USU football: Kevin McGiven looking to fine-tune Aggie offense in first year as offensive coordinator

By Doug Hoffman

For the Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, April 2 2013 11:50 a.m. MDT

Do you share a similar offensive philosophy to coach Wells as far as being aggressive on offense?

“I think that’s probably one of the things that got me hired here. Philosophically we really see eye-to-eye and he could probably tell that through the interview process. I think that was a big part of it. We run a multiple personnel-based offense and I’ve always believed in that. It gives you the leeway to structure the offense to fit the personnel that you have. He believes in having a fast-paced tempo and being really aggressive and balanced. I think it was just a good fit with coach Wells, philosophically.”

What can Aggie fans expect from USU’s offense moving forward with you as offensive coordinator?

“There might be some wrinkles here and there just from what I saw previously and from evaluating what they did last year, where I think we can improve in certain areas. There won’t be any drastic changes schematically. Some people may not even notice some of the changes that are taking place where we’re tweaking things here and there. Overall, philosophically it’s the same system, maybe just with a wrinkle or two. Coach Wells has listened to the ideas and there are a lot of them that we’re implementing now in spring ball. We’ll just kind of evaluate that stuff this spring and see what we can carry forward into the season to form our identity. There will always be a little bit of a change based on what your personnel is year to year.”

What are your impressions of Chuckie Keeton?

“He’s a really, really impressive person first of all. His work ethic is unbelievable. His drive to improve is amazing. He’s still considered a bit of a young player, after you’ve started and have success, quarterbacks sometimes tend to get the sense that they’ve ‘arrived.’ You never get that sense with him. He comes out every single day to work and to get better. He has unbelievable leadership in terms of the offense. He’s got a great understanding of our system. Coach Wells has done a really great job with him, teaching him the ins and outs of the offense. He had that foundation before I got here. I’ve helped him with some technique things and he’s embraced that, trying to incorporate it into his game. The fact that he’s constantly trying to learn and is already such a great talent is amazing. His ability to retain information is probably the best that I’ve been around.”

Utah State lost an All-American running back and its top five receivers from 2012. How will that affect the offense heading into 2013?

“That definitely has an effect. When you’re talking about that, you’re talking about some of the best that have ever been at Utah State. With Kerwynn Williams, Matt Austin, Chuck Jacobs, Kellen Bartlett at tight end, there are a lot of talented guys who have been here the last couple years. It’s tough to replace that, but there’s some depth and some talent behind them that just haven’t gotten the game experience because they’ve had those guys in front of them. Our job as coaches is to recruit the talent and then develop them so they’re ready to go. We’re still in the process of finding out what we can be, what groups we can get into personnel wise. We’re trying to find some play makers at the wide receiver position and find someone that can replace Kerwynn. Joe Hill has done an excellent job this spring. He made a lot of plays this fall and did a good job. He’s a proven player based on what he did. Then we have D.J. Tialavea at the tight end position, who had a lot of valuable experience last year, along with Keegan Andersen. There are some quality guys at those positions, they just have to continue to improve. I feel good about where we’re at with our personnel.”

What are your impressions of the team thus far with two weeks of spring practice in the books?

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