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Utah State Aggies football
AmericanFootball current event.svg.png Current season
135px
First season 1892
Head coach Gary Andersen
Home stadium Romney Stadium
Field Merlin Olsen Field
Stadium capacity 25,513
Stadium surface SprinTurf
Location Logan, UT
Conference WAC (MWC starting 2013)
All-time record 494–507–31
Postseason bowl record 1–6
Conference titles 11
Consensus All-Americans 2
Current uniform
275px
Colors Aggie Blue and Pewter Gray            
Fight song Hail the Utah Aggies
Mascot Big Blue
Rivals BYU Cougars
Utah Utes
Website UtahStateAggies.com

The Utah State Aggies are a college football team that competes in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) of the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of NCAA Division I, representing Utah State University. The Utah State college football program began in 1892 and has played home games at Romney Stadium since 1968. They have won eleven conference championships in four different conferences during their history. Overall, the Aggies have a record of 487–501–31 (.493).[1]

The Aggies are currently coached by Gary Andersen, who replaced Brent Guy following the unsuccessful 2008 season. Andersen was previously the defensive coordinator at the University of Utah, and a part of the 2008 Utes team that went undefeated and won a BCS bowl victory in the 2009 Sugar Bowl.

The Aggies have played in six bowl games in their history, in which they have won one: the 1993 Las Vegas Bowl, where they defeated Ball State.[2] More recently, in 1997, the team lost to Cincinnati in the Humanitarian Bowl. The Aggies played their seventh bowl game on December 17, 2011, in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (formerly the Humanitarian Bowl), losing 24–23 to Ohio.

HistoryEdit

The first intercollegiate athletic event in Utah State University's history took place on November 25, 1892, when the Agriculturalists defeated the football team from the University of Utah, 12–0.[3] The game was played on what is now the quad, and it was the only game until 1896. The Aggies enjoyed early regional dominance, notching their first perfect season (7–0) in 1907.[4] In 1911, under head coach Clayton Teetzel, the team again finished undefeated, even shutting out each of its five opponents by a collective score of 164 to 0.[5] Hall of Fame. The makeshift field on the quad continued to serve the team until 1913, when football was moved to Adams Field, two blocks west of campus, where Adams Park now sits. The new field represented an improvement, but the facilities remained meager, which fact became more apparent with the success of Coach E. L. "Dick" Romney, who came to Logan in 1918. Romney, for whom the current football stadium is named, earned the team's first-ever conference championship in 1921, and compiled a 128–91–16 record in 29 seasons.

The program continued a rich legacy throughout the early- and mid-20th century, when the program produced a large number of athletes who went on to play in the NFL, including the legendary brothers and consensus All-Americans Merlin Olsen and Phil Olsen, who played for the Aggies. It was during this time that Utah State finished their only two seasons with year-end Top 25 rankings: No. 10 in 1961 and No. 19 in 1972.[4]

Following the great heights of the 1960s and 70's, Aggie football fell upon hard times. Many of the Aggie faithful attribute the decline to administrators at both Utah and BYU freezing then-superior USU out of the newly-forming WAC. However, other factors cited as leading to the decline include a failure to upgrade facilities until recently, a lack of donors to athletics, complacency of past athletics directors, and instability in conferences.[6] The decline of the football program has had a negative effect on the perception of the university as a whole, and it is something that the Aggies are only now recovering from.

File:RomneyStadium.JPG

After continual failed attempts to join the WAC, the program played as an independent program from 1962 through 1976, and again from 2002 through 2004, before joining the geographically distant Sun Belt Conference, after the Big West Conference, which had housed the Aggies since 1978, elected to stop sponsoring football in 2001. USU's other teams remained in that conference until the school was finally invited to join the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) in 2005. Despite having lobbied to join its in-state rivals Utah and BYU in the WAC for many decades prior to 2005, the Aggies gained membership after the two other schools had left with six other schools to form the Mountain West Conference.

USU fans hold out great hope for current coach Andersen, who finished his first two years with unimpressive 4–8 records (5–11 WAC). Aggie fans, however, note that three of the conference losses came at margins of either 3 or 4 points, and after the Aggies had been leading a significant portion of each game.[7] This is a stark contrast to years past, in which the majority of games were often lost by several touchdowns.

