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USU football announces 2012 schedule, highlighted by nationally televised home game

By Doug Hoffman

For the Deseret News

Published: Monday, March 5 2012 12:15 p.m. MST

Utah State Aggies head coach Gary Andersen hugs Utah State Aggies linebacker Bobby Wagner (9) in Logan Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011. USU beat Nevada.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News archives

Enlarge photo»

For the third time in the last four years, Utah State football will be hosting a nationally televised game, as the Aggies’ game against Utah will be on ESPN2, highlighting USU’s 2012 schedule which was released Monday by the Western Athletic Conference.

The Aggies and Utes will tangle on Friday, Sept. 7 at 6 p.m. (MT) at Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium. It will be the 110th meeting between USU and Utah, resuming the rivalry after a two-year hiatus. The Beehive State battle will be the Aggies’ third time in the last four seasons with a home game on national television, after hosting Boise State in 2009, BYU in 2010 and Utah in 2012.

The USU-Utah game is the only game involving a WAC team already scheduled with ESPN on ESPN2. Other games to be televised on ESPN networks, along with starting times, will be determined later this spring.

“We’re excited for the opportunity to play three of the four in-state schools, including starting the season at home with two of them, highlighted by the Utah game being nationally televised. That will give us the chance to showcase Utah State football and Utah State University to the country, which is a huge recruiting tool for us,” USU head coach Gary Andersen said. “It is a very challenging schedule and with the two new teams to the WAC, our league remains highly competitive and is very well-respected throughout the country. We’re excited to start our preparations for the 2012 season with spring practice in a couple weeks.”

Utah State will have six home games, as well as two bye weeks among the 14-week, 12-game schedule in 2012. Both byes come in the final four weeks of the season, with the first coming on Saturday, Nov. 10 and the second on Saturday, Dec. 1.

“Our fall schedule will be challenging but having six home games again gives us balance and some exciting match-ups for our fans. The nationally televised home game vs. Utah, two Mountain West opponents, Southern Utah and BYU bring with them strong regional interest,” said USU Athletics Director Scott Barnes.

Here is the schedule:

08/30/12 vs. Southern Utah Logan, Utah 6:00 p.m. MT

09/07/12 vs. Utah Logan, Utah 6:00 p.m. MT

09/15/12 at Wisconsin Madison, Wis. TBA

09/22/12 at Colorado State Fort Collins, Colo. TBA

09/29/12 vs. UNLV HOMECOMING Logan, Utah 6:00 p.m. MT

10/05/12 at BYU Provo, Utah TBA

10/13/12 at San Jose State * San Jose, Calif. 2:00 p.m. MT

10/20/12 vs. New Mexico State * Logan, Utah 1:00 p.m. MT

10/27/12 at UTSA * San Antonio, Texas 12:00 p.m. MT

11/03/12 vs. Texas State * Logan, Utah 1:00 p.m. MT

11/17/12 at Louisiana Tech * Ruston, La. TBA

11/24/12 vs. Idaho * Logan, Utah 1:00 p.m. MT

The 2012 schedule marks the third-straight season and fourth time in the last five years to play six home games. It is the fifth time in last 16 years that USU will host six games at home, also doing so in 2010, 2008 and 1998, although six were scheduled in 2005, but the season-opener vs. Nicholls State was cancelled due to Hurricane Katrina. Entering USU’s 114th season of football in 119 years, the Aggies have had six home games on the slate a total of only nine times: 2012, 2011, 2010, 2008, 1998, 1996, 1995, 1978, 1952.

For the first time since 2007, USU opens the season with a home game, and it is only the sixth time in the last 20 years that the Aggies had a home game in the opening week, when Utah State hosts in-state foe Southern Utah on Thursday, Aug. 30. USU and SUU last met in Andersen’s first home game at the helm of the Aggies in 2009, and Utah State leads the all-time series, 2-0.

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