Utah State Aggies football
|Utah State Aggies football|
|Athletic director||John Hartwell|
|Head coach||Matt Wells|
6th season, 44–33 (.571)
|Field||Merlin Olsen Field|
|Conference||Mountain West Conference|
|All-time record||543–541–31 (.501)|
|Bowl record||4–8 (.333)|
|Colors||Navy Blue, White, and Pewter Gray|
|Fight song||Hail the Utah Aggies|
The Utah State Aggies are a college football team that competes in the Mountain West Conference (MWC) 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 Merlin Olsen Field at Maverik Stadium since 1968. They have won twelve conference championships in four different conferences during their history, most recently in 2012. Overall, the Aggies have a record of 540–540–31 (.500).
In December 2012, Matt Wells, previously the offensive coordinator, became the Aggies' new head coach, replacing Gary Andersen. Andersen left the Aggies shortly after the final game of the 2012 season to become the new head coach for the University of Wisconsin. Andersen had replaced Brent Guy following the unsuccessful 2008 season. Andersen was previously the defensive coordinator at the University of Utah, and he was also a part of the 2008 Ute team that went undefeated and won the 2009 Sugar Bowl.
The Aggies have played in 12 bowl games in their history, winning four: the 2014 New Mexico Bowl against the UTEP Miners, the 2013 Poinsettia Bowl against the Northern Illinois Huskies, the 2012 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl against the Toledo Rockets and the 1993 Las Vegas Bowl against Ball State.
- 1 History
- 2 Conference affiliations
- 3 Championships
- 4 Bowl games
- 5 Stadium
- 6 Rivalries
- 7 Current coaching staff
- 8 Future non-conference opponents
- 9 Notable players
- 10 References
- 11 External links
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. 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. 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. 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 two seasons with year-end Top 25 rankings: No. 10 in 1961 and No. 19 in 1972.
Following the great heights of the 1960s and 70s, Aggie football fell upon hard times. Many longtime Aggie supporters 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.
After continual failed attempts to join the WAC, the program played as an independent program from 1962 to 1977 (until joining the PCAA/Big West in 1978). The program again played as an independent from 2001 to 2002 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 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 only after the two other schools had left to form the Mountain West Conference. Later on, Utah State joined the Mountain West Conference in July 2013, again following departures by Utah and BYU.
Former head coach Gary Andersen led the team to new heights. In 2011, he led the team to the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl and the team's first winning season since 1997. The 2012 team found far greater success, notching the school's first double-digit win season, the first outright conference championship since 1936, a return to the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl for the first bowl win in 19 years, and a national Top 25 ranking in three major ranking systems: the AP poll, the ESPN/USA Today poll, and the BCS.
Andersen left the program following the 2012 season. He was replaced by his former offensive coordinator, Matt Wells who coached the Aggies in their inaugural year as members of the Mountain West Conference. Despite multiple injuries to offensive starters, the Aggies were able to gain a berth to the first Mountain West Conference Football Championship Game, which they lost to Fresno State by a score of 17–24. Coach Wells was awarded the Mountain West Coach of the Year award and the Aggies defeated Northern Illinois in the Poinsettia Bowl by a score of 21–14.
- Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (1914–1937)
- Mountain States Conference (1938–1961)
- Independent (1962–1977)
- Pacific Coast Athletic Association / Big West Conference (1978–2000)
- Independent (2001–2002)
- Sun Belt Conference (2003–2004)
- Western Athletic Conference (2005–2012)
- Mountain West Conference (2013–present)
The Aggies have won twelve conference championships in their history, most recently winning the WAC championship (2012).
