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

By Doug Hoffman

For the Deseret News

Published: Monday, March 5 2012 12:00 p.m. MST

USU’s home game against Utah on Friday, Sept. 7 marks the first time since 1996 that the Aggies open a season with back-to-back home games and is only the seventh time since 1950, joining 1996, 1990, 1961, 1953, 1951 and 1950.

The 2012 slate marks the second time in four years that USU will face three in-state foes, as in 2009 the Aggies faced the same three from this season in Utah, SUU and BYU. Prior to 2009, USU hadn’t played three Beehive State teams in the same season since 2001, when USU played Utah, BYU and Weber State that year, a season after playing Utah, BYU and Southern Utah in the same ledger.

Utah is one of four teams on USU’s 2012 schedule that went to a bowl game in 2011, as the Utes played in the Sun Bowl (W, 30-27 over Georgia Tech). The Aggies will also face bowl teams Wisconsin (lost to Oregon, 45-38, in Rose Bowl), BYU (Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, W, 24-21 vs. Tulsa) and Louisiana Tech (San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, L, 31-24 vs. TCU).

Wisconsin in the only opponent on USU’s 2012 ledger that was ranked in the final Associated Press poll, finishing at No. 10, while BYU was first among others recieving votes in the poll.

In its first road game of the season, Utah State will travel to Madison, Wis., to take on Wisconsin on Saturday, Sept. 15. It will be the Aggies’ second-ever meeting with the Badgers, first meeting in 1968. USU will also be facing a Big 10 opponent for the first time since playing at Nebraska in 2003. Utah State’s visit to Camp Randall will be Wisconsin’s fourth-straight WAC opponent after Fresno State in 2008 and 2009 along with San Jose State last season.

On Saturday, Sept. 22, USU will head to Fort Collins, Colo., to face Colorado State. The Aggies will be looking to avenge last year’s 35-34 double OT loss to the Rams in 2011, and will be USU’s first visit to Fort Collins since 1994. CSU leads the all-time series, 35-30-2, having won the last four meetings and six of the last eight.

After the game at CSU, Utah State faces a second Mountain West Conference foe for the season time in as many weeks when the Aggies host UNLV on Saturday, Sept. 29. USU last played UNLV in 2008 and the Aggies lead the all-time series, 12-7. That will also be USU’s Homecoming game, marking the third time that UNLV has been the Aggies’ Homecoming opponent, with USU winning the previous two, in 1986 and 1990.

Utah State will head to Provo for the second year in a row, playing at BYU on Friday, Oct. 5 in the 82nd meeting with the Aggies battling the Cougars for the Old Wagon Wheel. It will mark the 15th time in the last 19 meetings since 1987 that USU and BYU will be battling on a Friday night. The Cougars hold a 44-34-3 series lead.

To open its eighth season of WAC action, Utah State will travel to San Jose, Calif., to face San Jose State on Saturday, Oct. 13. It marks the second year in a row and the third time in the last four that the Aggies begin league play on the road. USU has won the last three meetings with SJSU overall to cut the Spartans lead in the series to 20-13-1.

In its home WAC opener, USU will host New Mexico State in an all-Aggie clash on Saturday, Oct. 20. The northern Aggies hold a 29-7 advantage over their southern brethren, winning four of the last meetings.

Utah State will then face the two newcomers to the football conference slate, playing at UT-San Antonio on Saturday, Oct. 27 and then hosting Texas State on Saturday, Nov. 3. After their first bye, the Aggies’ final regular-season road trip will be to Ruston, La., to take on defending league champion Louisiana Tech on Nov. 17. LA Tech holds a 6-3 series lead, having taken six of the last seven meetings with USU.

The Aggies then close out regular-season action on Saturday, Nov. 24 hosting Idaho, as the Vandals are the final game on USU’s schedule for the third time in the last six seasons. Utah State has a 19-17-2 series advantage, having won four of the last five meetings.

Utah State football opens spring camp on March 27 and concludes spring drills with the Blue-White Spring Game on Saturday, April 28 at 2 p.m. (MT) at Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium. Admission is free.

Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.

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