Utah State down to third-team quarterback

Darell Garretson proved himself capable when he came off the bench last season to quarterback Utah State to the Mountain West title game.

Garretson was pushed into that role again this football season when starter Chuckie Keeton reinjured his left knee.

Now Garretson is injured, too, and the Aggies will have to go considerably down the depth chart at quarterback when they host UNLV at 1 p.m. PDT Saturday.

Senior Craig Harrison will start for the Aggies, and they also could turn to freshman Kent Myers, who has been redshirting this season. Harrison completed 5 of 12 passes for 28 yards in Saturday’s 16-13 loss at Colorado State.

“We got a look at (Harrison) the second half of the Colorado State game, and they didn’t change a whole bunch,” UNLV coach Bobby Hauck said Monday. “They’ve got some other things they do offensively that we’ll have to be ready for. We can’t predict their play call, but they’ve got a guy that’s played some.”

Harrison (6 feet 2 inches, 205 pounds) has one career start and had thrown for just 497 yards entering this season.

“He’s had game time, he just hasn’t had a lot of game time,” Aggies coach Matt Wells said. “He’s been in here and there in bits and pieces. He’s cerebral and thinks about it. He does a nice job from that standpoint. It’s just getting more game time. It’s hard to replicate that when you’re sitting being Chuckie and Darell.”

As for Myers (6-0, 185), he led his Texas high school to an undefeated regular season and district championship last year. The hope at Utah State is to preserve his redshirt.

“I can’t make Darell healthy, and I can’t make Chuckie healthy,” Wells said. “You can go from fourth to second string just like that, and you have to be ready. He had a good look in his eye this morning. He’ll be ready if called upon.”

Garretson came through twice when called upon, taking Keeton’s place last season and this year and keeping Utah State competitive in the Mountain West. Now Garretson is out at least this week with a wrist injury.

The Aggies will have to trust an inexperienced quarterback to lead them, so expect them to rely on the running game. Utah State needs more production from its running backs, averaging 132.7 yards per game. Leading rusher Joe Hill has 232 yards on a 3.9-per-carry average.

“We’ll try to get ourselves ready for it,” Hauck said. “Early in the game, they’ll probably try to throw a few down the field to try to back us off, I suppose, so we’ve got to be ready.”

■ NOTES — UNLV wide receiver Devante Davis (wrist) isn’t expected to play this weekend, which would be the fourth consecutive game he would have been out. … Hauck was asked his opinion of the offensive pass interference call on Notre Dame that was critical in Florida State’s 31-27 victory over the Fighting Irish on Saturday. “I thought it was (interference); some don’t,” Hauck said. “We had an interesting discussion on that upstairs. Most of the defensive guys think it was pass interference, and most of the offensive guys don’t. There’s a difference of opinion in that room. It depends on how you view the world.” … The Rebels are coming off of a 30-27 overtime win over Fresno State on Oct. 10. “They had a really good win, I would assume one of the best in program history, against Fresno State,” Wells said.

Contact reporter Mark Anderson at manderson@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2914. Follow him on Twitter:@markanderson65.

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