It was a weird time for football fans up in Cache Valley this last offseason. Moods pertaining to the state of the local college football team had likely never shifted so quickly.

Two years ago, the Aggies were riding high. They finished the year 24th in the AP poll, won the LA Bowl over Oregon State and above all, claimed top spot in the Mountain West Conference.

Not only was Utah State the newly minted Mountain West champs for the first time ever, they hit the 11-win mark for only the third time in their collegiate history.

It was all especially impressive when taking into account that head coach, Blake Anderson, was in his first year in Aggie blue.

As USU fans know, the next season was not as kind to Utah State, who would suffer awful injury luck coinciding with a 6-7 letdown of a season.

We can discuss the drama and the tensions and the falloff as steep as Beaver Mountain itself, but let’s just say the expectations for this current season weren’t as high as they were going into last year.

Through graduates and transfers and internal growth, this year was about picking out the guys who can contribute for this Aggies squad now and potentially in the future.

One such name in the Aggies 7 games up to this point has been Jalen Royals. The Junior Wide Receiver from Power Springs. Georgia has been, as the kids say, balling out.

Royals has 39 grabs on the season for 647 yards and 9 touchdowns. He leads the Aggies in both receiving yards and touchdowns despite having 14 less receptions than Terrell Vaughn, the leading USU pass catcher.

Royals’ outburst has been especially strong as of late. Scott Garrard of the Zone Sports Network made an astute observation in regards to this on X (The artist formerly known as Twitter).

The last three performances for the Aggies have seen Royals combine for 20 receptions, 450 yards, and 7 touchdowns.

As Garrard points out, 5 of the 7 touchdowns have been deep strikes going for 50 or more yards.

Jalen Royals has more receptions in the last three games than he did in the first 4 games combined.

He has 253 more yards in the last three contest than he did in the first four.

In the wins Over UConn, Colorado State, and the narrow loss to Fresno State, Royals has been sure to visit the endzone at least twice, including a three-touchdown performance over the Huskies.

Royals hasn’t just taken a step forward, he’s a full 100 yards ahead and watching him has become one of the best parts of Aggies football.

Jalen will look to keep the streak alive this Saturday at San Jose State.

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