Utah State’s 2010 football schedule features nationally-televised home game for second-straight season

LOGAN, Utah – For the second time in as many years, Utah State football will be hosting a nationally-televised game, as the Aggies’ 2010 game against in-state rival Brigham Young will be on either ESPN or ESPN2, highlighting Utah State’s 2010 football schedule, which was announced Monday with the complete Western Athletic Conference schedule. USU’s 2010 slate includes six home games for the second time in three years. Utah State hosts in-state foe BYU on Friday, Oct. 1 in a game that will be televised on either ESPN or ESPN2, in the 80th meeting between the Aggies and Cougars and on a Friday night for the 13th time in the last 17 meetings since 1987. USU will host six home games, including non-conference games against Idaho State (Sept. 11) and BYU (Oct. 1), along with four Western Athletic Conference match-ups, hosting Fresno State (Sept. 18), Hawai’i (Oct. 23), New Mexico State (Nov. 6) and Idaho (Nov. 20). Utah State’s Homecoming game will on Oct. 23 against Hawai’i. Times for all of USU’s games will be announced at a later date, but the Aggies’ first three home games, Saturday, Sept. 11, Saturday, Sept. 18 and Friday, Oct. 1 will most likely be evening games with the later three home contests on Saturday, Oct. 23, Saturday, Nov. 6 and Saturday, Nov. 20 slated as afternoon games. It will be the second year in a row that USU will host ESPN, as the worldwide sports entertainment network televised the Aggies’ match-up with No. 6 Boise State on Nov. 20, 2009. Prior to last season, the last time that USU was on ESPN was the 1997 Humanitarian Bowl game in Boise, Idaho, as that game was televised on ESPN2. “We are excited to host a nationally televised game for the second-straight season. The feedback we got from last year’s game was incredible and we are anxious to again showcase our football program and athletic facilities, along with our wonderful campus and community, to the entire country,” said USU Athletics Director Scott Barnes. The match-up with BYU will be one of Utah State’s six home games in 2010. In the past 13 seasons, the Aggies have played six home games only twice, in 1998 and 2008, although six were scheduled in 2005, but the season-opener vs. Nicholls State was cancelled due to Hurricane Katrina. In USU’s 116 seasons of football, the Aggies have had six home games on the slate a total of only six times: 1952, 1978, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2008. “Having these six home games , fits our plan for a balanced schedule that benefits our fans and our community,” Barnes said. The USU-BYU game is one of nine WAC games already scheduled with ESPN on ESPN2. Seven of the WAC’s nine teams will make at least one appearance in 2010. Additional television games are expected to be added to all of the ESPN networks in the upcoming months. After opening the season on the road, Utah State will have its next two games at home, the most home games in the first three of a season since 2004, when the schedule matches this season with a road game to begin the schedule followed by consecutive home games. Also, USU will not have back-to-back road games on the ledger for the first time since 2005. The Aggies’ schedule also includes two bye weeks, the first in week seven and the second in week 13, prior to the regular-season finale. “It’s extremely exciting for our team and our fans to have six home games, especially with back-to-back home games. We have a fantastic opportunity to play in front of our terrific fans in three of our first five home games,” said USU head coach Gary Andersen. “We’re fortunate that one of our byes falls during the university’s fall break, so we will have the continued tremendous support of the HURD and the student body for all of our home games.” Andersen also liked the opportunity to play on national television for the second time in as many years. “Playing and hosting a game on national television is one of the best recruiting tools you can have,” Andersen said. “For the second year in a row, the entire nation will be able to see our fabulous facilities, along with our magnificent campus and community.” Utah State will face a total of six teams that played in a bowl game in 2009, including three in the first five games. The Aggies’ bowl opponents include Oklahoma (Sun Bowl), Fresno State (New