|Season||Coach||Conference||Overall Record||Conference Record|
|1921||Dick Romney||Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference||7–1||4–0|
|1935†||Dick Romney||Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference||5–2–1||5–1–1|
|1936||Dick Romney||Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference||7–0–1||6–0–1|
|1946†||Dick Romney||Big Seven Conference||7–2–1||4–1–1|
|1960†||John Ralston||Skyline Conference||9–2||6–1|
|1961†||John Ralston||Skyline Conference||9–1–1||5–0–1|
|1978†||Bruce Snyder||Pacific Coast Athletic Association||7–4||3–1|
|1979||Bruce Snyder||Pacific Coast Athletic Association||8–2–1||4–0–1|
|1993†||Charlie Weatherbie||Big West Conference||7–5||5–1|
|1996†||John L. Smith||Big West Conference||6–5||4–1|
|1997†||John L. Smith||Big West Conference||6–6||4–1|
|2012||Gary Andersen||Western Athletic Conference||11–2||6–0|
The Aggies are currently in the Mountain Division of the Mountain West Conference and have been since the 2013 season, the Aggies inaugural season in the Mountain West Conference.
|2013||Mountain West Conference||Mountain Division||Matt Wells||Fresno State||L 17–24|
|1946||Raisin Bowl||San Jose State||L 0–20||Dick Romney|
|1947||Grape Bowl||Pacific||L 21–35||Dick Romney|
|1960||Sun Bowl||New Mexico State||L 13–20||John Ralston|
|1961||Gotham Bowl||Baylor||L 9–24||John Ralston||No. 10|
|1993||Las Vegas Bowl||Ball State||W 42–33||Charlie Weatherbie|
|1997||Humanitarian Bowl||Cincinnati||L 19–35||John L. Smith|
|2011||Famous Idaho Potato Bowl||Ohio||L 23–24||Gary Andersen|
|2012||Famous Idaho Potato Bowl||Toledo||W 41–15||Gary Andersen||No. 16|
|2013||Poinsettia Bowl||Northern Illinois||W 21–14||Matt Wells|
|2014||New Mexico Bowl||UTEP||W 21–6||Matt Wells|
|2015||Famous Idaho Potato Bowl||Akron||L 21–23||Matt Wells|
|2017||Arizona Bowl||New Mexico State||L 20–26||Matt Wells|
The Grape Bowl is listed in NCAA records, but was not an NCAA-sanctioned bowl game.
The Aggies have played their home games at various spots around campus during their history with the current location housing Utah State Football since 1968. Previously named Romney Stadium for 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.
On December 5, 2009, Utah State University announced that the playing field at then 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.
On April 11, 2015, Utah State University announced a corporate naming-rights partnership with Maverik, Inc., owners of convenience stores throughout the Intermountain West. The renaming of the stadium corresponds with a massive renovation project expected to be completed in time for the start of the 2016 football season. "Renovations to Maverik Stadium will focus on greatly improving the overall fan experience. On the west side, a new four-story premium seating and press box structure will be built to include a state-of-the-art media and game operations area, 24 luxury suites, 20 loge boxes, more than 700 covered club seats and a premium club area that will also be used to host a student-athlete training table. Major concourse work will include significantly increased restrooms, upgraded concessions and an enlarged concourse for better pedestrian traffic flow.
Renovations will also include new video boards on both the north and south ends of the stadium, along with a new public address system. The additional expansion of Maverik Stadium's seating capacity is also planned for the future.
Utah State's football stadium has largely gone without any upgrades to the existing structure during its 47-year existence. The seating capacity has been altered twice; once in 1980 with the addition of approximately 10,000 seats to the south bowl, and again in 1997 when roughly 4,000 chair back seats were installed to bring the present capacity to 25,513.
In 2005, the south end zone area was renovated, providing improved concessions and restroom facilities, as well as a widened concourse on the east side of the stadium. And in 2008, the three-story, 69,000-square foot Jim and Carol Laub Athletics-Academics Complex was completed in the north end zone, providing enhanced athletic and academic needs for all 16 of USU's varsity sports."
Utah State's student section is known as "the HURD".
