Originally posted on Crystal Ball Run  |  Last updated 12/13/11


The bowl season is upon us, ladies and gents. In just a few short days, 70 college football teams will be vying for 35 separate bowl wins.

One of those 70 teams, the Utah State Aggies, will battle the Ohio Bobcats in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

We were lucky enough to touch base with two assistants on the Utah State coaching staff to answer "Five Burning Questions" on the match-up with Ohio.

A big thank you to Utah State as well as Dave Baldwin (offensive coordinator/tight ends coach) and Bill Busch (associate head coach/special teams coordinator/defensive backs coach) for taking the time out to talk to us.

1. Following close losses at Auburn and BYU, the team got off to a rough start before closing the regular season on a five-game winning streak. What went in to the turnaround?

Bill Busch: Mostly the kids. The players just hung together. We just kept working hard, practicing hard, which we do all the time. That was a big plus, this group just kept working, kept working. The number one thing is we just have got great kids who got it done on the field.

Dave Baldwin: Football is always a game of inches and momentum and swings. [Auburn] hit a swing with an onside kick. We just caught our momentum at the Hawai’i game and hung on to it, momentum kept us going and execution along with it. We played better, executed and had momentum.

2. Robert Turbin returned this season with a purpose after missing last year. How important is it to get him going, and how important has he been to the program?

Baldwin: Oh, it is very important. He is our go-to guy. He is our catalyst of the offense. It is just a tribute to his hard work in the off-season to get ready. He lost last year because of the injury, but we were smart to not try and bring him back at game eight or nine. He came back completely healthy. You could see he was healthy, and he just made a huge difference. Any time you go over a thousand yards, MVP of the league and MVP of the team and a team leader. So he is important to have back.

3. Following the bowl, what will Utah State need start, stop and continue doing to progress?

Busch: Number one thing during this time and the one thing you do to develop your program is recruiting. The ability to get more players, to get more depth, better players – that is always our goal, to get better, and that is everyone in the country, but that is extremely important to us. We will focus in hard on that while our kids get a little break for Christmas, and then we come back and we will get cranked up right away with the off-season. The off-season – if you don’t have a great off season, you have no chance. We will do that. We will research a few projects during that time also and some things and get a chance to review ourselves. We haven’t done that yet, but we will have a chance to look back at ourselves and see where we need to make adjustments and see where is the best way to put our best 11 players out on the field.”

Baldwin: It’s hard to look past Ohio right now as a coach, because I never want to look past that next game. Recruiting is the first thing we have got to do, and you are always trying to recruit better athletes to take it to another step. This is a bowl team, and we would like to take it to a championship team, so that is the kind of kids you need to recruit. We need to throw the football better next year – that is an obvious. We will work hard this spring on throwing the football and doing the things down the field that we need to get done there.

4. Looking at Ohio, is Tyler Tettleton, Ohio's quarterback, one of the best quarterbacks you will have seen this season?

Busch: Oh, absolutely, he is. The base terminology that I use is that what he does when coaching breaks down, when coaching is over, which means he can make plays. He scrambles. He is built into their run game naturally, but he has natural scrambling ability. He makes a lot, a lot of plays for them. He has been as good a quarterback as we have seen all year, hands down.”

5. To win the game, Utah State must do what?

Busch: Get turnovers. There is no stat that holds it better than that. We’ve got to be able to steal some possessions and be able to knock the ball out or get some interceptions or do something to get the ball back to our offense. I am sure our offense has the same thing, to possess the ball. There is nothing more important than that, in that area. We are going to have to defensively stop the run first. If you can’t stop the run, it will just be a long day, and then the turnovers are the next biggest thing we do.”

Baldwin: First of all, we have got to do everything we have done when we won football games. That is, play our tempo, which is a fast past tempo, and we have got to run the football, run it with consistency. Run it on first down and be successful there and get big plays with our receivers. If we play with our tempo and our emotion and run the football and get some big plays, we have a chance to win.”

You can follow Regie at @CFBROCKER.

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