Without a winning season since 1997, the Aggies have won no more than five games since its 2000 campaign.
This year, with the return of as many as 17 starters (10 on offense), the Aggies are hoping to simply get better than the year before.
The Aggies were plagued by a number of injuries on both sides of the ball in 2010.
Most of them, however, ended up happening to their best offensive and defensive play makers, and the Aggies finished seventh in the Western Athletic Conference in scoring and just 84th in the nation in total offense.
With only two offensive starters gone from last season (Diondre Borel and Spencer Johnson), the Aggies in 2011 should be well-rehearsed in second-year head coach Gary Anderson’s approach to winning football.
Likely leading the backfield this season is Robert Turbin, a junior who carried the ball for nearly 1,300 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2009.
He missed all of 2010 with a knee injury, prompting Derrvin Speight to carry the load with Kerwynn Williams.
The duo combined for more than 1,200 yards rushing with 12 touchdowns, with Joey DeMartino and Michael Smith seeing some playing time as well.
With the absence of quarterback Borel, the Aggies search for a starter in 2011 will come down to three players.
Among them are junior college transfer Adam Kennedy, red-shirt freshman Alex Hart, and true freshman Chuckie Keeton.
A likely starter may not be named until the Aggies’ opening game, which will have fans wondering where their leader will come from.
The wide receiver position will bring back two potential heavy weights this season, each coming back from an injury.
Stanley Morrison and Matt Austin, a junior and senior respectively, will both be back after seeing little or no action in 2010.
Morrison was one of the Aggies’ play makers recently, catching 33 balls for 616 yards and three touchdowns.
Austin has been out the past two seasons with injuries and missed all but one game during that time.
Another receiver to look for this year will be Dontel Watkins, a junior who had 42 catches with 492 yards and four scores last year.
The Aggies will be looking to improve on their sixth place finish in the WAC in total defense, with the return of six starters for the 2011 campaign.
Among them include defensive ends Quinn Garner and Levi Koskan and line backers Jake Doughty, Kyle Gallagher and Bobby Wagner.
Wagner led the team last season with 133 total tackles, with Gallagher finishing right behind him with 91 on the year.
Wagner has been considered the backbone of the defense for the past few seasons, as he was voted a two-time first team All-WAC and preseason Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List member.
He’s only 22 tackles shy of breaking into the top-10 among USU’s career tackles list, needing only 19 to get into the top 10 in WAC’s history.
Safeties Walter McClenton and Alfred Bowden, both seniors, will be looking to improve the secondary this year that ranked 106th in passing yards against them.
Bowden will likely replace Rajric Coleman, who had 55 tackles and three interceptions.
Utah State will kick off its season with a road game against Southeastern Conference and defending national champion Auburn.