- University Quad (1892–1912)
- Adams Field (1913–1929)
- Romney Stadium (original site) (1930–1967)
- Romney Stadium (current site) (1968–2015)
- Merlin Olsen Field at Maverik Stadium (2015–present)
Utah State has a number of both old and new rivals. Older rivals include Brigham Young University (Battle for the Old Wagon Wheel/Beehive Boot Trophy), the University of Utah (Battle of the Brothers/Beehive Boot Trophy), and the University of Wyoming (Bridger's Battle).
Newer rivalries include teams against whom the Aggies of Utah State currently play each year in the Mountain Division of the Mountain West Conference. These teams include Boise State, Air Force, Colorado State, University of Las Vegas Nevada, and (again) the University of Wyoming. In particular, a new in-division and in-conference rivalry exists with the Boise State Broncos (having relative close proximity to Utah State) and the Air Force Falcons (given the long-standing military tradition at both schools and USU's close proximity to Hill Air Force Base in Layton, Utah).
The Cougars and Aggies started playing in 1922. BYU and Utah State have met for the Old Wagon Wheel 58 times, dating back to 1948. BYU had beaten Utah State ten straight times before Utah State defeated BYU 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 Logan on October 3, 2014, when the Aggies defeated BYU 35–20. BYU is often referred to in the local media as being the chief rival of Utah State University. It is the second oldest rivalry for both schools.
Current Record: 48–37–3; BYU Leads
Most Recent Game:
|October 5, 2018||Lavell Edwards Stadium, Provo Utah||45-20||Utah State|
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 112 games, is tied for the seventh most-played rivalry in the Division I FBS football. The Battle of the Brothers is the oldest FBS Division I college football rivalry in the United States between two public universities in the same state. 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. On September 7, 2012, the Aggies snapped the 12-game losing streak beating Utah 27–20 (OT) in Logan. The game was not played in 2014. The series continued in 2015 at Rice-Eccles Stadium, with Utah winning 24–14. Since then, no future games have been scheduled.
Current Record: 79–29–4; Utah Leads
Most Recent Game:
|September 11, 2015||Salt Lake City||24–14||Utah|
Utah State and Wyoming first played in 1903, making the rivalry one of the oldest for both schools. Early on, the teams met annually as members of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference from 1916 to 1937 and later the Mountain States Conference from 1938 to 1961. The teams continued to play each other frequently from 1962 to 1978, before taking an extended hiatus until 2001. The rivalry was renewed on an annual basis when Utah State joined the Mountain West Conference for the 2013 season (in the same division as Wyoming), in a game now billed as "Bridger's Battle" after American frontiersman Jim Bridger. The trophy for the winning team is a .50-caliber Rocky Mountain Hawken rifle.
Current Record: 38–25–4; Utah State Leads
Most Recent Game:
|October 10, 2018||War Memorial Stadium, Wyoming||24–16||Utah State|
Current coaching staff
|Matt Wells||Head Coach|
|Frank Maile||Asst. Head Coach/Co-Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Line|
|David Yost||Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks|
|Uani Unga||Outside Linebackers|
|DeAndre Smith||Running Backs|
|Julius Brown||Defensive Backs|
|Stacy Collins||Inside Linebackers|
|Jovon Bouknight||Outside Receivers|
|Luke Wells||Tight Ends/Inside Receivers|
|Steve Farmer||Offensive Line|
|Dave Scholz||Head of Strength and Conditioning|
Future non-conference opponents
Announced schedules as of August 30, 2016
The Aggies have the following non-conference opponents contracted to play in future seasons:
|@Wake Forest||Washington State||@ Washington State|
|Stony Brook||Southern Utah||North Dakota|
|@ LSU||@ Washington||@ New Mexico State|
- OT – Len Rohde (1957–1959) Two-time all-Skyline Eight; 15-year NFL career.
- DL – Merlin Olsen (1959–1961) 2-time and Consensus All-American, Outland Trophy winner (1961); 14 Pro Bowls
- 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 most passing yards in professional football history.
