USU football: 2012 Aggie seniors have made many accomplishments throughout their seasons
Some of the seniors came to Utah State in the midst of the transition from a losing program to a winning one, not entirely experiencing the down years before seeing the success of the last two seasons. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t understand and appreciate the difference.
“I wasn’t here for the really rough seasons, but I love seeing the faces of the fans,” Davis said. “You can tell by how they look at us now that there’s something big here."
No matter what they’ve been through, the Aggies have found a way to make it work and come out ahead.
“They were never phased, and they were always working together. They built themselves physically. They built themselves mentally to be better on and off the field,” Andersen said. “That’s what football is, but that’s what life is.”
While so much of what the team has done and accomplished is visible, a lot of the behind-the-scenes efforts are what have made the difference. The confidence that exudes on the field comes from countless hours spent breaking down film and sitting in team meetings, not to mention all the lifting and early morning conditioning.
As a whole though, the biggest difference that's been made is the camaraderie among the members of the team, according to the seniors.
“This year is just different. We came together as one. There were a lot of single guys last year, but this year was a lot different,” Jacobs said. “We’re a team, and we all believe in each other. Everyone is getting their shot. It’s a different mentality.”
Bartlett agreed with Jacobs about the camaraderie.
“It makes it the best. Everyone finally believes in one another,” he said. “Whether or not its first or second string, you know they’re going to come in and fill their gap well.”
As they look back on their final season as Aggies, so many of the athletes will point to the evening of Sept. 7. For the first time in 15 years, Utah State had beaten in-state rival Utah, 27-20, in overtime. For so many people, that game solidified the changes the team has been working toward.
“I think that was a defining moment for our season,” Bartlett said. “That was a legendary game. For us to do that helped propel where our season headed, and is heading. Losing that game could have made for a very different season.”
Looking again to the fans, the seniors are grateful for the support of the Aggie Nation.
“To see people rushing the field and look up to see the stands empty, is something I’ve always wanted to experience,” Davis said.
The seniors cite consistency as one of the huge keys to finally seeing a truly successful season.
“At the end of the season last year we couldn’t really finish things off, there was always something off,” Davis said. “We’re way more consistent this year. We aren’t perfect, but we’ve tried to come out the same way every game and that’s changed a lot.”
As the season begins to wind down, the team realizes the things they have accomplished. From the very first day of spring ball, the goal of becoming the Western Athletic Conference Champions was set.
As of last week’s win over nationally ranked Louisiana Tech, the Aggies have at least a share of the final WAC title. A win over Idaho will clinch the status for Utah State, making it the first title to be completely theirs since 1936.
“Our team goals are to win the WAC Championship and win a bowl game. Those are both still on the table,” Brady said.
Unlike the recent past, Utah State has established themselves as a solid football program. These are the new expectations.
“They’ve created an environment of winning, an environment of being solid young men on the field and off the field,” Andersen said. “They have created an environment of expectations in the community to hold themselves accountable to a high level and be involved.”
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