Notable playersEdit

  • DL – Lionel Aldridge (1960–1962)... Hon. Men. All-American (1962); 11-year NFL career, 2 Super Bowl rings with the Green Bay Packers
  • QB – Anthony Calvillo (1992–1993)... 17-year CFL career including 3 Grey Cup Wins; 4-time CFL All-Star; CFL's Most Outstanding Player Award 2003, 2008, 2009, and all-time record holder for touchdown passes.
  • QB – Bill Munson (1964–1964)...played in 16 NFL seasons from 1964–1979 for five different teams, starting for the Detroit Lions through the late 1960's and early 1970's.
  • PK – Jim Turner (1961–1963) ... a QB in college, he kicked a then record 145 points in the 1968 regular NFL season, with a pro football record 34 field goals. Has one Super Bowl ring with the New York Jets, who defeated the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III. Played 9 seaons with the Denver Broncos, including Super Bowl XII against the Dallas Cowboys. Was 304 of 488 (62%) on field goals and 521 of 534 extra points, giving him 1,439 total points over his career. Inducted into the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame in 1988, and is all-time second team, American Football League.
  • QB – Bob Gagliano (1980)... Played for 14 years in the NFL with eight teams, and one season with the Denver Gold of the United States Football League (USFL).
  • TE – Chris Cooley (2000–2003)... Led NCAA in TE receptions as a senior; NFL Pro Bowl (2007–2009) with the Washington Redskins
  • WR – Kevin Curtis (2001–2002)... 3rd team AP All-American (2001); finished career as USU receptions leader. Has played for the St. Louis Rams and the Philadelphia Eagles. Currently with the Kansas City Chiefs
  • LB – LaVell Edwards (1949–1951)... All-Mountain States (1950); Hall of Fame coach at Brigham Young University
  • QB – Eric Hipple (1976–1979)... All-Pacific Coast; 10-year NFL career with the Detroit Lions
  • OG – Jim Hough (1974–1977)... 2nd team AP All-American (1977), 9 years in NFL
  • DL – Rulon Jones (1976–1979)... 1st team AP All-American (1979); AFC Defensive Player of the Year (1986)
  • DL – Greg Kragen (1980–1983)... 13-year NFL career; Pro Bowl, 3 Super Bowl rings
  • DL – Merlin Olsen (1959–1961)... 2-time and Consensus All-American, Outland Trophy winner (1961); 14 Pro Bowls
  • DL – Phil Olsen (1967–1969)... Consensus All-American (1969); 9-year NFL career
  • WR – Kevin Robinson (2003–2007)... NCAA all-time leader in all-purpose yards per play (16.16; 6,479 yds in 401 career plays)
  • OT – Len Rohde (1957–1959)... Two-time all-Skyline Eight; 15-year NFL career.
  • LB – Al Smith (1984–1986)... Big West Defensive Player of the Year (1986), 2-time Honorable Mention All-American
  • OT – Donald Penn (2002–2006)... Currently the starting left tackle for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was named to the 2011 Pro Bowl.
  • DB – Jarrett Bush (2004–2005)... Currently a nickle back with the Green Bay Packers. In Super Bowl XLV, he had one interception, one hit on quarterback, one pass defended, and four solo tackles.

StadiumEdit

File:Utah State Univ Stadium Color Corrected.jpg

Utah State's home games are played at Romney Stadium. Named for E.L. “Dick” Romney, Utah State’s all-time winningest football coach and former athletics director, Romney Stadium was officially dedicated on September 27, 1969. The first game in Romney Stadium history came a season earlier in 1968, when Utah State defeated New Mexico State, 28–12 on September 14. Previous to the current stadium, the Aggies played at another, smaller venue also called "Romney Stadium," which was situated on the site where the HPER building now stands.[4]

On December 5, 2009, Utah State University announced that the playing field at Romney Stadium would be named Merlin Olsen Field, in honor of the Pro and College Football Hall of Fame member and former Aggie. A statue of Olsen in a plaza south of the stadium was dedicated to his memory in Fall 2010.[8]

Utah State's student section is known as "the HURD."

Stadium historyEdit

  • 1892–1912 University Quad
  • 1913–1929 Adams Field
  • 1930–1967 Romney Stadium (original site)
  • 1968–present Romney Stadium (current site).[9]

AchievementsEdit

Conference championshipsEdit

The Aggies have won eleven conference championships in their history, most recently the Big West Conference championships in 1996 and 1997.[10] They have not won a conference championship since joining the WAC in 2005.

