LOGAN — In a word, Utah State's football season thus far can be described in one way: inconsistent.
"It is tough to sit back and deal with (that) day in and day out," said Utah State coach Gary Andersen about his team's inconsistencies. "To sit back and think of where I want them to be, and understand where the kids would like to be, it is exactly where we are in the progression."
The Aggies looked as though they had turned a corner on their progression to start the season. They gave now-BCS No. 1 Oklahoma everything it wanted to start the season. And just a few weeks ago, the Aggies put an emphatic beat-down on rival BYU in front of a national audience on ESPN.
Surrounding those games, however, are frustrating efforts. A late-game letdown against Fresno State squandered a very winnable WAC opener, and the Aggies were blown out on the road at San Diego State and most recently at Louisiana Tech.
All this up-and-down play has left fans wondering who the Aggies really are. Are they the team that dominated BYU in every aspect of the game? Or are they the team that couldn't even tally 200 total yards against Louisiana Tech?
"The inconsistencies are not fun or easy to deal with. It is the toughest part of my job right now," Andersen said. "You expect to win and expect to compete very hard every single week whoever you are playing against. I don't care if you are playing a game of checkers, Monopoly or playing on ESPN on Friday night, it should be the same competitive edge, and young men need to understand they need to have that week in and week out."
The Aggies need to find that competitive edge and find a way to be the team that tested Oklahoma and beat BYU if they hope to have any chance of challenging Hawaii.
"We are going to come back stronger and give Hawaii a good game," tight end Kellen Bartlett. "We're ready to go out and compete against them; we've been working all week in practice on getting physical again and touching back on our technique.
"It always helps to take your game back to step one and re-evaluating where you are at as a player and as a team. We have shown as a team moments of greatness and moments of complete and total inconsistency."
Bartlett and the Aggie offense are going to have to find a way to become that team to keep up with a Hawaii team that is 12th in the nation in points scored per game at 37.6.
"Hawaii is a very good football team. I think that they have played extremely well on offense," Andersen said. "They are obviously a very explosive football team. They have a tremendous receiving corps, a quarterback that runs their offense very well, and an offensive line that is experienced and works very well together. I don't see a weak link."
Hawaii leads the nation in passing at more than 400 yards a game. In comparison, Diondre Borel has only topped the 200-yard passing mark twice this season.
On the plus side for the Aggies, they had a week off to get healthy, and Chris Randle and Rajric Coleman should be close to 100 percent in a secondary that is going to have its hands full against the explosive Warrior attack.
The bye week also gave the Aggies an extra week to prepare for Hawaii. Many of the players stayed up late last Saturday to see Hawaii beat then-No. 17 Nevada 27-21 on the Islands.
Aggies on the air
Hawaii (5-2, 3-0) at Utah State (2-4, 0-2)
Today, 3 p.m.
Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium, Logan
TV: ALT Radio: 610 AM, 1320 AM, 102.1 FM, 95.9 FM