New faces ready to fill in for Aggies
Published: Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, October 16, 2013 22:10
It’s been reported on. It’s been agonized over. It’s been scrutinized.
Utah State’s football team has sustained a considerable amount of injuries. Four offensive starters went down in the span of three weeks, but that just means new faces are going to excite the Aggie faithful.
Darrel Garretson will be taking over for Chuckie Keeton, Sini Tauauve’a is taking over for Kyle Whimpey and Robert Marshall has seen significant playing time with the injury to Joe Hill.
“At the start, it was a little bit rough,” Marshall said. “But it’s more than just one person or two people being hurt. We’re still a team.”
It’s time to take a look at the next men up, starting with the signal caller: Darell Garretson is a true freshman out of Chandler High School in Arizona. Garretson is 19 and is thought of as the future for the Aggies.
The plan was that he would redshirt this year and then be ready, when Keeton eventually graduated, to step in. But with the Keeton injury, Wells opted to pull Garretson’s redshirt and announced him as the starter for Saturday’s game against New Mexico.
In two years as a starter in high school, he passed for 5,450 yards and 50 touchdowns, garnering Arizona’s high school player of the year award last year. He originally verbally committed to San Jose State but changed his commitment from the Spartans to the Aggies following a visit to Logan.
Garretson had a debut to forget after being called upon in the third quarter against Boise State to try to mount a comeback.
With a full week of practice and a full game of experience now, Wells said he should show everyone why there is such an excitement surrounding him.
Tauauve’a is the next new starter, seeing increased playing time since Wimpey went down at SJSU. He is a junior college transfer from Snow College.
He was actually a defensive lineman at Snow, but he converted from defense to offense during the 2012 season with the Aggies. Tauauve’a has started the last two weeks and performed admirably.
“Everything is slowing down,” Tauauve’a said. “I feel more comfortable out there and I feel like it’s just another day.”
Tauauve’a has also been receiving a lot of support from USU’s experienced linemen.
“They have been giving me tips and making calls,” Tauauve’a said. “They made me feel comfortable.”
Tauauve’a said the rest of the line wasn’t disappointed that he wasn’t Kyle Whimpey in there, but instead they just helped him get in and be effective.
Seeing an increased workload at running back is Marshall, a large, physical back who carried the ball 19 times last week. He is a guy who can plow up the middle and will split time with Joey DeMartino for the rest of the season.
Marshall compliments DeMartino in that he can grind out yards and wear a defense down enough for DeMartino to break away for a big play.
However, just because Marshall is a grinder doesn’t mean you won’t see huge gains from him. Expect to see Marshall break some huge runs in the coming weeks, especially against some so far unimpressive MWC defenses.
Marshall is actually not much of a new face. He is a senior who has played in each of the last three seasons, racking up 63 carries. Marshall is also receiving support from Joe Hill and Joey DeMartino.
“They’re always in my ear telling me, ‘It’s your time, just stay at it, stay focused and continue grinding,’” Marshall said. “I kind of just take that and do my best to be in physical shape and mentally ready as much as possible.”
Aggie fans should look at the positives. Two of the main people stepping into enhanced roles are experienced seniors, Marshall and Tauauve’a, and USU’s future at quarterback is getting the opportunity to showcase his skills today.
“It’s not something we can control. We just have to keep going and strap on and play harder,” Tauauve’a said. “I think the whole team, especially the guys that got to step up, are ready to play their part.”