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USU football: Old sibling rivalry to be renewed Thursday night at Romney Stadium as Larsen brothers lead respective teams into battle

By Doug Hoffman

For the Deseret News

Published: Monday, Aug. 27 2012 3:25 p.m. MDT

After impressive high school careers, the brothers both landed at college football programs in 2009. Tyler was a true freshman at Utah State, while Cody was a freshman at Southern Utah after a two-year LDS Church Mission. The brothers appeared destined to finally share the gridiron once again, this time as opponents, with the Aggies facing the Thunderbirds in the team’s third game that season. But with the worst of timing, Tyler suffered a season-ending injury in USU’s second game that year at Texas A&M, derailing the would-be meeting between the brothers.

“I was so excited. We both were,” Tyler said of the anticipation for that 2009 match-up. “We were just as excited as we are now, so it was a big blow.”

Now, both players are healthy and decorated veterans of college football, and both are hoping to get the best of their brother one last time.

“This year, it’ll be that much more intense now that we’re both playing and going head-up against each other,” Cody said.

Despite their competitive nature with each other, and after all these years away from home and attending universities on opposite ends of the state, the two brothers haven’t let distance affect their relationship. Whether they’re bragging about personal accolades to each other over the phone or enjoying what little time they get to spend together, brotherly love prevails.

“We’re very close,” Tyler said. “We’re always hanging out whenever we’re at our parents’ house and going lifting together or trying to do position work together, so we’re very close.”

The two are so close they even have the same idea of how they’ll react when the USU offense breaks its first huddle Thursday, and the two brothers line up across from each other.

“For me, I’m going to get in my stance, look at him, and I just know I’m going to start laughing because it’s so unreal to me," Tyler said.

Cody anticipated the same thing.

“I guarantee he’s going to start laughing," he said. "No matter how nervous he is or how nervous I am, I’ll say something or just give the look, and I think he’ll giggle a little bit. Then it’ll be all down to business after that.”

Whoever gets the last laugh in this next chapter of the Larsen brothers’ sibling rivalry could be a big one with Thursday being the last foreseeable time the two will share a football field together.

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

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