The Eye of the LSU Tigers

All that Rocky Balboa could think of was his girlfriend as he yelled “ADRIAN!” in the middle of his formidable opponent. He defeated that opponent in the final round. He also defeated his opponents in about 100 other movies. This is what makes the Eye of the Tiger song from the Rocky Soundtrack so motivating for athletes.

A real life example of a big time boxing upset could be when Buster Douglas was defeated by Mike Tyson despite being highly favored to win. Tyson did what few thought he could. He certainly had the Eye of the Tiger.

Enter Utah State University. For decades they have been known as the outcasts of the FBS. If the ESPN weekly Bottom 10 article had been published a decade prior, the Aggies of Logan would almost always be in those rankings. The hardest part was finding a conference. For years the Aggies were in the Big West, but after the conference disbanded, the Aggies found themselves as a brief Independent followed by a wayward Sun Belt member. They moved up to the WAC without much success.

Then Gary Andersen built and saved the program. They climbed to the Mountain West conference where they have hit their stride as the WAC disbanded. Other former WAC members such as the Aggies of New Mexico State have struggled to find their footing.

The Aggies have recently won every game except perhaps the big one: A win over a Top 25 Power 5 team. They get paid a huge check to lose to a Power 5 school every year. Many times the score is close but sometimes it isn’t.

The motivation that should be in every Aggie player and coach’s mind should be to do what no other Aggie has done before which is beat a Top 5 team. LSU certainly could contend for the College Football Playoff but faces stiff tests in Alabama, Auburn and Florida.

Gary Andersen was 10 points and two minutes away from defeating the defending national champion Auburn Tigers. They have the attention of the LSU Tigers as they don’t want to be the first top Power 5 team that loses to the Aggies. They are preparing for the fast pace offense that the Aggies use.

After Andersen has lost to Wisconsin, Auburn, USC and Wake Forest by one possession LSU has to be all that’s on his mind. How can he win the big game? Sure winning conference games is fun but every game there should be a belief that you have a chance, albeit a puncher’s chance, to win.

This is a different LSU team. They have an electric offense behind former Ohio State backup quarterback Joe Burrow. Jordan Love of Utah State is also one of the top quarterbacks in the country as he is projected to be an NFL pick. However, both defenses seem to have taken a step back. Whichever quarterback has the best protection has the best chance to win.

This will be a tale not only of the quarterbacks, the O-Line or the coaching. It will be about who wants it more. Two years ago a Sun Belt team named Troy shocked the world by beating a #24 ranked LSU Tigers team. Now, it’s time for the Aggies to pull out the Trojan Horse.

I think the Aggies will barely lose 52 to 45 in a shootout but, with BYU and Utah on byes this week, the Beehive State is counting on one football Cinderella to save the day.

If the Aggies lose, they have chances to win in upcoming years vs Power 5 teams. Next year they face both Washington State (in Logan) and Washington on the road. In 2021 they go on the road to face Washington State. In 2022 they face another stiff SEC opponent in Alabama.

I think Utah State’s next win over a Power 5 opponent would be next year at home vs Washington State. However, there has never been a bigger opportunity to beat a bigger opponent than this week and unless Nick Saban is still coaching the Alabama Crimson Tide in 2022, you won’t see the Aggies playing a Top 5 team in the country anytime soon.

Adrian all the way. Aggies all the Way! It’s time to have the Eye of the Tiger at 10 AM Mountain Time when the Aggies square off vs the Tigers in Baton Rouge. The students can say they believe that we will win but now it’s time for the players to really believe that they can win. It will take 60 minutes of complete focus though. No interceptions. The Aggies have proven they can hang with the big boys for 58 minutes. Now it’s time to hold on for the last two.

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