17 of 24 passes for 143 yards and a touchdown. He also led the Aggies to two fourth-quarter touchdowns including the game-winning score.

Peasley completed 6 of 12 passes for 75 yards, including a 45-yard pass to Deven Thompkins. He also rushed for 43 yards on four carries.

2. Anderson replaces Andersen

Utah State has a first-year head coach in Blake Anderson, who replaced Gary Andersen.


Blake came to Logan, Utah, after leading Arkansas State (2014-20) to six consecutive bowl games.

Anderson was hired at Utah State after the school fired Anderson three games into the 2020 season.

Prior to Arkansas State, Anderson was the offensive coordinator at North Carolina.

Anderson started his college playing career at Baylor but finished at Sam Houston State.

In 2019, Anderson's wife Wendy died after a battle with breast cancer.

3. Utah State went the transfer route

With a new head coach, the Aggies have brought in plenty of fresh blood via the transfer portal.

Against Washington State, Oregon State transfer running back Calvin Tyler, carried the ball 14 times for 84 yards including a 23-yard run in the third quarter.

On defense, defensive end Patrick Joyner, a Miami Hurricanes transfer, had three tackles including 2.0 for loss and his first-career sack which resulted in a safety.


Utah State brought in three all-Sun Belt Conference transfer from Arkansas State in wide receiver Brandon Bowling, inside linebacker Justin Rice and Bonner.

The Aggies have 11 Power 5 transfers in running back Devontae Henry-Cole (Utah), defensive end Nick Heninger (Utah), defensive tackle Marcus Moore (UCLA), Tyler (Oregon State), cornerback Kyle Mayberry (Kansas), defensive end Phillip Paea (Michigan), safety Hunter Reynolds (Michigan), Joyner (Miami), defensive end Byron Vaughns (Texas), offensive lineman Quazzel White (TCU) and wide receiver Jamie Nance (Nebraska).

4. Aggies have a dangerous returner

Utah State senior Savon Scarver has returned six kickoffs for touchdowns during his career, which is a school record.

Scarver's six kickoff returns for touchdown are second-most in Mountain West history, behind San Diego State's Rashaad Penny (2014-17), who had seven.

The NCAA record for kickoff returns for touchdowns in a career is seven, set by four players: Clemson's C.J. Spiller (2006-09), Houston's Tyron Carrier (2008-11), Memphis' Tony Pollard (2015-18) and Penny.

Washington State kept Scarver in check with three returns for an average of 21.67 yards and a long of 27.

UND kicker Brady Stevens had all seven of his kicks go for touchbacks against Idaho State.

5. Coordinator carousel

Utah State will have new coordinators for a fourth-straight year in 2021.


The Aggies have a new offensive, defensive and special teams coordinator for the fourth year in a row. At defensive coordinator, Utah State will have a new coordinator for the fifth year in a row. On special teams, it's a new coordinator for the seventh year in a row.

Utah State is the only FBS school to have new coordinators on offense, defense and special teams in each of the past four seasons.

Miller has covered sports at the Grand Forks Herald since 2004 and was the state sportswriter of the year in 2019.

His primary beat is UND football but also reports on a variety of UND sports and local preps.

He can be reached at (701) 780-1121, or on Twitter at @tommillergf.
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