- QB – Bill Munson (1964–1964) Played in 16 NFL seasons from 1964 to 1979 for five different teams, starting for the Detroit Lions through the late 1960s and early 1970s.
- 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 seasons 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.
- RB – Altie Taylor (1966–1968) NCAA statistical champion for kickoff return average (1967); 8-year NFL career with Detroit and Houston.
- DL – Phil Olsen (1967–1969) Consensus All-American (1969); 9-year NFL career.
- OG – Dave Manning (1972–73) Two year starter at USU, Manning was All-American, 2nd Team his Senior year and was one of the main blockers for Aggie Running Back Louie Giammona.
- 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).
- DE/R – Alan "Madpup" McMurray (1971–1973) Sophomore All-American – small's DE in nation 178 lbs, holds QB sack record (19.5), played outstanding game against 1971 National Champs Nebraska Cornhuskers (ESPN & Sports Illustrated's "team of the century") 13 tackles/9 assists/1 QB sack – Original designer of Aggie mascot
- RB – Louie Giammona (1973–1975) 6-year NFL career.
- PK – Alfred Knapp (1973–1974) Set several kicking records-2nd in nation, signed w/ Green Bay Packers
- DB – Johndale Carty (1995–1998) played for the Atlanta Falcons of the NFL
- 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, all with Minnesota.
- 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
- QB – Ron Lopez Arena Football League player
- DB – Damon J. Smith 1st athlete to play professional football and race pro motocross. During his four-year college career he was 2nd only to Jim Thorpe Award winner Antonio Langham with 17 college career interceptions for the 4-year period, which was Top 10 on the NCAA All Time interception list at that time.
- RB – Rick Parros (1976–1979) 6-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).
- LB – Al Smith (1984–1986) Big West Defensive Player of the Year (1986), 2-time Honorable Mention All-American
- OG – Rich Tylski (1990–1993) A 3-year starter at Utah State, Tylski signed a free agent contract upon graduation from USU with the New England Patriots in 1994 that led to a 10-year NFL career with New England (1994 & 2002), Jacksonville (1995–99), Pittsburgh (2000–2001) and Carolina (2003–2004).
- RB – Emmett White (1996–2000) 3-year starter at USU, White was a two-time All Big West (1999–2000), All Independent (2001) and All American 3rd Team (2001). He also set an NCAA record for most all purpose yards in a game against New Mexico State in 2001 in which he rushed 34 times for 322 yards, caught seven passes for 134 yards and had return yardage of 122 yards for a fantastic 578 yards, beating the old NCAA record by 143 yards. He finished the year leading the NCAA with an average of 238.9 yards per game in all purpose yards.
- OT – Donald Penn (2002–2006) Currently the starting left tackle for the Oakland Raiders. He was named to the 2011 Pro Bowl.
- DB – Jarrett Bush (2004–2005) Currently a nickelback with the Green Bay Packers. In Super Bowl XLV, he had one interception, one hit on quarterback, one pass defended, and four solo tackles.
- RB – Robert Turbin (2007–2011) Currently a running back for the Indianapolis Colts.
- LB – Bobby Wagner (2008–2011) Currently the starting middle linebacker for the Seattle Seahawks. He set the club record for tackles by a rookie with 140 and ranked second among all rookies in 2012.
- LB – Kyler Fackrell NFL player
- WR – Kendal Smith NFL player
- LS – Patrick Scales, NFL player
- QB – Mike Affleck, American football player
- OL – Matt Hanousek, American football player
- CB – Tay Glover-Wright, American football player. He appeared in 27 games, starting 11, during his time at Utah State and recorded career totals of 69 tackles, 10 pass breakups, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble and 1 fumble recovery. He had 105 rushing yards on 20 attempts as well.
- Utah State Athletics Brand Guide (PDF). Retrieved March 28, 2016.
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