LOGAN — Utah State’s 2014 season got off to a rocky start at Rocky Top, falling to the Southeastern Conference’s University of Tennessee, 38-7, Sunday.
The Deseret News checked in with Utah State head coach Matt Wells and two players — senior offensive tackle Kevin Whimpey and sophomore linebacker Nick Vigil — to hear how the Aggies responded to the loss.
“It’s a very humbling defeat and very eye-opening for us as a program," Wells said. "It’s something I haven’t gone through here and something we’re not planning on going through anymore. There are absolutely a lot of learning experiences for us, coaches included, that we can make adjustments on and get better at and we surely will.”
Vigil had one of the game's few bright spots for the Aggies, sacking Tennessee quarterback Justin Worley.
“It was just set up for me to come off the edge," Vigil said. "The tight end blocked me and I was able to get his hands down and turn the corner."
The leader of the maligned offensive line, Whimpey was resolute his team will bounce back in the coming weeks.
“I use visualization before games and that was not anything close to what I saw happening on Sunday night," Whimpey said. "I thought we were more prepared, I thought we were ready to execute, and I thought we were more physical and those things just didn’t happen.
"The 38-7 loss is something that I’ve never dealt with at this program. It just gives me the resolve to want to do more for this group. All the captains and all the leaders will be doing more for our groups because we know that what we’ve been doing so far hasn’t been good enough.”
The Aggies host the Idaho State Bengals Saturday. For Whimpey, football is coming full circle. It's the final home opener for the Lone Peak High School alumni, who played his freshman year for Idaho State.
Kick-off is set for 6 p.m. at Romney Stadium.