Blake Anderson. Photo by Lorene Hale
LOGAN – With 2:36 left on the clock, Utah State’s offense made its way onto the field down 28-7 to Weber State. Quarterback Logan Bonner had just thrown a pick-six that just about sealed USU’s fate in the eventual 35-7 loss to the FCS side.
As Bonner trotted into position, boos rained down onto the field — presumably due to the presence of Bonner on the field. The senior finished the game with one of his worst statistical performances as a starter — 12-for-31 passing (38.7 percent), a mere 120 yards passing and three interceptions to zero touchdowns.
That context certainly gave off the appearance that Utah State fans were booing its own quarterback. It certainly didn’t help that a faint “We want Cooper” chant could be heard, nor the fact that Cooper Legas, the backup quarterback referred to in that chant, entered to cheers in the fourth when starters were pulled.
After the game, head coach Blake Anderson was asked about those boos. What followed was a more than minute-long response that included multiple shots at fans and a defense of Bonner. Anderson said that many fans “showed true colors today” and that the boos were “embarrassing.” He ended his comments by saying the team will “pull tighter together on the sideline…because apparently that’s what we’ve got.”
Anderson had a response to the boos Logan Bonner received during today’s game — a lengthy 72-second response in all. Here’s my transcription of what he said. pic.twitter.com/MOFxqjkeo7
— Jason Walker (@jwalker_sports) September 11, 2022
The comments quickly made their way to social media by way of reporters and fans were quick to respond, both on social media and on the radio during KVNU Aggie Call. The number one argument brought forward from the booing side was that the fans were not, in fact, booing Bonner, but rather coach Anderson, his coaching staff and their decision to keep an underperforming and injured Bonner in the game.
Incredibly arrogant for him to believe fabs were booing Bonner. They were booing him (Anderson)
— Bobbie “Bum” Boone 🕙 (@BalkansBob) September 11, 2022
Who wants to be the one to tell coach the boos were directed towards him and his performance. One that resulted in losing to a team for the first time in 44 YEARS and who also happens to be in the FCS. Don’t try and redirect it towards a player, it’s on him. https://t.co/1F4Ec7hBV5
— Tony R (@TonyRawbirds) September 11, 2022
Those boos for for your atrocious offensive game plan and unwillingness to not pull your obviously not fully healed quarterback from the game. The fans booing is not embarrassing. You coaching and responding the way you did is. @CHbanderson
— Craig Justin Hansen (@hansen_craig_) September 11, 2022
@CHbanderson they were booing you In two games this year the team wouldn’t beat a good high school team that’s 100% on you We don’t belong at Bama, this is their super bowl etc…. Booooo you
— robb louder (@rlouderaggies) September 11, 2022
Coach, fans were booing the lack of adjustments that needed to be made to win the game against a f*cking FCS team at home, and one of those adjustments was to give Coop a shot when Bonner had an off night. The product on the field tonight deserved some boos imo. https://t.co/POC9qaP5mB
— Brendo (@MrAnderson_93) September 11, 2022
The loss to Weber State — historically embarrassing as it may be — might not be the most damaging thing to come out of this game. Fans booing their own team risked alienating coaches and players and Anderson’s shots back certainly didn’t calm the situation. Some fans are now much less enthusiastic about going to games, and their opinion of Anderson certainly isn’t going up.
Bruh. I ain’t goin to a single game the rest of this season. https://t.co/zSuxcNe579
— yall look like ants (@Nutts__) September 11, 2022
In the midst of all the attacks on the coach, many supported Anderson and the work he’s done with the team while also calling out fans for booing.
I think more than anything this USU team needs to feel supported right now, they realize the gravity of this loss far more than us fans do, we can either critically analyze the faults of every athlete and coach or we can prepare for our conference defense. Let’s ride!!!
— McKay Murphy (@Bigmacmurph) September 11, 2022
If you are actually a real @USUFootball fan, THIS SHOULD STING! I was ashamed of our booing fans, if you booed your team tonight, you aren’t a fan, you are a dumbass! I still love the Aggies! I remember the 80’s and 90’s https://t.co/w8hMmT856L
— Michael Lemon, The Idaho Aggie (@MichaelLemon78) September 11, 2022
We could talk all night about who was booed and who was not. In the end, I don’t see how booing anyone is helpful or constructive. Players and coaches see the result on the field. It’s no secret to them that they sucked tonight. Boos don’t make Aggie football better.
— Ogden Aggie 🇺🇸 (@OgdenAggie) September 11, 2022
Bonner’s parents, who had to watch both the game and situation on social media deteriorate with their son right in the middle of the controversy, chose the option to support the team and not bring negativity into the discussion. Linda retweeted several posts that voiced support for the Aggies, its players and coaches but didn’t join the fray herself. Bane’s only comment was to reply to a fan who asked how Logan won the QB job (referencing a part of Anderson’s comment) while being injured the whole offseason. The simple reply being “I can. Please DM me.”
Blake Anderson’s wife, Brittany, also took to social media to defend her husband, the Aggie players, and highlight how the fan behavior could be damaging to the team.
I know, Blake knows, nearly everyone knows coaches were the ones booed. But booing players or coaches hurts our young men. We are a family, & you can’t not hurt when someone boos your family (fellow teammates or coaches). I hope that makes sense…I’m not the best with words.
— Brittany Anderson (@brittm_anderson) September 11, 2022