Mexico Bowl), BYU (Las Vegas Bowl), Nevada (Hawai’i Bowl), Idaho (Humanitarian Bowl) and Boise State (Fiesta Bowl). “It will be extremely challenging to face three bowl teams in the first five games, so will we have to work extra hard in fall camp and be hitting on all cylinders from the get-go,” Andersen said. USU’s schedule includes two teams that were in the AP Top 25 poll last season in No. 4 Boise State and No. 12 BYU, while Oklahoma was the top team in the “others receiving votes” category. Utah State’s 2010 opener is Sept. 4 at Oklahoma, as USU last faced the Sooners in 2007. OU played in the 2009 Sun Bowl, beating Stanford, 31-27, finishing with an 8-5 record. The Aggies are 0-4 all-time against the Sooners. USU’s home-opener is Saturday, Sept. 11 with a border-battle against Idaho State, facing the Bengals for the first time since 2002, and holding a 13-2 series advantage, including 10-1 at Logan. The Aggies’ commence WAC action on Saturday, Sept. 18, hosting New Mexico Bowl participant Fresno State. The Bulldogs’ last two visits to Romney Stadium have been thriller’s with a combined difference of three points after USU’s 13-12 win in 2006 before FS won in 2008, 30-28, on a 58-yard field goal as time expired. Fresno State holds a 14-10 series lead. The Aggies will play their final non-conference road game at San Diego State on Saturday, Sept. 25, facing the Aztecs for the first time since 1975 at Logan and making their first trip to San Diego since 1974. USU is 1-9 all-time against SDSU, losing the last five meetings after the lone win in 1967. Utah State will conclude non-conference action against BYU in the nationally-televised game on Friday, Oct. 2, as the Aggies and Cougars will be meeting for the 80th time in school history, USU’s second-most played rivalry. BYU leads the series, 43-33-3, but Utah State has a 17-15-2 mark against the Cougars at Logan. The Aggies’ WAC road opener is on Saturday, Oct. 9 at Ruston, La., against Louisiana Tech, with Utah State having the opportunity to level the all-time series at 4-4 with a win, before USU’s first bye week on Oct. 16. Utah State hosts Hawai’i on Saturday, Oct. 23, as the series with the Warriors is tied at 5-5, but the Aggies hold a 3-1 advantage at Logan. USU then heads to Reno, Nev. on Saturday, Oct. 30 to take on 2009 Hawai’i Bowl participant Nevada, who hold a 16-4 series lead, including 6-2 at Reno. The northern Aggies host the southern Aggies of New Mexico State on Saturday, Nov. 6. USU holds a 27-7 all-time series lead over NMSU, winning six of the last 10 meetings. Utah State holds a 12-3 home ledger over New Mexico State. USU plays at San Jose State on Saturday, Nov. 13, as the Aggies will be going for their first back-to-back wins over the Spartans since 1977-78, in a series that SJSU leads, 20-11, including 11-3-1 at San Jose. Utah State’s home finale is against 2009 Humanitarian Bowl winner Idaho on Saturday, Nov. 20. The Aggies have an 18-16-2 series lead, currently on a three-game winning streak in the series, and have an 8-6 advantage at Logan. After a second bye on Nov. 27, USU travels to Boise, Idaho to conclude regular-season action against defending WAC Champion and Fiesta Bowl Champion Boise State. The Broncos have a 12-4 series advantage, including 6-2 at Boise. Utah State finished head coach Gary Andersen’s first year at the helm of the USU program with a 4-8 mark, the Aggies’ most wins since 2002. Utah State was 3-5 in WAC action, matching last season for top conference record in USU’s five seasons in the league. The Aggies were tied for fifth in the final league standings, USU’s highest-ever finish in its time in the conference and the best league finish since tying for fourth in the Sun Belt Conference in 2004. Andersen and the Aggies will return 45 letterwinners (21 offense, 22 defense, two special teams), including 17 starters (eight offense, seven defense, two special teams). Utah State football season ticket renewal applications have been mailed out. Fans can also renew online 24 hours a day at www.UtahStateAggies.com and clicking on the “buy/renew tickets” under the “tickets” drop down menu. For more ticket information, contact the USU Ticket Office at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, or by phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or (435) 797-0305. -USU-

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