Utah State Aggies football

Utah State Aggies football
2016 Utah State Aggies football team
First season 1892
Athletic director John Hartwell
Head coach Matt Wells
4th year, 2825 (.528)
Stadium Maverik Stadium
Field Merlin Olsen Field
Seating capacity 25,513
Field surface SprinTurf
Location Logan, UT
Conference Mountain West
Division Mountain
All-time record 52551731 (.504)
Bowl record 47 (.364)
Conference titles 12
Division titles 1
Consensus All-Americans 2
Current uniform
Colors Navy Blue, White, and Pewter Gray[1]
Fight song Hail the Utah Aggies
Mascot Big Blue
Rivals Boise St, BYU, Colorado St, Utah, & Wyoming
Website UtahStateAggies.com

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 525–517–31 (.504).[2]

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 11 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.[3] Their most recent appearance was in the 2015 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, losing 23–21 to Akron.


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.[4] 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.[5] 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.[6] 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.[5]

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.[7]

Football game being played at USU's Romney Stadium

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.[8] Coach Wells was awarded the Mountain West Coach of the Year award[9] and the Aggies defeated Northern Illinois in the Poinsettia Bowl by a score of 21–14.[10]

Year by year results


Maverik Stadium during October 20, 2012 USU vs. NMSU game
Main article: Maverik Stadium

Utah State's home games are played on Merlin Olsen Field at Maverik Stadium.

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.[5]

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.[11]

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."[12]

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

Stadium history


Division championships

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.

Conference Division Year Coach
Mountain West Conference Mountain Division 2013 Matt Wells

Conference championships

The Aggies have won twelve conference championships in their history, most recently winning the WAC championship (2012).

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
Pacific Coast Athletic Association/Big West Conference 1978* Bruce Snyder
1979 Bruce Snyder
1993* Charlie Weatherbie
1996* John L. Smith
1997* John L. Smith
Western Athletic Conference 2012 Gary Andersen
* indicates a shared championship

Bowl games

The Utah State Aggies have played in 11 officially NCAA sanctioned bowl games with a record of 4–7.

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
2012 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Utah State 41 Toledo 15 Gary Andersen No. 16
2013 Poinsettia Bowl Utah State 21 Northern Illinois 14 Matt Wells
2014 New Mexico Bowl Utah State 21 UTEP 6 Matt Wells
2015 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Akron 23 Utah State 21 Matt Wells


The Old Wagon Wheel

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.

Current Record: 46–35–3; BYU Leads

Most Recent Game:

Date Location Score Winner
November 28, 2015 Utah State 51-28 BYU

Battle of the Brothers

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 1 FBS football. 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 had lost the last 12 games and 20 of the last 22 in the rivalry. On September 7, 2012, the Aggies snapped the 12-game losing streak beating Utah 27–20 (OT) in Logan.[14][15] The game was not played in 2014. The series continued in 2015 at Rice-Eccles Stadium, with Utah winning 24-14.

Current Record: 79–29–4; Utah Leads

Most Recent Game:

Date Location Score Winner
September 11, 2015 Utah 24-14 Utah

Bridger's Battle

Utah State and Wyoming first played in 1903. The teams have played 63 times. On November 25, 2013 "Bridger's Battle" was announced as the name for the rivalry. A .50 caliber Rocky Mountain Hawken rifle was announced as the trophy for the rivalry. [3] The rifle is widely considered to be what Bridger carried.[16]

In 2013, Utah State switched conferences to the Mountain West, putting Utah State and Wyoming not only in the same conference, but in the same division.

Current Record: 38–25–4; Utah State Leads

Most Recent Game:

Date Location Score Winner
November, 5, 2016 Wyoming 52-28 Wyoming

Current coaching staff

Name Position
Matt Wells Head Coach
Mike Canales Assistant Head Coach/Running Backs/Tight Ends
Frank Maile Associate Head Coach/Co-Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Line
Jovon Bouknight Co-Offensive Coordinator/Wide Receivers
Stacy Collins Special Teams Coordinator
Kendrick Shaver Co-Defensive Coordinator/Safeties
Luke Wells Co-Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
Julius Brown Cornerbacks
Steve Farmer Offensive Line
David Kotulski Linebackers
Dave Scholz Head Strength and Conditioning Coach


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:[18]

2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
@ Wisconsin @ BYU @Wake Forest @ BYU @ Washington State
BYU BYU Washington State
@ Wake Forest
Idaho State

Notable players


  1. Utah State Athletics Brand Guide (PDF). Retrieved 2016-03-28.
  2. "cfbdatawarehousse.com". Retrieved December 20, 2014.
  3. "cfbdatawarehouse.com". Retrieved December 20, 2014.
  4. "cfbdatawarehousse.com". Retrieved April 9, 2009.
  5. 1 2 3 "Utah State 2009 Football Media Guide". Utah State University. Retrieved February 9, 2010.
  6. "Teetzel Makes Big Shakeup in Aggies". The Evening Telegram (Salt Lake City). October 12, 1911.
  7. Rock, Brad (September 2, 2009). "Utah State has paid price for standing pat". Deseret News. Retrieved February 5, 2010.
  8. Dubow, Josh. "Utah State falls short in Mountain West title game". College Football AP. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
  9. Williams, Kraig. "Utah State football: USU's Matt Wells exceeded expectations as a first-year head coach". Deseret News. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
  10. Associated Press. "Utah State wins Poinsettia Bowl". LA Times. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
  11. Harrison, Shawn (December 6, 2009). "Field named after Olsen". The Herald Journal. Retrieved December 6, 2009.
  12. http://www.usu.edu/today/index.cfm?id=54733
  13. Parson, Robert. "An Encyclopedic History of Utah State University". Retrieved March 10, 2010.
  14. http://www.cfbdatawarehouse.com/data/div_ia/mountainwest/utah/opponents_records.php?teamid=3351 Utah vs. Utah St.
  15. "Utah State upsets Wynn-less Utah 27-20 in Logan | KSL.com". ksl.com. Retrieved April 2, 2015.
  16. "Utah State and Wyoming announce formation of football rivalry series called "Bridger's Battle"". CacheValleyDaily.com. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
  17. "utahstateaggies.com Official Football Roster - Official Athletic Site Official Athletic Site - Football". utahstateaggies.com. Retrieved April 2, 2015.
  18. "Utah State Football Future Schedules". NationalChamps.net. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  19. "Seattle Seahawks: Bobby Wagner". web.archive.org. Retrieved April 2, 2015.

External links

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