Wells working for a turnaround year after "embarrassing" 2016 season

LOGAN –Matt Wells said he is embarrassed by last football season.

The Utah State head coach and his players reported to Fall Camp Thursday afternoon. It is a chance at a fresh start for a team that went 3-9 last season and didn’t reach a bowl game for the first time since 2010. USU was recently picked dead last in a Mountain West media preseason poll.

The embarrassment, Wells said, only extends as far as the team’s final record.

“That’s embarrassing for me in terms of our record,” he said. “Not in terms of the way our kids played, not the way our kids competed. I want that to be known, that I’m not disappointed in them. They fought tooth and nail all the way through the last game of the year, as evidenced by two buzzer-beater losses in the month of November.”

Wells said he evaluated everything during the long offseason.

“The longer I looked at it and the more I talked to mentors and fellow head coaches, our staff – it just reinforced a lot of the things I believe in and we believe in here at Utah State and how we won games prior to last year,” he said. “That is our plan to win, our core values, how we recruit, it is not changing. How we train in the weight room, it is not changing.”

He said there is a lot of resolve among the coaches and players to change the result of last season.

“We want the best product out there for Aggie fans, our alumni, our school, our university, everybody that supports us,” he said. “When it comes down to it, the bottom line is winning close games.

The Aggies lost five conference games by a combined 29 points a season ago.

“There are going to be close games,” Wells said. “We have to win our share of close games … We need to win a couple of those early and then get the mojo and the chemistry going.”

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