It appears Utah State is one step closer to hiring a football coach to replace Brent Guy.
Reliable sources close to the situation have told the Deseret News that Utah defensive coordinator Gary Andersen would be in Logan today for a second interview to discuss the team's budget and possibly meet with some Aggie players.
Andersen, who was named a finalist for the Broyles Award as the nation's top assistant coach, has helped the Ute defense become one of the top in the NCAA. The Utes have fielded one of the best defenses in the country this year and are headed to a second BCS bowl in four years, thanks in large part to Andersen's efforts. Utah is 18th in total defense, allowing 295.9 yards per game; 13th in scoring defense at just 17.2 points per game; and 14th in rushing defense at 104.8 yards per game.
Comparatively, Utah State's defense allowed 34.7 points, 161.6 rushing yards, 412.7 total yards per game, and its opponents had a 46 percent conversion rate on third downs.
Utah opponents this year have reached the red zone only 31 times and powered into the end zone on just 18 of those drives. The Aggies allowed 54 trips into the red zone and gave up touchdowns on 34 of those drives.54 comments on this story
Andersen has been a head coach before, lasting only one season at Southern Utah in 2003 where he posted a 4-7 record. Those four wins, however, were more than SUU had in the previous three seasons combined.
At Utah, Andersen was the assistant head coach from 2001-02 and has again held that title since 2005. The 1986 Utah graduate has been an assistant at his alma mater for a combined 11 seasons. He has also had stops at Idaho State, Northern Arizona, Southeastern Louisiana and Park City High.
While the source said no contract offer had been formally made, one could be presented shortly if today's meeting goes well.One source at Utah State said athletic director Scott Barnes would like to have a new coach hired and in place before student-athletes leave school for the holiday break. This would allow the new coach to meet with players and prevent possible mid-year transfers.