Conference Year Coach
Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference 1921 Dick Romney
1935* Dick Romney
1936 Dick Romney
Big Seven Conference 1946* Dick Romney
Skyline Conference 1960* John Ralston
1961* John Ralston
Big West Conference 1978* Bruce Snyder
1979 Bruce Snyder
1993* Charlie Weatherbie
1996* John L. Smith
1997* John L. Smith
* Denotes shared championship

Bowl gamesEdit

The Utah State Aggies have played in seven officially NCAA sanctioned bowl games. Aggies are 1–6 in bowl games. ( Dec. 2011 )

Year Bowl Score Coach Final AP
1946 Raisin Bowl San Jose State 20 Utah State 0 Dick Romney
1947 Grape Bowl Pacific 35 Utah State 21 Dick Romney
1960 Sun Bowl New Mexico State 20 Utah State 13 John Ralston
1961 Gotham Bowl Baylor 24 Utah State 9 John Ralston No. 10
1993 Las Vegas Bowl Utah State 42 Ball State 33 Charlie Weatherbie
1997 Humanitarian Bowl Cincinnati 35 Utah State 19 John L. Smith
2011 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Ohio 24 Utah State 23 Gary Andersen

TraditionEdit

The Old Wagon WheelEdit

BYU and Utah State have met for the Old Wagon Wheel 81 times, dating back to 1922, with BYU holding a 44–34–3 lead. BYU had beaten Utah State ten straight times before Utah State defeated BYU by the score of 31–16 on October 1, 2010. With the victory, Utah State reclaimed the Old Wagon Wheel for the first time since 1993. The Old Wagon Wheel returned to BYU on September 30, 2011, when the Cougars defeated Utah State 27–24.

Battle of the BrothersEdit

The Battle of the Brothers refers to the rivalry between Utah State and Utah. The two teams have a long-running football series, which, at 109 games, is the twelfth most played rivalry in the nation. USU trails in the series, 77–28–4. Both programs played the first game in their respective histories against each other in Logan on November 25, 1892, which game the Aggies won 12–0. The two teams played every year from 1944 to 2009, but the series took a two-year hiatus for the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Utah State has lost the last 12 games and 20 of the last 22 in the rivalry.[11]

SchedulesEdit

Future schedulesEdit

The Aggies have the following non-conference opponents contracted to play in future seasons:[12]

2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
9/1 Southern Utah 8/29 @ Utah 9/6 Idaho State 9/3 @ Utah 9/10 @ Wyoming
9/8 Utah 9/7 San Diego State 9/13 @ Wyoming 9/19 Wyoming
9/15 @ Wisconsin 9/14 Weber State 9/27 Boise State 9/26 @ Boise State
9/22 @ Colorado State 9/21 @ USC 10/3 @ BYU 10/2 @ BYU
9/29 UNLV 10/4 BYU
10/5 @ BYU

ReferencesEdit

  1. "cfbdatawarehousse.com". http://www.cfbdatawarehouse.com/data/div_ia/wac/utah_state/coaching_records.php. Retrieved April 9, 2009.
  2. "cfbdatawarehouse.com". http://www.cfbdatawarehouse.com/data/div_ia/wac/utah_state/bowl_history.php. Retrieved April 9, 2009.
  3. "cfbdatawarehousse.com". http://www.cfbdatawarehouse.com/data/div_ia/wac/utah_state/yearly_results.php?year=1892. Retrieved April 9, 2009.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Utah State 2009 Football Media Guide". Utah State University. http://www.utahstateaggies.com/auto_pdf/p_hotos/s_chools/ust/sports/m-footbl/auto_pdf/09USUFootballMediaGuide. Retrieved February 9, 2010.
  5. "Teetzel Makes Big Shakeup In Aggies". The Evening Telegram (Salt Lake City). October 12, 1911.
  6. Rock, Brad (September 2, 2009). "Utah State has paid price for standing pat". Deseret News. http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705327340/Utah-State-has-paid-price-for-standing-pat.html. Retrieved February 5, 2010.
  7. "Utah State Football". ESPN. http://espn.go.com/ncf/clubhouse?teamId=328. Retrieved February 9, 2010.
  8. Harrison, Shawn (December 6, 2009). "Field named after Olsen". The Herald Journal. http://hjnews.townnews.com/articles/2009/12/06/sports/sports02-12-06-09.txt. Retrieved December 6, 2009.
  9. Parson, Robert. "An Encyclopedic History of Utah State University". http://library.usu.edu/specol/usuarchives/universityhistory.html. Retrieved March 10, 2010.
  10. "cfbdatawarehouse.com". http://www.cfbdatawarehouse.com/data/div_ia/wac/utah_state/championships.php. Retrieved April 9, 2009.
  11. http://www.cfbdatawarehouse.com/data/div_ia/mountainwest/utah/opponents_records.php?teamid=3351 Utah vs. Utah St.
  12. "UTAH STATE FOOTBALL FUTURE SCHEDULES". NationalChamps.net. http://www.usufans.com/Schedule/Football. Retrieved June 27, 2012.

External linksEdit

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